Monday, April 6, 2009

Of poverty, hunger, and orange trees

I don't know if blogetiquette forbids two posts in quick succession but here it goes.

I read a post about Seville oranges on and it reminded me of The Secret. I posted a short comment and thought nothing more of it. Then I read posts somewhere about ghetto gardens and I thought I'd do a post about The Secret. I discovered this secret when I was 12 or so, while waiting for a city bus to take me to school. I did not always have the bus fare but this day I did. I remember it was cold and I had to decide whether to use the money for some food at school or to get to school. At the end I decided to ride the bus because the school was several miles away and it was just to cold to walk.
So there I was, at the bus stop, standing under the bitter orange trees that the city had planted all over the place. Bitter Orange; Seville Orange; Citrus aurantium. These trees were hardy, with beautiful dark green leaves. They bloomed into a thousand beautiful, delicious, white flowers.
This particular time, however, there were no delicious blooms on the trees.
The sun was just a hint on the horizon, the bus was typically late, and I was gigantically hungry.
Not having anything else to do, I decided to see if the leaves of the orange trees were somewhat edible. It turned out that at that stage of hunger, the leaves were not too bad. So while I waited for the overcrowded city bus, I ate leaf after leaf.
And then, The Miracle happened. My hunger was gone. Just like that. Gone. No desire to eat. If there was any hunger left, it surely was just the memory of food. The actual hunger pangs were gone. There was a strange satiety present in my mouth. I remember feeling like I had discovered the secret of the ages and when the bus finally came, I rode all the way to school with a green grin.

Before I began writing this post, I went online to find out the name of the bitter oranges and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the bitter orange oils are used as an appetite suppressant. It's good to know that the world has discovered the secret. Now I must find seeds somewhere to start some bitter orange trees.


  1. When you grow them, I'll buy some of the leaves from you!

  2. I'll be happy to share them!