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Citrus

One of the things I love about living in Solano County is that we can successfully grow all kinds of citrus trees. I've got quite a few in my backyard - a Meyer lemon tree (Citrus x meyeri), a Robertson orange (Citrus sinensis 'Robertson'), a Bearss lime (Citrus latifolia), and unknown varieties of a blood orange tree (Citrus sinensis) and a kumquat tree (Fortunella spp). They have all been planted over the last 10 years, and slowly, they've grown quite tall (save for the kumquat!). Production has slowly increased, too. In the case of the lemon and orange trees, maybe a bit too good.

Am I the only one who has this little dilemma? The orange tree produces so many oranges, and there are only so many oranges my family is willing to eat. The blood orange tree had four fruits last year. This year, about fifty. I'm a bit nervous to see what happens next year.

The one that amazes me is the Meyer. Our lemon tree has been pruned, hacked, topped, and chopped, yet it still produces what I would certainly call "tons" of lemons. What do I do with all of them? I've made lemon meringue pie (2 lemons), a pitcher of homemade lemonade (10 lemons), hot tea with lemon for a sore throat (1 lemon), bags of lemons for the neighbors (maybe 50 or 60 lemons). Yet still, my tree is heavily drooping with lemons.

Don't misunderstand, I'm glad to have such a bountiful harvest of citrus fruits every winter. There's nothing to brighten up a gray winter January day than to look out and see the orange and yellow fruits hanging sweetly on the trees. Unfortunately, they won't last out there forever, so we need to be creative and find ways to enjoy them without having to partake of them. I recently learned a great new decorating technique - fill a large glass vase with citrus fruits, and enjoy the sweet smell of lemons and oranges in your home as they slowly dry.

So…until I learn of another way to make use of my citrus fruits, my home will be filled with all sizes of glass vessels full of lemons and oranges.

Posted on Thursday, February 9, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Comments:

1.
Other possibilities for your extras are Mission Solano, the Solano County and Contra Costa County Food Bank, and the local organizations Produce Pipeline.

Posted by Karen Metz on February 9, 2012 at 10:11 AM

2.
You are sitting on a treasury of good health! Wish we had that since my attempt to gow a lemon and lime tree in Vallejo haven't worked out. We put a whole lemon's juice in every quart of water we drink. We used lemon juice each day with olive or grape oil in two salads a day. We make Greek chicken lemon soup that we love but can only afford once a year when lemons are cheapest. With your stck we'd make it several times a month. We put fresh lemon on our fish and baste our chicken in citrus. A favorite dessert is grapefruit and orange sections steeped in honey. Giving sacks of oranges to homeless people helps them get vitamins missing from their diets. You can make your own orange soda.

Posted by Enoch on February 10, 2012 at 9:41 AM

3.
Such a problem! I'll be happy to help consume your surplus. Seriously, you might try salted lemons, which are used in Morocco to flavor chicken and fish.

Posted by Tom Surh on February 11, 2012 at 6:36 AM

4.
Such a problem to have...I'm with Tom, all surplus is welcome at my home. I even asked Santa for a long armed fruit picker thingy for Christmas (and He delivered) just in case anyone had a "problem" like this :). I'd be happy to help share the wealth too!

Posted by Patricia Brantley on February 16, 2012 at 5:04 PM

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