I have expanded the ‘tropical Minnesotan attic jungle’ again. I bought six new dwarf citrus trees from Four Winds Growers out in California. I probably shouldn’t have ordered them during the hottest time of the year thus far. The two younger trees arrived looking good. Some of the others seem to have suffered from the heat of being trapped in an unventilated box, inside a baking semi trailer for two and a half days. The little ones are a Valencia orange and a new Kieffer lime to replace My old one that had an unbeatable scale infestation. I aquired a second Improved Meyer lemon tree as well.
Due to many favorable reviews around the web, I also opted to get an Oroblanco grapefruit tree. They don’t get pink/red, but are said to be very pot friendly and unlike most citrus, doesn’t need a lot of summer heat to sweeten the fruit. Sounds like a no brianer to Me.
Then there is the Gold Nugget mandarin orange tree. Which is very bushy and compact, but has been in a state of perpetual drooping since it got here. It doesn’t appear to be dying, but has yet to show Me any signs of changing it’s current mood.
Rounding out the order is a Mexican Sweet lime tree, which does not look the greatest either. All of the most recently grown leaves are curled up really tightly. I am assuming for now that it was heat during shipping that caused these little trees to look so glum. They have been here for 10 days now and none of them look like they are going to die. Maybe they will bounce back after this 90+ degree weather passes. Hopefully I can take better care of these trees than I have with some of My older ones. Having ordered trees from the same grower a couple of years ago and gaining My own growing experience over the last few years, I believe that things should be ok. So long as I can keep the scale away from them.
A staple in Mexican-American cooking! This Fajita makes for one tasty meal. Despite first appearances, it’s very easy to prepare as well! Traditionally served with Sour Cream and Avocados. Can be made in as little as 45 minutes. Serves 4-6 people.
A Frying Pan or Skillet, Large Mixing Bowl, Knife and Cutting Board.
1 and a half pounds of Beef Skirt Steak(or another tender Steak) – cut into strips
1 Bell Pepper – de-seeded and sliced into strips
3 Garlic Cloves – minced
the juice of half a Lime
1 tsp of Chipotle or Mild Chili Pepper Powder
1/2 tsp of Paprika
1/2 tsp of Ground Cumin
2 tblsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to Your own taste
12 Flour Tortillas
and possibly a little Cooking Oil
Pico de Gallo Salsa Ingredients:
6-8 ripe Tomatoes – diced
3 Scallions – diced
4-6 Radishes – diced
1 or 2 Serrano or Jalapeno Peppers – de-seeded and minced
3 or 4 tblsp of fresh Cilantro – diced
adding Cumin, Salt, and Pepper to Your liking
Prep and Cooking:
Combine the Beef, Garlic, Lime Juice, Chili/Chilipotle Powder, Paprika, Cumin, and Olive Oil in a Mixing Bowl. Salt and Pepper to Taste. MIX WELL. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes. As with most meat marinades, covered in the fridge overnight is best.
To make the Pico de Gallo Salsa, put the diced Tomatoes in a bowl with the Scallions, Serrano/Jalapeno, Radishes, and Cilantro. Using Salt, Pepper, and Cumin to Your liking. Set the Salsa aside for now.
Heat the Tortillas in a LIGHTLY Oiled non-stick fry pan, one or 2 at a time. Covering with foil as You go to keep them warm and pliable.
Stir fry the Bell Pepper strips til done, then set aside.
Stir fry the Beef and marinade with a bit of cooking oil until the meat is browned and cooked through.
At this time You can add everything together on plates to serve, OR just put it all out on a table so everyone can ‘build their own’ fajitas…
If using Avocados, they are to be pitted, sliced and then tossed in Lime Juice(good use for the other half of the Lime not called for in this recipe, use 1-2 Avocados).
Onions also work well! I’d do them with the Bell Peppers..
Some people just put Tortillas in the micro-wave… One at a time, or they’ll stick to each other. High heat for 10-30 seconds, depending on Your microwave… This method may also make them a little tough around the edges if You over do it.
A while back, I started buying fruit trees. It started with a Dwarf Fig, Carmine Jewel Cherry and some Blueberries. Rapidly followed by a plethora of Citrus varieties! This being Minnesota, I put the Cherry and Blueberry Plants in the ground and planted everything else in pots to bring in for the winter. Oddly enough, winter never REALLY showed up this year, which left my Cherry and Blueberries exposed. Sadly, they were eaten down to stubs at ground level by some ravenous rabbit-like creature! Not sure if they will grow back, but for fledgeling deciduous trees/shrubs in this kind of winter, I’m not sure they would take anyways… Time will tell I guess.
On the other hand, thus far, the Fig tree has defied deaths calling. Indoors, amongst the Citrus trees. My neighbors probably think that I’m growing other things in the attic from the artificial sun that’s beaming out of all the windows in the evenings.
For now there are 10 Citrus trees in My ‘Tropical Minnesotan Attic Jungle’ . 2 Keiffer Lime trees that are 2 and 4 years old, the older of which is now flowering for the first time. 2 Moro Blood Orange Trees which are also 2 and 4 years old. 2 and 3 year Mexican Sweet Limes, that, I’m not doing justice to, they’re yellowing and sad looking. 2, 5 year old Owari Satsuma Mandarins, one of which gave Me My very 1st orange this past December!
There is also a 3rd year Meyer Lemon that is growing 9 little lemons for the 1st time, unlike all the others, the lemon gives TWICE a year, instead of just once.. I’m struggling a bit keeping the lemon tree happy tho. Lastly is the 5 year old Ruby Red Grapefruit tree, which I almost slayed with water when I got it..
I swear, CITRUS TREES HATE WATER!! I learned this as I watched My beloved grapefruit tree drop 2/3rds to 3/4ths of it’s leaves before I re-potted it in a better draining soil mix. It’s bouncing back and is currently covered with wonderfully aromatic blossoms.
December to February is Bloom season for all citrus that I’m aware of, and what a great time to have an indoor forest! The house is graced with a really nice conglomerate of scents from the numerous varieties of fruits being spawned.
I’ve certainly got more trees than I need, but I’ll be acquiring more this spring! I plan on getting Trovita Oranges and Oroblanco Grapefruits. Hopefully, that will satiate My ‘need’ for citrus trees. .. … Because I feel the ‘need’ to dive into nut trees, cherry trees, apple trees and, well, clearly I need to move out of the city!