Sunday, November 23, 2008

Shhhhhhhhh, Don't tell Anyone!

One of things that I missed when we first came down here were lemons.

There is just something about the sweetness it has over the Mexican (Key) Lime, that is hard to describe.

No quantity of sugar or honey can make up for the inherent sweetness and tartness associated with the lemon.

We set out on several reconnaissance missions to various viveros in Morelia, Guadalajara and even the botanical capital of the area Uruapan and were disenchanted in all our efforts of finding any lemon trees.

We spent days and many liters of fuel looking in vain.

Lets bring one from the states, I told my wife.

There must surly be a lot of paper work involved in transporting such banned contraband into the country.

This started a mission. A mission that there would be a hundred different endings.
"yes, no problem"
"Yes, but it must be certified by a licensed agency"
"No, absolutely not permitted!"
And 97 more excuses.

Then under the cloak of darkness, surreptitiously hidden from view the journey began.

5 days later, the small 5 gallon sized tree was feasting on Holy Michoacan soil.

Soil that had fed millions of peoples from the last multiple millenniums to now, the citrus tree was adopted by dark, pine tree needled fertilized soil.

I could have my lemonade made with lemons, bright yellow lemons. Not tiny spherical limes, but large fragrant lemons.....YES!

Now I coddle the branches, the leaves, the fruit. I feed it monthly, I water it when it seeks water, I talk to it and praise its wonderful fruit.

My Blood Orange tree is cross with me.
I must have offended it several years ago when I scorned it in front of friends for not producing sufficient crimson colored sections and this was it's way of showing me who was in control.

I have apologized with it and have provided it with a special nourishment this year.

Maybe it will forgive me and honor me with orbs of tartness worthy of combining with champagne on special Sunday mornings.......

Meanwhile industrial cultivated ambiguous trees will have to provide the juice........


Michael Dickson said...

Don´t get your hopes up. We do not live in the tropics which, I believe, is a lemon tree´s preferred environment.

We have banana trees on our lot, and they put out real pathetic bananas. We have an orange tree too, and the oranges are so sour they curl my face.

But who knows? Good luck.

ken kushnir said...

Yes you are right Michael the citrus trees do enjoy a more tropical climate, but damn it, I want lemons....
The tree has grown quite well from about being two feet tall, it is now about 9 feet tall, but it only has about 20% of the fruit that my Northern California tree had seasonally.
The tree here, is planted in a really protected area so the hail and frosts spare it, it just doesn't throw as many blossoms as a extremely content tree would....Maybe it's the altitude think?

Michael Dickson said...

We have banana trees that approach 30 feet high. But the bananas still suck.

If you pay attention, you´ll not see any fruit trees in this area, I do not believe, except those people have brought here and planted. It ain´t natural.

Nopal cactus grows nicely.

ken kushnir said...

Maybe I can cross some Nopal with and lemon....or I'll buy a 3meter plot in Uruapan...

Michael Warshauer said...

By a miraculous cosmic conjunction, we found perfectly nice yellow lemons in P√°tzcuaro's mercado last week. I bought 5. We still have one.

They are good, but the tiny Mexican limes that friends gave us from their tree have a superb and incomparable aroma and taste.

Funny thing is, when we lived in Little Rock, I alnost always bought (Persian) limes, seldom lemons.
(Similarly, I always looked for fresh and dried chiles when we lived al otro lado. Now, I buy them infrequently. Cilantro, the same deal.
I have cravings for American, especially Southern food.)

ken kushnir said...

Well Michael, come on by and I'll fix you up some scrapple and put a pot on the eye to warm up some for you.
I hope you like okra dusted in crumbs and fried in bacon grease. I had about 18+ years of life with an Gadsden girl, and it's taken me about that long to change my eating habits......thankfully.

jennifer rose said...

Jejejejeje. I have lemon trees, and they produce lemons in prolific quantities.

Michael Dickson said...

My orange tree puts out oranges like crazy. And they taste like crap. Actually, they make you pucker up like you done gone and ate a lemon.

Point is that quantity isn´t necessarily the issue. But, of course, lemons are supposed to taste puckery.

ken kushnir said...

Maybe you can clue me into the variety you have Jennifer, or I'll beg a branch cut, off of your giving gem to graft onto my rootstock.

One of my next serious projects after the chicken coop will be to build a green house.
Since citrus loves heat and hates frost which we have up here on the mountain I think I will try and find the variety I had in California. It grew up to about 10 feet and provided about 150+ nice juicy lemons seasonally.
I have done lots of foolish things before and this will probably not be the last. There is some I like in doing something that most people laugh at or say that it's impossible to do.
It keeps me occupied, and up at nights occasionally.......

Michael Dickson said...

Ken, while salivating over Jennifer´s lush lemon tree, keep in mind that the climes of Morelia are noticeably milder than that of the Greater P√°tzcuaro Metropolitan Area.

But if this Lemon Quest keeps you out of mischief and off the mean streets, why not? Buena suerte.

ken kushnir said...

Yes you are right as usual Michael, I type before I think more than I should. Maybe I'll just find someone in Uruapan that I can anchor a tree down there and just be happy with that!
Or frozen lemon juice?