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In Season – Lemon Frenzy

We have a few lemon trees, but my two favourites are the Eureka because it has lemons on it all year round, and this bush lemon propagated from a seed that came up from compost.

This time of year it is laden, every year.  It’s a stunning yield.  In a month or so, the cockatoos will, responding to some signal that is completely invisible to me, descend on it and almost overnight they’ll all be gone.  I don’t know how they decide they are ripe enough – to me they taste perfectly lemon-ly sweet now.

They’re a bit like a Meyer lemon, sweeter than some of the very tart varieties.  They have a thick skin and the tree is very very thorny, but the lemons are gorgeous for juice, for preserved lemons, for baking and cooking.

Today it is cold and wet.  I have the fire going and on this Queen’s Birthday holiday I’m bottling Preserved Lemons, making Chilli Jam with the last of the chilis, making some Cordial (not so much for drinking, but for sauces and dressings), making a batch of Lemon Polenta Steamed Muffins for morning tea for a weeding work bee group, and making a batch of lemon in rubbing alcohol for mosquito repellent, and for rubbing on muscle aches (just whole lemons, in a jar of alcohol for a few weeks till the oils in the peel dissolve into the alcohol), and a batch of lemon in cleaning vinegar for shower, sink and floor washing (just whole lemons, in a big jar of vinegar, again until the skins go pale as the oils dissolve into the vinegar).

And still, you can’t see where the lemons have been picked.


{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Joyfulhomemaker June 11, 2012, 3:54 pm

    from the compost,that is cool..i love stories like that cause everyone says OOOhh now you can do that LOL and there its all by itself growing away making its only little change right where it is in the compost heap

  • celia June 11, 2012, 4:22 pm

    You give us so much hope! Our bush lemon has finally produced its first fruit, and we’ve picked our very first lemon. There are others on the tree already! Any tips on how to deal with the leaf miners other than the Eco-Oil that we’re already using, please? Thanks..

  • Zara June 11, 2012, 4:31 pm

    Great ideas for using the abundance of lemons.
    What type of alcohol do you use for the muscle rub?

  • Linda June 11, 2012, 5:28 pm

    Hi Zara, Rubbing alcohol from the chemist is best, but I have used plain old methylated spirits successfully.

  • Helen June 11, 2012, 6:36 pm

    !! I would be in lemon heaven with that bush lemon tree!! Wow. Bush lemons make the best lemon butter ever.

    Sadly I’ve lost access to the trees where I used to get my bush lemons from and the lemon butter made from Eureka lemons just never has that something that bush lemon butter has.

  • Linda June 11, 2012, 7:22 pm

    Wow, what a tree! And there I was feeling very happy with my small eureka which has about thirty lemons. We can’t buy alcohol at our chemist though I have tried. Would a strong vodka suffice?

  • Kirsten June 11, 2012, 8:13 pm

    Wow, I thought our lemon tree was prolific, but that ones nuts! And awesome. Thanks for the tips on rubbing alcohol & cleaning vinegar. We don’t make good enough use of all our lemons, so new ideas ate always good. They’re mostly not quite ripe yet on our tree, but a couple more weeks should do it.

  • Liz June 11, 2012, 9:14 pm

    Oh I like the idea of rubbing alcohol – I have a lot of leaf miners at the moment, and thanks for the cleaner recipe – I’m presuming just plain white vinegar?

  • Jason Dingley June 12, 2012, 2:04 pm

    We recently acquired a lemon tree. We were at a friends house helping out in the garden and they wanted to throw out a potted lemon tree. Melanie quickly said we will have it. The pot was too big to transport easily so we removed it from its soil, stuck it in the boot and brought it home. Re potted it and gave it a serious prune. It is now covered in buds so I think it survived the ordeal.

    I am very inspired with what you have done with your lemons Linda.

  • Barb June 12, 2012, 9:56 pm

    Ours is looking a bit like that too. So many, too many really. Will work on what to do with them sometime soon.


  • Linda June 13, 2012, 8:47 am

    If I was only allowed one fruit tree it would be a lemon tree. They are so useful.

  • Linda June 13, 2012, 8:47 am

    Hi Liz, I can buy cleaning vinegar in the cleaning section of the supermarket. It’s just very strong white vinegar I think.

  • Linda June 13, 2012, 8:48 am

    No doubt vodka would suffice. Probably cheaper than rubbing alcohol too.

  • Linda June 13, 2012, 8:55 am

    Sorry Celia, I’ve always just ignored leaf miners. They are a moth in their adult phase, so they would have lots of predators around here that keep the numbers down. They like lush new growth too – too much fertilizing might attract them. There’s always that issue of getting fertilizing right – too much and you attract things that like that thin walled lush growth, too little and the plant doesn’t bear well, just right and at the right time, and the plant grows, bears, and defends itself. I usually try to give citrus a bag of horse manure or some compost over winter, with mulch to cover, so that it is well digested into the soil by spring when the tree starts putting on new growth.

  • Glenda September 5, 2012, 11:22 am

    Hi Linda
    Celia from figjamandlimecordial referred me to your site.

    Those citrus look a lot like mine, which I have recently found to be Rangpurs – a mandarin lemon cross. Do they look like a yellowy mandarin? If so, then my guess is that is what they are. Check out the photo of mine and see what you think: http://passionfruitgarden.com/2012/08/31/in-my-kitchen-september-2012/

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