Today, I am making a global appeal. Well, maybe a tropical climate appeal. Really just a citrus fruit climate appeal.
Now I’m an east coast girl. Born and raised. I have nothing California in me, I’m way too type-A for the west coast way. And way too fair.
I do envy one thing. One very large, important, magnificent thing.
You people over on this coast can grow things that the people on the east coast can’t. Citrus trees to be exact. Beautiful, dazzling citrus trees, packed with all of these bulbous jewels. They are everywhere that I walk. They taunt me. I would like nothing more than to pluck every last one of them from the trees and make Meyer lemon preserves, candied zest, clementine sorbet, grapefruit granita, orange juice! OH orange juice. Right in my back yard.
But I live on the one square inch of land in California that does not have a citrus tree growing. So I can only look longingly. Jealously.
But then, the worst part happens… as I walk day after day, I realize that the tree branches are getting heavier and heavier. The fruit is getting to be “low hanging” as it weighs the tree down… This is because no one is picking their fruit.
And so I weep a little bit for each lemon. For each orange. For each grapefruit that will go wasted.
And I contemplate knocking on each persons door and asking if they would like a lesson in preserving their Meyer lemons.
And then I chicken out and contemplate dropping an anonymous note in their mailbox.
And then I chicken out even more and go home and simply write to you about it.
This lovely neighbor polishes her motorcycle and rakes her leaves while the lemons watch, unnoticed.
I swear this was a persimmon tree just a few months ago… hm. Well it’s a lemon tree now and equally neglected!
Two brimming bushes.
I saw a homeless man help himself to one of these oranges.
At least some one’s getting some use out of them…
Now this is just a crime. Do you know how much they charge for a box of these at Trader Joe’s?!
Alas, the first moldy lemon of the season. My heart hurts.
Grapefruit. Grapefruit with maple syrup. Grapefruit juice. Grapefruit popsicles! MMm.
The smell of Meyer lemons is one of the most intoxicating. Why not just pick them to carry in your pockets and smell all day if nothing else Mr. Meyer Lemon Owner??
See? They’re crying too.
I think the act of picking too is satisfying. It probably explains my mild obsession with apple picking in the fall. There’s something about the harvest… harvesting, picking… perhaps there’s some twisted psychology behind that, but for now I’ll stick to believing that I’m just a girl who doesn’t like wasted food with so much potential.
Unrealized potential is the worst. Particularly with food. Food that can be picked. With a step stool and a wicker basket and a good hand with a good grip.
This is my appeal to all citrus tree owners in the Bay Area…. email me: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will gladly help you realize all the unrealized potential of your low (and high) hanging fruit.
With admiration, and envy, and jealousy, your friend,