Thursday, October 30, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

In praise of pomegranates

By
From page D4 | June 23, 2013 |

Before I moved to California, I didn’t have much exposure to pomegranates, Punica granatum. I admired the color and form of the fruit when used in tabletop displays depicting the bounty of the fall harvest at Thanksgiving, but that was about it.

Once here, I began to appreciate their appearance in the landscape in our Mediterranean climate. They can range from dwarf forms that do well in containers to shrubs and small trees in the ground growing to 15 to 20 feet tall and wide. They grow in Sunset Western Garden Zones 5 to 24.

Experts seem to agree that the plant originated from Iran, but has spread widely. Pomegranate is the symbol and namesake of the city Granada in Spain. Spanish settlers brought the plant to the New World. The plants live long with proper care.

The plants love full sun; they tolerate many different soil types. Pomegranates are moderate to regular water users.

The leaves are small giving the plants a fine texture. I especially enjoy that the leaves are curled and twisted when they first appear and then flatten out later as they mature. The flowers are dramatic, tubular and vivid red. There is a long blooming season in the spring.

The plant is self-pollinating and will begin to bear fruit one to three years after planting. The fruit ripens six to seven months after the flowers appear. The fruit is beautiful in all stages from green to red to burgundy.

I started off with a dwarf form pomegranate in a container. I later moved it into the ground where it grew to 10 feet over the next two years. I found that I missed having it on the patio, so I got another one to grow in a container.

The California Master Gardener Handbook lists the varieties most grown in California for their fruit as “Wonderful,” “Ruby Red,” “Granada,” “Ambrosia” and Eversweet.” Sunset Western Garden Book lists some varieties grown more for their ornamental value: “Chico,” “Nana,” and “Legrellel.”

Aside from the fruit, various cultures have found many other uses for pomegranate per the Purdue University Horticultural website. The bark is rich in tannins and has been widely used for tanning leather. The Japanese make an insecticide from the bark. The rind and flowers have been used to make dyes. The leaves have been steeped in vinegar to make ink. Medicines made from bark and stems have been used to treat tapeworms. The wood can be used in small craft projects.

In talking to people who have grown up in our area, eating pomegranates seems to hold a very special place in their childhood memories. When I admitted to ignorance on what to do with pomegranates, they graciously clued me in.

As children, they waited until the fruit split on the tree when the flavor was at its tasty peak. Commercial growers pick earlier, one site said growers listen for a metallic sound when they tap the fruit. If the fruit has not split it will keep for months in the refrigerator and continue to ripen. Allowing the fruit to split also increases the risk of rot and attracts ants.

The rind encases the seeds and juice sacs that are called arils. My friends taught me to split the fruit in chunks and soak it in water. The juicy arils sunk to the bottom then the water and rind could be poured off. The seeds and juice sacs can be eaten directly, sprinkled on salads or used in cooking.

Other recipes call for using the juice. The Internet states that the juice can be easily extracted from the pomegranate. I did not find the juicing experience easy at all. It wasn’t complicated but it was very, very messy. I pressed the arils through a wire sieve. The juice flew everywhere: my sink, my walls, my clothes and my hair. I was also surprised how many pomegranates it took to make a cup of juice. Now I understand why pomegranate juice is so expensive.

The juice can be the base for drinks, jellies, syrups and even wine. Pomegranate juice is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium and antioxidants. The calorie counts for a pomegranate range from 104 to 234, depending on size. If you drink pomegranate juice regularly, the National Institute of Health’s database, ”Medline Plus,” does suggest you let your health care provider know, as it can change the rate of metabolism of some classes of medications.

Karen Metz is a master gardener with the University of California Cooperative Extension office in Fairfield. If you have gardening questions, call the master gardener’s office at 784-1322.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Home: Some things never change

By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

Holiday boutique set for weekend

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Live Your Dream award applications due Nov. 15

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
 
Victim of Tuesday traffic incident dies

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3, 7 Comments

Transportation Info Depot opens Monday in Suisun

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

 
Salvation Army set to host Kroc Fest

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
 
Deadline looms for vote-by-mail ballots

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

 
Fairfield police log: Oct. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

Suisun City police log: Oct. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
.

US / World

 
Pentagon orders 21-day Ebola quarantine for troops

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

US health care unprepared for Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
California orders risk-based Ebola quarantine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 55 Comments

Suge Knight, Katt Williams charged with robbery

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Military jet crashes in California, killing pilot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Peshmerga troops cheered by fellow Kurds in Turkey

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
New York, New Jersey look back 2 years after Sandy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Russian rocket engines suspected in launch blast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

 
Al-Qaida: IS should rejoin group and fight West

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Bill Clinton says voting is cure for polarization

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 3 Comments

 
Lava 100 feet from Hawaii home, nearing main road

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Police: Man decapitates mother, is killed by train

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Army blows up houses, Egyptians evacuate near Gaza

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

.

Opinion

Measure A helps students

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

 
Jane Day for council: She cares

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

Do you trust Spering?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

 
Support for Spering, Moy

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

Measure A a simple choice

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
Mraz is desperate

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 12 Comments

 
We’ve got to stop meeting like this

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A7

Editorial Cartoons: Oct. 30, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Davenport, Pal, Spering best choices for vote

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

Spering record not set straight

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 4 Comments

 
In support of Brian Thiemer

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

Debate was eye-opening

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 3 Comments

 
Vote for Catherine Moy

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 3 Comments

Tonnesen right choice for City Council

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Vote for Tonnesen

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Learn to say no

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Support for Bertani

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 10 Comments

Better uses for negative campaign mailer costs

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Proposition 47 fails to advance state

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Mraz not best officer for council post

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 3 Comments

 
Moy is the leader we need

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

Vote for Moy; Vote for Fairfield

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 4 Comments

 
Time for something new: Integrity

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 9 Comments

Supports Timm for Fairfield council

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 10 Comments

 
Measure A a wise investment

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

.

Living

Today in History: Oct. 30, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Oct. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Oct. 30, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A10

 
My sister won’t talk to any of us, I’m worried about my nephew

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A10

.

Entertainment

Taylor Swift talks books and music with kids

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
‘House of Cards’ actress Norment dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Orson Welles’ last film may finally be released

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Sports

Giants fans revel in victory

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Giants ace Bumgarner wins World Series MVP

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Royals’ dream season falls short in World Series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Bumgarner, Giants beat KC to win World Series

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 5 Comments | Gallery

Bumgarner, Giants beat KC 3-2 in Series Game 7

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Selig’s imprint seen in Game 7 of World Series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Warriors whip Kings 95-77 in season opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Jose Canseco resting at home after shooting hand

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sacramento breaks ground on new Kings arena

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

It’s Thursday Night Lights for SCAC

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B2

 
49ers rookie center Marcus Martin to make NFL debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Stanford men looking to build on NCAA tournament run

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Carr prepares for tough test vs. Seahawks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Vanden’s McDaniel repeats as SCAC singles champion

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B3

 
.

Business

Gov’t pushes air bag maker on replacement parts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Fed ends bond buying and cites brighter job market

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

.

Obituaries

Hardie Lee Doshier

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Howard Lenowsky

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

.

Comics

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10