Part of our farm dream includes an orchard of fruit and nut trees. For now, we are limited by our small suburban yard to only a few fruit trees. One of those, an orange tree of unknown variety, was planted years ago by my husbands Grandfather. This tree has been a faithful producer of medium sized, well rounded fruit with slightly sweet slightly tart properties. Yearly, we harvest the oranges and, as a family, undertake the juicing of the fruit. Or, as I like to call it, “Squeezin the Juice”.
Making orange juice is a simple process that takes a lot of time, a lot of hands and a lot of containers but not much equipment. Squeezing orange juice with a hand crank style juicer can be done (and I have done it!) but for large quantities such as we are blessed with I recommend investing in an electric juicer. I found our Trillium Juiceman new in the box at a local thrift store for $2.50. If you are skeptical of thrift stores, please don’t be! We have been able to add so many resources to our household that I would never have been able to purchase at “new” cost.
After picking the fruit, we wash it very well in cool water. Next comes the peeling of the oranges. We set several pounds of the best looking peel aside to be dried and used in teas, soap, potpourris and making orange oil. After peeling we put the oranges through the juicer. This creates quite a bit of pulp “waste” which normally ends up in our compost. I’ve tried feeding this pulp to our chickens but they are not at all interested. All that is left to do is bottle the juice and pop it in the freezer.
Some years, for whatever reason, the oranges are more sour than sweet. In which case we add honey before drinking. Most likely, this juice Could be canned but we drink it so quickly that the time and effort taken to run it through the canner would be a waste. For us, the freezer method works perfectly!
I hope you here enjoyed this post and that it has encouraged you to start juicing your own fruit!