Cold, gray winter yields Meyer lemon crop
The Meyer lemon tree, a native of China, produces fruit larger than and not as sour as common supermarket lemons. Like other citrus, the subtropical trees would be no match for Kentucky winters.
Except at Hill and Hollow Farm in Edmonton, where Taylor County RECC consumer-members Paul Bela and Robin Verson began farming 20 years ago. Much of what they grow goes to Nashville or Glasgow during the conventional growing season, sold through produce subscriptions or at farmers markets.
But the chilliest, grayest time of the year brings the harvest of cheerful Meyer lemons. The trees were planted years ago by Robin’s son, Sasha, in the heated greenhouse that he helped pay for. “They are amazing,” Robin says of the trees. Growing on dwarf stock, the trees require pruning twice a year and will yield several hundred lemons, which go to a variety of clients, friends and colleagues. At Hill and Hollow, their juice and zest go into delicious lemon bars.
- Make lime bars by following the lemon bar recipes, substituting lime juice and zest.
- Petite size and shiny green leaves make Meyer lemon trees a highly prized ornamental. Internet sources for the tree are abundant.
- Easy bean burritos can be modified to fit your taste. For meat lovers, add a pound of browned burger or sausage, or 2 cups of leftover chicken.
Learn more about public activities at Hill and Hollow, including the annual March sheep-shearing days, at www.hillandhollowfarm.com.