Having been notified by my grandmother Dorothy a couple of weeks ago that the lemon tree in her backyard was once again ready for the harvest, we took the clippers to it this past Monday. This lemon harvest has become a Ferkin Family annual tradition. And being the amazing horticulturists that we are, we have honed the harvest to an exact science.
The tree produces scads of lemons. So much so that it takes about 4 people to implement our patented process. One person braves the thorns and picks the lemons. A second person washes the lemons and then cuts them in half for juicing. At the end of the line we have two juicers who take the halved lemons and extract the juice.
This last step of the process used to be our bottleneck. In the past we used a cast iron “squeeze-type” juicer but it didn’t really get ALL the possible juice and often got clogged with seeds. We then used a spinning “citrus-style” juicer but it didn’t have enough horsepower to really operate effectively. We solved all these problems when we found this juicer made by Presto. It works like a champ and we have 2! We can produce a lot of juice in just one session.
This time we had to battle some inclement weather. We usually do the job on an warm, sunny afternoon. This year Mother Nature gave us a cold, rainy morning. I got some of the picking done before the rain came but had to finish wearing a poncho.
Noah and Isaac were soaked to the bone by the end of the squeezing. They had a great time jumping in all the puddles and making puckery faces when we stuck lemon slices in their mouths.
It looked like some of the lemons needed some more time on the tree so we left half of them to do some more growing. We ended up with just short of 4 gallons! How much lemonade will that make? Well if you like it a little stiff, like I do, and put 2 cups of lemon juice into each half gallon batch of lemonade the 4 gallons of juice will yield 32 gallons of lemonade!
Before starting our work we ate a hearty breakfast; eggs, sausage, hashbrowns, and OJ (don’t tell the lemons, they’ll be jealous). This was our last time to be with the Sacramento Ferkins before they had to return home. It was great to be with them and are looking forward to our next chance to be together.