Saturday, February 06, 2010

Our Lemons and Other Gardening thoughts

Finally some lemons from our lemon tree on the terrace. These may be ugly looking lemons but they are OUR lemons so we think they are pretty special. We probably have had some earlier lemons ripen while we have been gone, especially during the summer but these are the first we have picked. Don't ask me what kind of lemon it is. I don't know. In fact it is hard to get a lemon tree in San Miguel. And it is hard to get a named variety of most any tree. Oh, the nursery will tell you that it is a certain variety of lemon but you never really know until you get the fruit.

The lime tree continues to keep us supplied with limes even during the winter. We probably couldn't whip up a jug of margaritas with the limes right now but there are enough to tang up a plate of melon or spitz a drink. Both the lime and lemon trees are container grown on the terraces so they get enough sun to make fruit.

Do you know what else I've picked and even used in a salad last night.....cherry tomatoes. I couldn't believe it when I went on the terrace. After all the rain and cold and hail, there were still cherry tomatoes hanging on to the vine. I had enough to top four salad plates. They were delicious and sweet although I thought the skins were a bit tough.

The chard is still growing so I'll harvest some for dinner one night this next week. And I now have a nice bed of chives established so I can snip some when I need them for a recipe. The mint is looking good. The oregano is starting to come out again. The thyme is happy but the basil isn't. It has gone to flower and the leaves are skinny and dry looking. I'll have to pull that up and start some new basil. 

Although we have had our fill of cold, it is time to start thinking about Spring. The patio has survived pretty well this winter but it still needs some things moved and some plants replaced. I'll head over to Parque Juarez today to check out the plant vendors who come here from everywhere. I don't know that I'll buy anything because these are not necessarily plants that will be happy in San Miguel. Most of the plants have been forced to adolescence before their time but sometimes I just can't resist.

The sun is out again today. I think by Valentines Day, Spring will officially begin in San Miguel.

13 comments:

Steve Cotton said...

I will be interested in your report on the taste of your lemons. We do not see lemons in the store here except rarely. But they do not have the acidity of the lemons up north.

Anonymous said...

interesting looking lemons. wish i could grow some but i don't think our western wa. weather would allow it.

billie, how is your son doing? i hope he has continued to get better.

God bless,

Gloria said...

Hi Billie. I love that kind of talk, about gardening thoughts. Right up my alley. Your lemons do look great. I bet they're good. I have chard growing too and lots of lemons/limes/grapefruits. All the oranges and tangerines were picked in December. I loved your post and glad to see you, and also hope that all is okay. Take care.

Matthew Smith said...

I just want to say how much I enjoy your photos. You are so talented. Thanks for sharing . I am sorry for the trying year you have had. Good thoughts being sent to you for better health for you and your family in 2010. Fondly, Jan in Mississippi.

Billie said...

Steve, I'll report back on the lemons.
Anon, son is doing very well and getting back to work.
Gloria, I'll be reporting some more about the gardening efforts. With the sun out after all the rain it definitely feels like time to get my hands in the dirt.
Jan in Mississippi, Thank you. Glad you like my photos. I, too, am hoping for blue skies in 2010.

tlorenz said...

Billie, our maid brought us a lemon just like that from her mother-in-law's tree. She said they are called "Lima's" (pronounced like Lima, Peru). They are quite sweet, not sour. Does that sound like yours? They all have that knobby "nose" on the and they are kind of squat and round, not oval.

We went to the Tuesday market last week, and found them there. Bought a kilo of them--I squeeze them into my diet Coke.

We also have little ripe tomatoes, but we get the tough skins too. What I really love now are the little grape tomatoes--our maid/cook puts them on the stove just a few minutes to simmer in hot water so all the skins come off--then she puts them in a balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and a little agave syrup mixture for the most delicious marinated tomatoes. I store them in the fridge and they last for about 2 weeks (or less if we gobble them up faster!) They make a great side dish with anything, or on a salad, or delicious mixed into jasmine rice.

We also can't resist Candelaria--already brought home a "back seat full" of flowers in the VW and now my husband Ron is there with our gardener to get some more "stuff"--we found the flower pots from one particular vendor really hold up well to the elements here--it's the ones they coat with some toxic black goo that smells like gasoline (!) when it's first put on. But it makes the pots really durable so the salt marks don't come through from the water, and the finish on the outside stays good.

At any rate, have fun!

debbie said...

Sounds like things are slowly but surely getting back to normal and we're so very glad. Your terrace garden seems to have weathered fine. The little sweet lemons mentioned by a blogger friend may be Ujukitsu (Japanese cross between an orange and lemon); round with definitive nipple. We sold them this year at UH, very tasty. So glad your back! Guy & Debbie

Theresa said...

I was just online looking at seeds and wishing that I could have a vegetable garden. The summer heat and humidity is so brutal here.
I am glad things are better.
regards,
Theresa

jennifer rose said...

That sure looks like a lima to me. If so, you can put the entire fruit in the blender, including the peel, to make a great agua fresca.

Despite the cold, I've been harvested onions, broccoli rabe, tomatoes, and lettuce. The tomatoes weren't great, but the lettuce has benefited from the cold, presumably because it's too cold for rabbits and squirrels to get out.

I want to know what you end up doing with the Swiss Chard.

Anonymous said...

That photo looks like the work of a 16th century Flemish master printmaker.....like Bruegel, even though there's no peasants in view. Love it. Also loving the con'td cold in H-town,so refreshing. Dana j

Billie said...

Steve, the lemons are not acidic. Big disappointment!
I can only container garden but sometimes we can harvest enough for our dinner.
Dana, What a nice compliment. I do love the still life paintings from the 15th through 17th centuries.

Alfredo said...

Billie,

What you photograph are not lemons but what we call limas. Limes are sweet and limes in the U.S. is just an unripped lemon to us. The one in the picture looks like "citrus limetta". Limas are sweet and a bit bitter if you eat the inner skin. As Jennifer said, one washed lima makes great agua fresca. Add some sugar and enjoy with ice cubes. It is truly delicious and from now on you will wonder if the limes you know as limes are really green lemons, let it ripe and it is a lemon.

Saludos cordiales,

Alfredo.

Heather said...

They look gorgeous! I'm getting excited for the summertime gardening. I ordered a bunch of seeds from Burpee to start inside for our first garden at the new house. I'm very excited! And the two feet of snow we got this weekend makes me want to enjoy huddling inside and dream of growing strawberries!