Pomegranate – Growing

Q: I’ve heard wonderful things about the anti-oxidants in pomegranate juice. It tastes wonderful but is expensive. Is it a tree or a bush? Can I grow one here?

A: Pomegranates grow fine in the lower two-thirds of Georgia. The multi-stemmed bush is adorned with attractive, tubular orange flowers in May. These are followed by the globular, leathery fruit you enjoy. You can get about a half cup of juice from a single fruit. The problem, though, will be extracting the refreshing liquid. One method is to open the fruit in a big bowl of water and separate the juice-filled “seed” from the skin and membranes of the pomegranate. The juicy parts sink to the bottom; you can skim off the bitter skins and white membranes, which float. Collect the seed from the emptied bowl and put them into a Foley food mill. My mother called this tool a “ricer” when we made apple sauce on the farm. Turn the handle of the mill to separate the juice from pulp. Strain through cheesecloth and enjoy!

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