Tree-to-Mouth, Garden-to-Glass …

There’s an air of happy expectancy settling in among our fruit trees. Or maybe it’s just an air of happy expectancy around Chris and me. Lemons, pomelos, grapefruit, naartijies, kumquats, oranges, pomegranates, mangoes, guavas and pineapples are all in various stages of growth and maturation. By Christmastime we’ll be gorging, along with the birds, on a tree-to-mouth fruit feast. That’s until we tire of it all … oh no, not another mango! Don’t show me another naartjie! … and start turning crates of citrus and pineapples into fresh juice, while filling bag upon bag of pomegranate arils, guavas, and mango pulp to be frozen for consumption in the later, out-of-season, months.

Rough-skinned lemons.
Rough-skinned lemons.

In the next day or two, we’ll be drinking the last of our grapefruit juice that we froze in the early months of this year, leaving behind just a few bottles of lemon in our freezer. Now, when I peer down into our often overburdened old freezer there is space!

Harvested grapefruits.
Harvested grapefruits.

We’ve used up all our frozen pomegranate arils for juice, molasses, and desserts like ice cream. And after today, we only have one more bag of guavas left. We turned the rest into a syrup, which makes a delicious summer cordial, especially spruced up with sparkling water and fresh mint leaves. (We’re serving it tomorrow to 26 agricultural leaders from California, who will be visiting us for a farm and food tour.)

Pomegranate arils, the source of SuperJuice!
Pomegranate arils, the source of our Super Juice!

This year we’ve never seen so many baby pomegranates–there are twins everywhere–or so many baby pineapples. Branches on the citrus trees are having to be propped up by stakes, so laden are they with fruit. It won’t be long before January when the hard work begins of preparing all the fruit for juicing. As I said, there’s an air of happy expectancy around here …

Preparing pomelos for juicing.
Preparing pomelos for juicing.

And it’s not just about the fruit. We’ll also be starting to dig up our turmeric and ginger roots to put away in the refrigerator. We use ginger and turmeric in so many different recipes, but our favorite way is to combine them with lemon juice and honey to make our daily goodness-filled breakfast elixir. I have written about this drink before, but because it’s so healthy and tasty and oh, so worth it, I’ve provided the recipe again at the bottom of this post.

Turmeric fingers, being washed and prepared for storage.
Turmeric fingers and toes, being washed and prepared for storage.

Honey-laced Lemon, Ginger & Turmeric Tea


  • 1 teaspoon grated turmeric (or 1/2 teaspoon if using powdered turmeric)
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons honey (or to taste)


  1. Grate the fresh turmeric and ginger, and transfer into a small strainer.
  2. Squeeze the lemon juice into a cup (and add the powdered turmeric at this stage, if using instead of fresh turmeric).
  3. Place the strainer with the ginger and turmeric over the cup, and fill with boiling water. Steep ingredients for a couple of minutes.
  4. Stir in the honey.


Honey-laced Lemon, Ginger & Turmeric Tea.
Honey-laced Lemon, Ginger & Turmeric Tea.

Annabel Hughes Aston is a writer and an award-winning chef in Livingstone, Zambia. She is the creator of "bush gourmet" cuisine.