Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Latitude defying lemons

Meyer lemonsI've always been jealous of my family's tropical fruit trees. Mind you, they live in San Diego, so the climate is just a tad bit different than up here in Seattle.

I never thought I could grow lemons up here until I ran across an ad for a Meyer Lemon tree. I had been mulling over the idea of getting one for a year before I finally plunked down for one early this summer.

It's a little bitty guy and has about 6 or 7 lemons on it. When I bought the tree, the lemons were all green - in fact, everyone thought it was a lime tree and I found myself accidentally calling them limes, too. The color and look overwhelmingly made them look like limes. Well, in the last week or so, they've started turning yellow and some of them are close to being ready for harvest. They've also been sporting these neat little white and purple flowers for the last month or so.

Meyer lemons are thought to be a cross of lemons and sweet mandarin oranges, so they aren't as tart as your "classic" lemon and have a fragrant, edible skin. It is native to China and is commonly grown potted as an ornamental plant. The benefit to this is that, in colder climes, you can take it inside during the winter to protect it from low temperatures. So, even though it is cold tolerant, it needs to be inside during the winter to prevent damage.

If you are interested in growing your own Meyer lemon tree, but don't know what to do with them, then check out this list of "100 things to do with a Meyer lemon" from the L.A. Times. If you can't find a local nursery that carries these trees, you can readily find them from nurseries online. Meyer Lemon Cardamom Ice Cream anyone?

Now, if I can only figure out how to grow an avocado tree and I'll be set.

18 comments:

Robj98168 said...

Wow! You got lemons. Lemonade would be good!

ib mommy said...

Oh, the fragrance of the blooms on a Meyer Lemon Tree is heavenly. I gave my Mother in Law one for Christmas a few years back and haven't thought to ask her if she killed it yet.

Young Snowbird said...

Meyer lemons, interesting. Although I am in Phoenix, I am without land to grow trees. This gives me the option of growing them on my balcony. Thanks, Crunchy! In the meantime, I am in patient anticipation of the upcoming lemon crop. Gotta get a juicer, and some small canning jars, and some heavy freezer bags to put juice away for for use in canning other things. Gotta try that apple pectin thing too.
Avacado - I read that they are really hard to grow and take forever to get to the point where they are producing fruit.

Herbert said...

Avocado- I think they take 5-10 years for fruit production? And you have to grow two of them. Or at least cross pollinate. At least the seeds are really easy/fun to germinate.

What I really want is a dwarf lime tree. Never use lemons. In fact, in my house, when anyone says "lemon" they mean lime (we're of Mexican heritage). But this apartment doesn't even have any porch space, so it will have to wait a couple years at least, until I move.

Herbert.

selina said...

jealous!

i just ordered a dwarf meyer lemon online from gurneys.com last month. Of course, it's going to have to spend the winter inside my house.

fearlesschef said...

I bought a Meyer lemon tree a while back and am praying that I don't kill it... since it has to live in my sunroom and not outside. I am anxious to see the produce though! You're looks great!

Natalie said...

We had a generous neighbor with a Meyer lemon tree... they are the best lemons ever. Their fragrance alone makes them worthwhile.

Di Hickman said...

urgh just be thankful you don't have squirrel issues. The squirrels around here sit in the pot and eat the leaves. My lemon tree is looking very sorry for itself!

Abbie said...

One of my botany students is growing an avocado tree. He started it from an avocado pit about 3 years ago, and last winter he brought it in to the school greenhouse for the winter. I was so surprised at how much it grew! And I was also impressed that a teenager has invested years into growing a tree!

Ditto what Herbert said, he probably won't get any fruit for 5-10 years. Although I'm pretty sure he's only growing one of them... So I'll mention the idea of getting another one growing to cross-pollinate.

Now I'm considering getting a Meyer lemon tree...

Tara said...

Funny they grow well in Seattle. They grow well here in Las Vegas too. Aren't we the exact opposite climate? Dry and hot vs cold and wet. We plan to plant a Meyer soon. Our winters don't get too cold so I'm told we can plant in the ground and they do great. Can't wait to try Meyer lemonade!

Chile said...

Yum! My future personal orchard plans include a Meyer lemon. And every other dang nut and fruit tree I can possibly coax to grow. I've had no luck starting an avocado from seed, though. My recent attempts to start a pineapple from the cut top also failed miserably.

Heather said...

We are in Portland, Oregon and bought a Meyer lemon about 4 years ago. The first year we got fruit. The second year we had baby lemons that shriveled and fell off.
We have never had anything but pretty blooms and leaves since. *sigh*

I wish I knew what to do to make it happy again.

Cheryl said...

I'm SO JEALOUS! I have a ten year old Meyer lemon tree and it has blossoms every year, but no lemons! WHAT am I doing wrong????

The Simpleton said...

Cheryl--you may have to hand-pollinate them (with a q-tip or a small paintbrush) if your tree is inside or doesn't get a lot of insect traffic. At least, this is what I've been told, since I've killed two Meyer lemon trees (not enough sunlight) in the last three years. One did get lemons, though!

Anonymous said...

We had a Meyer Lemon Tree at our old house and I miss it. I couldn't believe the amount of lemons it produced every year...at least 20 and it wasn't a big tree. I'm definitely going to plant one at our new home once I figure out the landscaping.

Sharlene said...

Even us warm climate folks love us some Meyer Lemons. They are the best. I am glad you get to share in our joy. Now I salivating for some lemons.

Green Resolutions said...

Found it! Thank you for posting such specifics!

Anonymous said...

For Heather whose tree won't fruit...

I don't personally raise Meyer's, but have heard more than one owner recommend using a fine camel's hair paintbrush to pollinate the flowers. Most blooms occur when we Oregonians have the trees inside so no other pollinators around.

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