Harvesting the Oranges | February in Northern California

We have a giant orange tree in our backyard.

The tree is vintage. Probably close to 40 years old.

Some years, dependent on the rain we've received, the crop can be scant. Last year, we had something like 35 oranges. Which isn't a lot.

This year, we have something like 350 oranges. They are abundant and the harvest is plentiful! (But the workers are few... I am the only worker! 

Even though I have two strapping young boys, and a tall, strong husband, I'm the one doing the work.)

I think secretly they like it this way. And maybe secretly, I like it this way too. I'm one with the tree when I'm on my own. I talk to it, take its fruit, and prune branches as I go. 

We have a nice relationship. We really do.

Regardless, harvest is in winter, but spring comes extremely early here in the Sacramento Valley, so buds begin forming in mid-Februrary which means blossoms will arrive in March. Yikes.

So, during February, when the harvest is over-the-top ridiculous (like this year), I tell myself "Take off 10 oranges a day."

It doesn't seem like much, but over the month, almost all the oranges are gradually removed and the task isn't as daunting as saying to myself, "You need to get ALL the oranges off today."

This is so much easier. I'm able to distribute oranges to family members or friends who want them (I'm not eating fruit right now, but I did sample one last month... juicy and amazing), and the rest are put into our compost bin or green waste can.

It's a high of 64 degrees today, no rain, no wind, no snow... just another beautiful pre-spring winter day.

For those of you in the snow, orange you glad I'm showing you pictures of my oranges?

I'm sending warm wishes and toasty thoughts your way.

We tend to want what we can't have. Would you believe I wish we had snow? Sacramento doesn't even know what snow is.

Anyway, if you're harvesting fruit like me, happy harvesting!

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