As I dumped the lemons into the compost heap I can't help but wish things had been different. Last hitch I got home a couple weeks before Christmas and one of the first things I noticed when we pulled in the driveway was the "lemon monster". Thats how we lovingly refer to our Meyers lemon tree. The tree is short and very wide. It's branches hang to the ground and it is tilted at a rackish angle from hurricanes gone past, and loaded with big juicy lemons. This tree makes lemons almost year around and in the winter when the bumper crop comes in we pick a wheelbarrow full of these wonderful lemons. Peg and I excitedly discussed plans for lemon jelly, Pepper jelly, honey lemon jelly, lemon curd, etc. but realized it would have to wait until next time I was off the boat. After all, this was our Christmas filled with the hustle and bustle of the Season. The UPS guy like to wore the drive way out, with daily loads of presents; some for us and some mail order for our family and friends. We were way too busy packing and wrapping and mailing, etc. for jelly making, so we decided to let the lemons hang on the tree 'til I would get home next hitch to harvest and preserve. We have waited as late as February in the past to harvest them. We had no way of knowing we were in for a record breaking cold front (Global warming my A**!!!). The lemons froze and the tree was seriously damaged. When I got home the mushy rotting lemons were only fit for composting, so Peg and I buried about half of them in the compost heap and left the rest under the tree to compost there.
Here in da background ya can see all that's left of our glorious 'lemon monster'. All we can do is fertilize and wait and pray it will recover.
Ya see the problem with a semi-tropical climate is the semi part. That tree was 9 years old and had never froze. It had gotten way too big for Peggy to throw towels over it, in case of a freeze, as she showed in an earlier post. I guess this is why the ole timers say citrus trees will break your heart. On a good note though, the Grapefruit, being bigger than the lemons, didn't freeze and are sweet and delicious as always. Hmmmm wonder what we can turn them into? :-)