It’s a Eureka.

I am now the proud owner of a lemon tree, for the first time in my life. Unless you count my father’s ten acres of lemons that I helped to pick when I was about twelve; I also learned how to drive the tractor down the rows a few yards at a time to catch up with the pickers and make it easy to load boxes on the trailer.P1020744

When I tell people that I am planning for a lemon tree, without fail they ask me if it will be a Meyer lemon. No, it will not. I don’t know if Meyers are often grown commercially, but my father always showed scorn at the mere mention of a Meyer lemon, because they weren’t Real Lemons. All of my experience my life long has been with the old standard variety, Eureka, so that is what I wanted.

The Meyers are more frost hardy. If there had been a market for them, my father might have been wise to consider Meyers, because his lemon crop was ruined by frost so many times that he eventually pulled out those trees and planted more of the orange trees that were safer and more profitable. I’ve been living most of my adult life we don’t get a citrus-killing frost very often, but just in case, my tree will be planted under the canopy of my huge pine. If temps in the 20’s are predicted I can cover my baby, and/or put Christmas lights on it for a little extra heat.

This would be a good time to give you one of my recipes using (Eureka) lemons. I see I’ve already shared my favorite Lemon Poppyseed Sandwich Cookies, Lemon Curd, and Egg Lemon Soup. Here’s a different one, a recipe it seems I’ve never transcribed into a computer document, which is also one of my favorite savory dishes. Lemon juice is not cooked into the stew, but juicy lemon wedges are served alongside bowls of these beans at the table and squeezed over in the desired amount.

When I discovered this recipe and tried it for the first time — maybe it came from Organic Gardening magazine in the 70’s? — it reminded me so much of the beans I ate in Turkey that I wrote the Turkish word as the main title of the recipe copied into my funky notebook.

GREEK BEANS

Greek Beans original-1

I don’t want to take time to type in the recipe right now because I have been so busy for several days, I am about to crash, and  hope to get sleep for another busy tomorrow. Much of the hubbub has to do with the garden project. At times four or five people have been working at once, on three different parts of the plan.P1020680

Soldier son came over again and finished the planting boxes. He also got the Craigslist playhouse off the driveway and into its final resting place, after building a foundation and floor and then moving it on to the spot that he had carefully leveled. P1020697

These pictures were taken a couple of days ago and already a lot more progress has been made; I hope that next week I can show you the paths all complete in their several layers.

Today the workers didn’t need me to make decisions or anything, so I caught up with some friends. First Elsie and I took a walk, which we’ve been trying for months to coordinate our schedules for. I took her on my favorite bike path loop which doesn’t require getting in a car to go anywhere.

When we got back to the house we stood out on the sidewalk looking up at the sunflowers and wondering why the birds haven’t eaten the seeds. Her eyes traveled up a little higher and spied a kestrel on the roof of my house! I am a great one for not seeing birds; if I had seen this one I wouldn’t have known what it was. But Elsie once saw a raptor like this grab a blue jay from her back yard so she read all about them. She also told me a story about an Australian woman she met who had lost her small dog to a hawk who swooped down and carried the tiny creature off.

I decided that today was the best day to cut the sunflower heads off, because if the birds don’t want them, I do, and I don’t want them getting rained on again and getting moldy. I went into the garage to get my loppers, and lop, lop, lop — the three plants with the seeds big enough to find and eat were down. I gave one seed head in a pie tin to Elsie — the seeds were falling out without us doing anything — and she went home to roast them with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Mrs. Bread hadn’t seen my yard since the real landscaping has started, so I phoned her and she was able to come over. She helped me to harvest sunflower seeds, but we found the seeds toward the middle much harder to extract. We got tired of this digging and went to the store together to buy me  a handbag.

P1020745

I am having an improved blogging experience tonight. Since last winter I have acquired a laptop and an easy chair, so now instead of sitting in front of the desktop in the corner of the house we call Siberia, I can sit comfortably and toast my toes by the wood stove. At first I noticed how much easier it is to think when I’m warm, but now….I’m getting sleepy…very…sleepy. I’ll be back another day.

10 thoughts on “It’s a Eureka.

  1. It gives me a lot of joy to see your garden progressing. So did you find a handbag? 🙂 How neat about the sunflowers! Ooooh, that bird sounds a bit scary that you friend saw! Neat recipe! Lemons are so wonderful!!!

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  2. I agree about the lemon tree. My Mom bought us a Meyer Lemon when we moved here. In our old house we had an Eureka. Best lemons ever. My Meyer is a fussy tree. This year it is loaded of course. Still, I will never plant one again.

    Your yard looks fantastic. I just love looking at all of the progress. I also like reading about all of your plants and trees. So glad you have a place now to sit and be warm.

    Have a lovely day.

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  3. I hope your Eureka lemon thrives and gives you lots of puckery lemons. We have a Meyer lemon tree for the very reason you’ve stated – it’s more frost proof. I think it’s amazing that we can grow a lemon tree outdoors in our climate! But I have to admit that for real pucker power I’ll use another type of lemon.

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  4. The only lemons I’ve ever heard named are Myers. I do like Myers but I like what I call “regular” lemons too. I’ve only had fresh-picked lemons when I visit friends in Arizona. My gosh, those big, thick-skinned lemons are SOooooOOOoooo good! I wonder if they are Eureka? How do you know? Are there only two kinds of lemons?

    Your landscaping is coming along and I’m so excited to see it when you get it to where you want it to be. What fun it must be — though hard work!

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    1. I found some interesting sites while trying to answer you question about varieties of lemons.
      http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/citrus/lemons.htm from Texas, it appears
      and http://extension.arizona.edu/sites/extension.arizona.edu/files/pubs/az1001.pdf from Arizona.
      But reading about the varieties, the Eureka does sound like “our” lemons. I was surprised to learn that the Meyer lemon carries disease and is even illegal in Arizona because of that. Maybe that was one reason for my father’s avoidance of them, though I see now that Sunkist markets Meyers.
      Thanks for your questions, which prodded me to brush up on my expertise 😉

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  5. Thanks for the recipe! Now we don’t have to go out to the Olympia taverna nearby to enjoy some φασόλια. P.S. I love the way Greeks squeeze lemons on certain foods.

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  6. I want to try this recipe….love, love, love beans and this looks wonderful. Enjoying reading about your garden as well. Haven’t been here in awhile, but glad to catch up. 🙂

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