Wednesday, March 02, 2011

What to do with a plethora of citrus

Living in a warm climate means that we have a lot of citrus this time of year. Friends often give us large bags to take home whenever we visit. Fellow homeschoolers bring cratees to the park asking all to share their harvest. With such a bounty, we have many choices of what to make and how to use them. In the past, I have made lemon cake, lemon curd, grapefruit curd as well as copious amounts of fresh juice for drinking. Our freezer is also well stocked with juice just waiting for the heat of summer. Dave will make it into beautiful pitchers of ice cold lemonade. But perhaps the biggest allure of citrus lately is science projects.

Recently our science group explored a whole host of activities utilizing lemons. Thanks to a wonderful mom in our group, the kiddos inflated balloons using the gas produced by mixing baking soda and grapefruit juice, determined bases vs acids with cabbage juice as the indicator,
 discussed density and why whole lemons float but wedges don't,
and best of all, caught citrus oil on fire.
Did you know the oil would cause this?
You can see the oil squirting in this photo
Aine right after she ignited the oil in her peel
There was also a LED light lit by a lemon battery, but most of the children were too busy inflating balloons and causing the tea light to spark to even notice. It was great fun. We have been playing with the lemons in our house ever since our outing.


  1. how fun! we're loving citrus season too. looking through my daily photos, i'm seeing a lot of lemons, oranges, and grapefruit. can't wait until this summer when our limoncello is ready! while not highly scientific, i've discovered through observation that grapefruit seems to have a much longer shelf life than other oranges or lemons. maybe we should investigate why . . . homeschool science project, here we come!

  2. Very nice summary and photographs :-)

  3. This lemon project looks fun! I just found your blog and it looks like we have a lot in common. Do you have plans to move anywhere to do your wanna-be farming dream?