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Ohio-grown Grapefruit: The Moment of Truth

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The two grapefruit grew steadily all spring and summer long. Around the first of May, I moved the plant out to the front yard, where it lived on a pedestal with a bunch of friendly petunias and mallows, gerania and gardenia, cuphea and heliotrope. It never once blew off the pedestal--that's what a nice summer we had. Fall came and it got chilly and around the second week in October I moved it into the Groanhouse. Found the heater nonfunctional thanks to some kind of mason bees, having filled up the gas ports with clay. Went on a wild search for the perfect heater. Installed a monster that is now proving to be too much for the space and the plants. Groan.

 But that's another story. 

On the evening of November 13, I was doing a bedcheck and found the grapefruit tree sitting in a full saucer of water. Nobody likes to sleep with wet feet, so I tilted the pot to get the saucer out from under it. The left hand fruit fell from its pot support and leapt to the floor, where it bounced and rolled. Well! I guess you're ready to drop!

Note the two green understudies cheek to jowl with the lower yellow fruit. Obviously the bees got to its summer flowers, no pinkypollinator required. 

If these two greenies were conceived in June, we may be eating homegrown grapefruit again in April! I remain agog that such a paltry little plant could make two such delicious fruit. Talk about overachieving. I strive to keep it fed with time-release fertilizer, make sure it never goes dry, give it as much sun as possible, but still. It owes me nothing so extravagant.

I brought the noble fruit upstairs and kept it on the counter for a couple of days, in awe of this tiny shrublet's achievement. It was pungently fragrant, heavy with juice. I weighed it: 11 oz. Which is a very respectable weight for a small grapefruit. Heavier than the ones in the stores right now, and no smaller. 

Chet Baker wondered what the fuss was about when the time came for  Cutting the Grapefruit.

It was so beautiful. I couldn't bear to take a knife to it. But that's what it is for.

I steeled myself and sliced. Never was there a finer fleshed, juicier, more delicious Ohio Ruby Red grapefruit born. OK, it's not red. But we aren't in Florida, are we?

Bill made a little video. And me, still in my jammies. I just wish I could give each one of you a section.



It is so exciting to grow your own. Here in Galveston, Texas, my friend has a satsuma tree that takes up a large portion of her back yard. We are just starting to eat satsumas and will be doing so until February. And the neighbor has both a satsuma tree - with not as delicious satsumas plus a grapefruit tree that only has a few fruits on it.

But of course I'd also like to live further north and grow apples and peaches.

Snowbound in Eden NY.........drooling over an Ohio grown grapefruit!!


That's what I love most about you... your pure glee at simple things in your life. It makes me smile and focus on the special little moments in my life too. XO

I love how real you are ! :)
I love how you get such BIG pleasure over such small things !!

Posted by Anonymous November 18, 2014 at 7:48 AM

Wonderful grapefruit story! Liam and Chet seemed underwhelmed by the delicious fruity beauty of the moment.

Yum, home grown grapefruit. Not many living in Ohio can say that! Here in Florida we wait in anticipation for the cold weather to make our citrus sweeter! Love the family gathering to check out that first grapefruit!

Kathy in Delray Beach

Posted by Anonymous November 18, 2014 at 8:50 AM

We're still patiently (well...) awaiting the pickedness of our lemon. The lemon that started the summer before last, wintered in Aunt Margo's garage, and remained all summer on our patio, finally beginning to turn yellow in early October. When it went for its winter sojourn at Aunt Margo's, it still had a little green spot. Meanwhile the little plant has some forty other green lemons on it and was flowering when it went off to camp. We have yet to figure out if there is One Normal flowering time on these guys, or how long it takes to mature a fruit. So Mazel Tov! I'm still mourning the dearth of white grapefruits in the store. Ruby Reds are nice but I love the old whites.

Wow! I am about to plant some seeds ffom a Meyer lemon. I have been hoping for sweet smelling blossoms, now I am thinking perhaps I will get some fruit. Amazing.

You rock, Julie!

Posted by marymccloskey November 18, 2014 at 1:13 PM

Tah dah! Wonderful!

Success! Congrats citrusmissus!

Congratulations!! You have one green thumb and definitely are one with your plants! Small and heavy fruit is good--means it's good and juicy and yours was. Enjoy!

Love it :-D

What a beautiful grapefruit you have grown! Have you tried passion fruit? It's amazing when juiced. I love your photos. Nature photography is so beautiful and powerful. I recently enjoyed the book, "Embrace Your Inner Wild: 52 Reflections for an Eco-Centric World," by author Mary Reynolds Thompson. It connects the personal with the planetary to create a spiritual journey of transformation that is made for our times.

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