Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pomegranates: What a Difference a Year Makes

Last year around this time, I was really excited when I harvested 3 pomegranates from my Russian Red pomegranate tree. That tiny first harvest may not seem like a big deal to you, but it was a big deal to me. I felt like my little tree that I carefully grew and nurtured for a few years just graduated from grade school. It experienced some growing pains, but learned the basic skills it needed to survive.

What a difference a year makes! Last Sunday, I was beaming with pride as I harvested 24 pomegranates from the same tree. This was no small-time graduation...this was the equivalent of graduating from Harvard with honors.

Basket loaded with freshly harvested Russian Red pomegranates.
The pomegranates are not as large as varieties you typically find in a grocery store, but they do the trick.

Fist full o' pomegranates.
The pomegranate arils (seed casings) have a dark, rich color and the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness.

Pomegranate arils.
And with a little sweat and patience balanced with a dash of swearing, these pomegranates made great juice. Much better than commercial juice, no fooling. Check it out.

Freshly made pomegranate juice. No sugar required, 100% natural.
Beware, many pomegranates were harmed in the making of this juice. My entire harvest of pomegranates only made about 2 quarts of juice.

But that only made me wonder what next year's harvest will produce...


Indie said...

Awesome! At that rate, few more years and you'll be trying to give the pomegranates away, you'll have so many :)

Thad said...

Now, I really want to plant at least one of these (or do you need two?) at our new place! Sounds like you could extend them a little with some great fresh apple juice too.

.09 Acres said...

Thad, you only need one plant. No cross-pollinator required. I bet the juice would be great mixed with apple juice. Some commercial brands are mixed with apple and grape juice. Let me know what varieties you decide to plant.

Nat said...

Incredible. I love pomegranates, Wish we could grow trees that productive up here in Victoria.

What Pigs Don't Know said...

How did you harvest the seeds? We gleaned some pomegranates last year and it was such a huge pain and took forever, and we ended up with only a cup from an entire grocery store bag of fruit. Any tips? -Carrie

Bridget said...

Lucky you...I love Pomegranates but alas they would not grow in the Irish climate.

Urban Gardens said...

Congratulations on your harvest! That is a big change. :)


.09 Acres said...

Carrie, it took a few hours to collect the seeds. It is a tedious task. I start by taking a knife and cutting of the raised/flower-like portion at the top. Then I score the exterior of the fruit. After that, I rip open the pomegranate by hand and then pick out the individual seeds. I may do a post on my method for collecting the seeds. There likely is an easier way.

Bridget, I definitely consider myself lucky to have this climate. But you are also lucky to live in Ireland! One of the most beautiful places on the planet!

Lynn, thanks! It is fun (and sometimes frustrating) to watch things and harvests change from year to year in the garden.

catharine Howard said...

Your plot looks great and pomegranates are all the rage. EAting them by the spoonful here.