Monday, March 8, 2010

Meyer Lemon Tree

When we first saw our San Francisco home some years ago, we loved the large, established Meyer lemon tree which is the centerpiece of the backyard. It probably has been growing here for some 50 years and is about six feet high by 10 feet wide.

Meyer lemons are a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange and were brought to the United States in the early 1900s by Frank Meyer, an "agricultural explorer" employed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Alice Waters of Chez Panisse was one of the first to use Meyer lemons in her cuisine which has resulted in the recent popularity of Meyer lemons. Here's an article from NPR on the Meyer lemon (although it ascribes the popularity of the Meyer lemon to Martha Stewart, not Alice Waters) and another article from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. One of our great joys in the garden is harvesting the Meyer lemon fruit throughout the year, particularly during the winter, and using them in recipes/cocktails and giving them to our friends. Here are some recent shots of Meyer lemons on the tree.

Meyer Lemon

Meyer Lemon

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