Photo’s of our lime trees and how we use them for juice, pie and after dinner drinks.
We have 6 heavily producing lime trees and 5 that haven’t started fruiting yet. At first the concept of having all that vitamin C was exciting to me. I thought of all the Key Lime Pie, the Lime-aid and the Margaritas that we could have. I was full just thinking of all of the tart, fresh goodness.
As the blossoms began to die off the fruit started to appear on the branches and they sagged with an “I can bear this load” look. As the fruits became bigger and more and more appeared the branches sagged with a 9 1/2 months pregnant woman look a “Get these the hell off of me” kinda look. We had to put supports under the trees until the fruits were mature enough to pick so that the branches didn’t crack in half.
These lime trees have very small but very sharp thorns. You can not get very close to the branches or tug on a branch to move the fruit closer without getting bloody. I came out after the first harvest with 2 full 5 gallon buckets of limes and looking like I had a fight with a lizard in which the lizard won.
I set up a squeezing station out in the garage. Most of the limes get dirty when they fall on the ground when you knock them loose with your hook. Therefore, you must put water in the lime buckets and clean them before you squeeze. It is very easy to bob for limes in case you were wondering. I caught 5 before declaring myself the winner. Then, cut the limes in half at the fattest part of the lime and place in a citrus squeezer. Limes are not big enough for the electric orange squeezer so this has to be done by hand. You will see that other sources tell you to roll the lime on a hard surface before you squeeze to get the most juice but when you have 18 million limes to squeeze it doesn’t really matter. I set up by getting two stumps, one to put the juice jar on and one for the cutting board and knife. I make sure that my compost bucket is close and start squeezing.
Tip: Never pick limes and squeeze limes on the same day. It stings.
How we save the juice
I ended up with 3 large Ball jars worth of lime juice. I poured the lime juice into an ice cube tray until it froze and then transferred the cubes to ziplocks in the freezer. This way when the season is over we still have juice and for frozen margaritas you simply add two lime cubes to the blender. We had Lime Pie for 6 weeks in a row. We drank lime-aid everyday and offered a glass to every visitor we had and still had juice from the original squeezing left over. I have had 6 picking and squeezing sessions since then and we still have limes just falling off the trees to the ground. We have so many limes that we use them as balls and have our dogs catch them. I even saw a few flowers on the trees in the front yesterday. I’m not certain if lime season ever ends. I do know that it will be a pleasant thing to share with friends and family when they come to visit.