It’s easy to take things for granted when they’re plentiful and so it goes with oranges. Since living in California, I can hardly remember a time when they weren’t around. We have an orange tree in our garden that came with the house. It’s probably been there 25 years.
When my boys were young they loved making orange juice, though individually the fruit isn’t always sweet. I love the smell of oranges lined up on the kitchen counter, sliced and waiting for the juicer.
Our plentiful oranges keep the neighborhood rats from getting scurvy as well. The tree offers shade in the summer and currently shelters a large nest for opossums or squirrels. It’s a well-rounded tree.
California is now in day five of an unusual cold snap, with temps dropping into the twenties and low thirties. That’s about ten degrees below normal for this time of year, threatening citrus growers up and down this large state. Prolonged temperatures in the mid-twenties or below cause damage to citrus crops.
According to Newser:
State wide, large growers deployed wind machines to keep the warm air closer to the ground and irrigation to raise the temperature in the groves. Rows farthest away from the protection could be damaged, Story said. And farmers who do not have wind machines could lose crops.
Our tree is far too big to drape in frost cloth. There are no industrial strength fans to force down warm air. The health of the tree is in the hands of nature. The orange tree grows at the corner of the fence. Neighboring pines tower nearby. That shelter may see it through. I hope so.
I hope, too, that our weather returns to a seasonal normal. Then citrus growers up and down the state will prevail. It’s a great reminder to appreciate all we have. I’m grateful for the orange.