Sunday, December 23, 2012

Gardening Six: Pomegranate Paradise

Gardening continued...

We have three pomegranate trees in the yard, which we have been watching closely since we arrived.   Pomegranates are expensive in this country, so we feel very lucky to have them.  We have been harvesting the pomegranates for the past three weeks, trying to keep up as best as we can. 

 The trees start with beautiful brink pink/peach colored flowers that thicken until they turn into the pomegranate fruit. 

When harvested, you can still see the flower petals sticking out the bottom of the fruit.

 The pomegranates are heavy and burden the tree immensely.

We initially pulled half of our green, unripe pomegranates off the trees to unburden them of some weight.

Then we waited for the others to sweeten and turn red in the sun.

Many of the ripening pomegranates have popped open right on the tree.  We have to keep up with these, because a day after popping the fruit will be infested with all sorts of little critters.

One of the fascinating things about having these trees has been the bugs they've attracted.  Giant beetles-big enough to make branches on the trees move when they buzz through-of all shapes and colors love to slip inside the pomegranates that have popped open.  You can hear their loud buzzing when you walk past the trees.

 As a child, I loved to have a pomegranate or two each year.  They were a special tart treat I usually ate alone.  Here our fresh pomegranates are much sweeter, and I put them in everything, from smoothies to salads and dressings. Jonas loves a big pile of seeds on his plate.

Most pomegranates I am piecing apart with Jonas so we can put bag-fulls of seeds into the freezer.  So far we took half initially off the trees for weight issues.  Out of the rest left, we've harvested about half already. We've shared an equal amount with our gardener's family, (surprise- he calls them "apples"!) and we still have three gallon-sized bags full of seeds. Talk about abundant.  We are up to our ears; what a treat!