Friday, December 23, 2005

Weekend Herb Blogging #12 (Pondering the Ponderosa Lemon)

This is going to be a short Weekend Herb Blogging post with no recipe because I'm busy today getting Christmas stuff ready and also I want to get my Christmas Message posted right after this. (Yes, I admit I'm bumping it up a day. I'm just like a kid waiting for Christmas about this message! I guess I just can't wait any longer to share it.)

Still, I think this will interest you, unless you live somewhere where lemons grow, in which case you might have already seen this gigantic lemon. The huge pimpled skin lemon above is called a Ponderosa Lemon. An adorable student of mine named Ben brought one to school for "show and tell". His grandmother spends the winters in Arizona, and she had brought some home to Utah for Christmas. I was completely entranced with the Ponderosa lemon, and Ben must have noticed because the next day he showed up with one for me as a gift.

When I did some online research on Ponderosa Lemons, I found that they are a little less hardy than other lemon trees, but can be grown most places where there is not hard frost. I borrowed this photo from Trade Winds Fruit, which sells the seeds, so you can see how they look when they are growing. I also found a place that sells the plants, and they even hinted about the plant being grown indoors, which certainly piqued my interest. Ben's grandmother told me that she has gotten as much as a cup of juice from one lemon. I buy the bags of lemons at Costco and squeeze the juice, so having a lemon tree would be wonderful.

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14 comments:

Paz said...

Wow! I've never seen a lemon this BIG!

Paz

Rorie said...

I see these lemons all the time growing in people's yards here in San Diego but never knew what they were called! I just thought they were big lemons!! Wish I had a lemon tree, but, sadly, I hastily kill everything I try to cultivate. Not intentionally, I assure you.

cookiecrumb said...

West Coast weighing in here. I've never seen a Ponderosa lemon, although if I have, I've probably assumed it's a grapefruit (but it doesn't look like one) or an ugli (never seen one that I know of, so how can I be sure, young rascal?).
What did you think of the flavor of the juice?

Melissa CookingDiva said...

They look HUGE!!!

Kalyn said...

Cookiecrumb, I did not juice it yet, but I will report back when I do.

the chocolate lady said...

What beautiful lemon photography! Thanks!

Randi said...

I used to live in Arizona and people would leave boxes of them out for free. Great stuff.

Stephie said...

I live on Orlando and have one in my backyard. This tree, while it is sensitive to frost, actually is very hardy. I am originally from Iowa and thus knew little if anything about how to care for a lemon tree. Year round it bears LOTS of fruits and the only thing I do is give it citrus fertilizer stakes twice a year. I read that it should be fertilized like 4x's per year, but...for me, what I do is like the royal treatment since my motto is, "Let nature nurture...if it lives, it was meant to be in my yard, if not...then it had no business being planted!"

Anonymous said...

Growing up in La Quinta CA and still a resident of Palm Desert both in the SW Desert and where these lemons were, and are abundant! I always thought they were the result of blight and was not aware you could get any food value from these huge mutations. or certainly what I would call them, and doubt the juice is useful either.
Now the mexican lemons we gropw here are an entirely different lemon, being much smaller, moree sour, and concentrated with a much thinner skin. But quite useful in many of the Mexican/American dishes served locally. Not to mention hands down best Margarita rim to stick the salt to for the best, of the best, or so it is locally!

Anonymous said...

Ponderosa lemons can be grown in a pot and they do produce fruit when grown that way. I live in Connecticut, and I put mine outside in the warmer months, and bring them in and put it under a grow light for the winter. I also grow potted Meyer lemon and naval oranges that way.

Kalyn said...

Anonymous, very interesting. I would think the nighttime temperature inside the house would get too low. Might have to try it.

Alyson & Ford said...

We have one of these in our yard and it does fine in NE Florida. It does need some protection for a hard freeze. Love giving them away as gifts too!

Alyzabeth's Mommy for 16 Months!

Kalyn said...

Lucky you; I'd love to have a tree like this but it would never survive in Utah. I bet people love it when you give the lemons away.

Anonymous said...

I love the juice from this lemon. I live here in McAllen Texas. Try mixing 1/4 cup grapefruit juice with 3/4 cup lemon juice in a gal of water with 3/4 to 1 cup sugar. Makes great lemon aid. I personally do not have a tree yet but plan on it. A friend has one and can not use all the lemons.

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