a kit of simple pleasures
Some of you will recall my sad and bitter tale from earlier this year of finding oranges too much of a pain to actually bother eating. There’s one exception to that, which are Christmas oranges*, which I love beyond reason. I will eat Christmas oranges until I turn orange, given the opportunity. So I was just eating one, and it had a couple of seeds, and on a sheerly what-the-hell impulse, I have planted the seeds. The intarweb tubs suggest that there’s a pretty good chance of getting seedlings from store-bought fruit, and although apparently Christmas orange fruit itself is quite delicate in terms of cold it appears the trees are actually fairly hardy in the face of it, so I’m even kind of hopeful. A website said the best root temperature to keep oranges at is about 85 degrees F, which can evidently be accomplished with great ease by wrapping the pot (or in this case, coffee cup) with Christmas lights.
The idea of a Christmas oranges planter wrapped in Christmas lights makes me inexplicably happy. So I have tented the cup with a plastic bag to make a little greenhouse, put it in the window, and later today I’ll buy a short little string of lights to wrap around the bottom of the cup. The internet claims seedlings will sprout within 18-21 days (or up to 6 weeks), so perhaps I’ll have Christmas seedlings for my Christmas orange as Christmastime! :)
It takes years and years and years to grow a fruiting tree from seed (a very minimum of four, it looks like, and more usually 7-9), but orange trees are pretty and it’s not like I’m losing anything other than the use of one coffee cup for a while (and I don’t even drink coffee, so it’s not like it’s an inconvenience). And maybe someday I’ll have my own Christmas oranges! *beams*
*Mandarins. When I was a kid they arrived in Alaska in boxes at Christmas time, and we ate and ate and ate and ate them. We always got one in the toe of our stockings, and regardless of the fact that mandarins are apparently available year-round now, I still think of them as Christmas oranges and feel that they are *best* at this time of year.