Sunday, January 18, 2015

Green for Yellow, Orange, Red and Purple

I admit it; I’m envious of people who live in climates warm enough to sustain lemon, orange, grapefruit and fig trees. How amazing would it be to walk out to your yard and pick beautiful citrus or figs right off of the tree? Finally, there is hope for those of us who live in northern climates and who crave to have a citrus or fig tree of our own. There are some tropical fruit trees that are available right here in the cold, currently snowy (sorry for swearing) north. And so it was that early last spring we acquired a Meyer lemon tree. We gave it an east facing window, watered it regularly, and waited. It wasn’t long before the little tree was covered with fragrant, lovely white blossoms. Sadly, it wasn’t long after that that the blossoms fizzled and fell to the floor. No lemon buds survived either. The lemon tree couldn’t be fooled. In spite of being kept indoors, it knew what climate zone it was in, and it clearly wasn’t happy.

We researched the care and feeding of Meyer lemon trees, and learned that the trees love a thorough soaking about once every five to seven days. With care, the tree blossomed once more, and this time, three tiny lemons emerged. With summer approaching, the lemon tree was moved to a protected, warm, sunny spot between deck levels. The lemons continued to grow and thrive. One other lemon has emerged on the plant and is still growing. Finally, this month, the first three lemons were ready to be harvested. It only seemed appropriate that I would use them to make French lemon tarts, not only because both the peel and juice would be used in making the lemon curd, but because French lemon tarts are incredibly flavourful, and showcase Meyer lemons at their very best.

One thing to be aware of when you are picking lemons from a tree, are these things.