Lemons / Limes - waste

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by Mungbeans, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. Mungbeans

    Mungbeans Junior Member

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    We have a lot of lemon and lime trees and thus a lot of fruit than is unsuitable for consumption, for example, fruit that has fall on the ground. When I say a lot I mean a real lot. At the moment we are binning them, but I don't think this is a good solution.

    Does anyone know the best way to get rid of a lot of lemon and limes? Should we just bury them?
     
  2. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Re: Lemons / Limes - waste

    Just to get an idea of how much is alot, how many times would you fill a 20 litre bucket, over what period of time?
     
  3. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Re: Lemons / Limes - waste

    I wonder Mungbeans w=if you had the time/inclination to go into the citrus oil business with an old copper and a fridge condersor and distil it. Citrus oil is fab in cleaning products and the like.
     
  4. Mungbeans

    Mungbeans Junior Member

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    Re: Lemons / Limes - waste

    I don't think we have quite that much. Probably enough to fill a couple of 20 litre buckets in a week. To many for our compost heap anyway.

    We are also cutting down a couple of trees soon so we'll have heaps of old lemons from those two trees too.
     
  5. Dalzieldrin

    Dalzieldrin Junior Member

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    Re: Lemons / Limes - waste

    are they any good as something to add to the compost heaps to lower pH?

    if say one had added too much ash from a fire/stove (ash is alkaline, right??) or the heap has gone alkaline for some reason?
     
  6. Mungbeans

    Mungbeans Junior Member

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    Re: Lemons / Limes - waste

    Baby steps! I only created my first ever compost heap 3 weeks ago. I'm not ready to work out the counterbalance for heaps of lemons.
     
  7. Dalzieldrin

    Dalzieldrin Junior Member

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    Re: Lemons / Limes - waste

    lol don't panic - i know what you mean!

    but, um, I've no idea how you harvest a reasonable quantity of baby steps and what's their C/N ratio anyway??
     
  8. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Re: Lemons / Limes - waste

    I think the difficulty is that citrus is very acidic, and to some extent antimicrobial and an insect repellant. So worms don't like eating them in quantity. But something must eat citrus otherwise they wouldn't grow naturally when they drop all their fruit on their roots. And I've put smaller amounts of citrus in both worm farms and compost with no problems.

    As an experiment, you could try utilising them as fertiliser separately from your regular compost. Either by composting appropriately (that's the tricky bit, but I'd guess you'd need lots of green and brown materials) or making compost tea (again you'd need lots of other material mixed in).

    Check out these:

    https://www.compostinfo.com/tutorial/CanICompostIt.htm

    This guy says there is no problem composting citrus as long as you get the ratios right:

    https://thedesertgarden.com/2009/03/comp ... peels.html

    Apparently citrus is a 'green' not brown material i.e. it's a source of nitrogen.


    What I would do is make a two or three piles and compost them differently to see what works. You could even do this directly under the tree.


    Is there a reason you can't leave them on the ground where they fall?

    Is the juice any good from the fallen lemons?

    Of course you don't have a lemon excess you have a shortage of....? ;-)

    A quick google suggests that squirrels and coyotes eat lemons, so it's possible that there is an animal local to you that would too. Goats? Possums?
     
  9. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: Lemons / Limes - waste

    Marmalade?
    Marmalade makes excellent Christmas presents (Especially for hard working, conscientious, begging, pathetic Permaculture Moderators)

    Have you tried making preserved lemons?
    They are all the go in Sydney up-market restaurants these days.

    Could you take them to a Charity shop for them to sell?
     
  10. Mungbeans

    Mungbeans Junior Member

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    Re: Lemons / Limes - waste

    The main reason not to leave them lying around is fruit fly, although they don't seem to like the lemons so much.
     
  11. Mungbeans

    Mungbeans Junior Member

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  12. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: Lemons / Limes - waste

    Could a local group make use of them?
    EG
    Organic Growers of Australia Inc. (OGA)
    Membership and organic certification
    PO Box 6171 South Lismore NSW 2480
    Ph 02 66220100
    Fax 02 66220900
    Email: [email protected]
    www.organicgrowers.org.au

    A farmer's market?
     
  13. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Re: Lemons / Limes - waste

    Maybe you could cover them with something brown and compost in place? That might deter any fruit flies and help the trees grow. And save building compost.

    And if you do that enough you could plant around them things that deter fruit flies or attract predator insects.
     
  14. Mungbeans

    Mungbeans Junior Member

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    Re: Lemons / Limes - waste

    Unfortunately they are rough (bush) lemons so there is no market for them. On top of that they are pretty poorly, covered in scale and the like.

    We are going to remove all the rough lemon trees eventually as they are more trouble than they are worth.

    Does anyone know any decent biological controls for fruit fly?
     
  15. Mungbeans

    Mungbeans Junior Member

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  16. Mumchook

    Mumchook Junior Member

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    Re: Lemons / Limes - waste

    What about making some lemon cordial, a refreshing drink on a hot day...? Lemon/lime is a yummy combination.
     
  17. Mungbeans

    Mungbeans Junior Member

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    Re: Lemons / Limes - waste

    Now there is an idea. I used to make a great homemade orange cordial, because I refuse to let the kids drink the chemicals-in-a-bottle they sell at the supermarket.

    That will use about 5% of our surplus ;)
     
  18. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    Re: Lemons / Limes - waste

    G'day Mungbeans

    Surplus is 2 x 20lt buckets x 1 week...

    Hmmm, well, with 'surplus' it is always better to try and incorporate it back into the permaculture (or other types of 'closed loop', self-sustaining systems) higher up the order, this way you get 'more bang for your buck (surplus lemons)'. So in your case, if 'windfall' lemons constitute the surplus, and a higher order entity in your system is maybe, say for example some livestock, you could try feeding them with your surplus. This would give you a good energy demand/output ratio. For example: loop opens > lemons fall > pigs (for example) eat the lemons, thus reducing 'cost' of feed for the pigs > pigs shit > said shit goes into the compost > compost goes back under the lemon trees > loop closes.

    Or, sans livestock: loop opens > lemons fall > lemons go into compost (time for a bigger compost heap, or more of them?) > compost back under lemons > loop closes.

    Cheerio, Marko.
     
  19. Mungbeans

    Mungbeans Junior Member

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    Re: Lemons / Limes - waste

    Marko, I think the huge compost heap is the way I might have to go. Thanks for the advice.
     
  20. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Re: Lemons / Limes - waste

    That's a great description Marko. I'm curious about the higher order thing. Is that intrinsic, or does it depend on the systems needs? Is is always better to go 'higher' (according to that way of thinking)? For example if you have pigs, is it better to feed them rather than make compost because pigshit is more useful for the garden than compost, and because you meet more than one need eg feeding the pigs and producing manure. I understand the closed loop, but the where it feed into it is new to me, so trying to understand.
     

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