When Life Gives You a Lemon Tree

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you a lemon tree, you might have to get a little more creative. Lemonade gets old after the hundredth glass, so each winter, when citrus is ripe, you may need to diversify into other citrusy products; anything you can do to deal with the tangy bucket of fruit that’s just been dropped on your doorstep. What does one do with seasonal produce? Even if you don’t grow them yourself, seasonal goods are far cheaper, likely much more local, and taste better because they are in season. How can you personally make the most of a feast-or-famine situation?

This is more than a hypothetical question for us. When we first moved to California, we bought a dwarf Meyer lemon tree to celebrate our relocation to the Fruit Eden that is the San Francisco Bay area. We put it in a pot, pretty much leave it alone, and it gives us 15-20 lemons each winter. It’s just the magic of what was once the Valley of Heart’s Delight, the world’s largest fruit producing region, which we now callĀ Silicon Valley. And no, we didn’t know until our first batch of lemons that, while some species produce year round, most citrus peaks in late winter or early spring.

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