contributed by Ms Danika Formosa, Teacher of Agribusiness
Year 9, 11 and Year 7 SEN students have all been helping with orange picking in our lovely school gardens..
The cultivation of orange trees in Malta goes back to the eighteenth century. Very important people in history like Grandmaster Anton Manoel de Vilhena contributed significantly to orange cultivation in Malta. This is one of the reasons why we have so many oranges!
Orange trees are evergreen trees which remain bright and colourful throughout the whole year. There are many different varieties of orange trees and each of these varieties have different tastes and are used for different reasons. For example, Malta Blood Oranges (il-larinġ aħmar tad-demm) are used to make rich orange juice, while other oranges like the Common Bitter Oranges (ż-Żupperit) which are less sweet are used mostly to make marmalade. The blooms of the citrus trees are often used to make ilma żahar.
At school we have a variety of oranges and citrus trees like manderine trees and lemon trees. A lemon tree produces lemons throughout the whole year, while most local varieties of orange trees only produce oranges between September and March. Citrus trees are hardy plants but still need water to grow.
Other fruits are also in season: strawberries (il-frawli) are planted in November and they are ripe for consumption by February. Most strawberries are grown in fields or in the greenhouse. They can also be grown in big pots at home.
Have you ever tried growing strawberries? Do you have any citrus trees at home? We’d love to hear from you!
always support local!