Today was the day. A moderate day of sun and puffy clouds at the end of January. It was time to pick the lemons. We have one lemon tree, and a central branch was sheared off several years before we bought the house. The tree was burdened with lemons. It was time to pick them.
Lemon trees have thorns, and picking lemons is rough work. The lemons need to be trimmed off with a pruning shears. We picked some bare-handed, and our fingers got dark and greasy from the lemon wax and dust.
All in all, we picked hundreds of lemons.This table seats six comfortably. There are more lemons than in this picture– at least two more big wine cases piled high with them. But the tree is breathing easier.
The tree will now drop its leaves while new ones are forming. In a few weeks, there will be scented blossoms, and then the cycle will start again, from tiny green lemons, visible in May, to harvest in January.
–Quinn McDonald is a writer who owns a lemon, orange, fig and grapefruit tree. It makes her feel rich beyond measure. (c) 2009. All rights reserved.