Bug,  Lemon Week,  the sticks

Lemon Tree Very Pretty

lemon tree, very pretty

Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.
–Peter Paul and Mary song

It’s that time of year again: Lemon Season.

I have a crazy little dwarf Meyer lemon tree in my backyard that practically turns itself inside out every year to put out a bumper crop of bright orange lemons. I don’t know why they are orange. They just are. But the color isn’t that big of a deal, it’s the sheer amount of lemons that blows my mind every year.

There are so many lemons I don’t know what to do with them! I try to give them away but everybody around here has their own lemon tree that is exploding. When I drive into Orange County I take a bag or two with me but I still can’t get rid of them fast enough. I don’t know why lemons cost 49 cents in the store. They should be free! I wish I could sell mine at the store, I’d make a killing!

picking lemons

Bug and I have picked basket full after basket full and we have not even made a dent.

I didn't even make a dent baskets and baskets of lemons

When I cut the lemons off the branches, it’s almost as if the branches sigh with relief and raise up an inch or two. Poor poor over-productive lemon tree.

lemons lemons lemons!

So that’s what we’re doing in our spare time. Picking and juicing lemons. I don’t know what to do with them all. I don’t even have an oven to make lemon bars!

Of course Bug knows what to do. She wants a lemonade stand. She’s been begging and begging so finally this last Saturday I let her set up business again. She had high hopes since she made a whole eight dollars in one hour last year. But the problem here is we don’t really have the traffic we had at the beach. There are no trucks full of contractors driving by, falling all over themselves to give a smiley kid a quarter. Here we live on a cul-de-sac and the most traffic we get is an ice cream truck and a gardener or two. Sometimes people come down our street to look for recyclables in our trash. They certainly don’t want to buy anything.


So we painted a sign. (My favorite part.)

orange lemons

juicing lemonade sprite

And we juiced about a thousand lemons. I saved some in ice cube trays for those months when we have no lemons.


I also grated a ton o’ zest. And I froze it on a cookie sheet so I could fill a giant plastic bag with it without it sticking together. (It worked like a charm.)

Fresh Squeezed Lemonade 25 cents

And then she set up shop. Poor kid. She only had three customers. One was her buddy across the street and the other two were just neighbors. Grandma wouldn’t even buy any because she’s on a no-sugar diet. I guess next time we’ll have to make some with Splenda.

1st customer Buddies

Then her friend across the street joined her business and they hatched up a plan to make more money next weekend when our neighbors have a garage sale. Lemon sandwich boards were even discussed. It could be quite exciting. Except I think I have to babysit in Orange County on Saturday so those plans might be dashed.

making money

We’ll have to think of something. It’s a shame to let all this enterprising spirit go to waste.

rock star break

Maybe we’ll take the lemonade stand-rock star show on the road.


  • jenifer

    omg, meyer lemons! I live in the o.c. and I would pay you for those, haha! I buy mine from a farmer in san diego when he brings them to a friends house who organizes a food co-op. I love the orange color of yours!

  • norm

    Hee! We have a dwarf Meyer lemon too, but they come out lemon yellow! I understand Meyers are lemon-orange hybrids of some sort, which explains the orange in your fruit, but not why some are yellow and some are orange. Perhaps the color difference is climatic? I don’t know where you are but we’re in Santa Barbara county so I bet we’re a ways north of you. I recommend making a lemon meringue pie! Or ten.

  • Sonja

    I just juiced & froze the ones I took home at the birthday party today. We’ll have lemonade for Daniel’s birthday later this week! :)

  • bethany actually

    Meyer lemons are orange because they’re probably a cross between a regular lemon and some kind of orange. :-)

    I wish we could come pick some of your lemons and buy some of Bug’s lemonade!

  • Yara

    I think your lemon tree is more productive than ours. I see a lot of people around here putting out fruit next to a ‘free’ sign. There was one lady in Riverside who sold her lemons & oranges from her front yard, we bought from her at least once.

  • bonnie

    I might know some people who’d be willing to buy them from you if you want – the co-op I’m part of LOVES buying home grown fruit and we’ve bought lemons before. ust let me know if you are seriously getting buried. :)

    And I was going to recommend freezing the juice in ice cube trays. heh. That’s what I do with everything!

  • Monica

    We’ve got an over-productive lemon tree too! They can be downright oppressive with their bounty! But homemade lemonade is the best, and we’ve had our share of stands, too. Bug is so darn cute…I’m sure she had a blast with the whole process, even with only 3 customers.

  • Kelley

    Oh…my…goodness…what gorgeous lemons! I live in Washington state, and we don’t have anything like that up here. In fact, we have snow, not lemons! (I’m experiencing some serious citrus envy!) Good luck with the lemonade stand…I’d stop by if I could!

  • JennyBean

    Aww, so sweet…I don’t even drink lemonade (I know, I’m weird) but I’d buy from her!

    We had fruit trees like that when I was growing up; its amazing how much they produce! We were always trying to get rid of lemons!

  • Ruth

    So cute! Love the fairy wings! How I wish I could be running around in skirts and wings picking lemons out of the backyard! Looks lovely.

  • Kuky

    Bug looks so super happy making the sign and juicing the lemons. Wish we could grow anything. We’ve bought lemon and orange trees but manage to kill them everytime.

  • lisasaysto

    Have you thought about making lemon marmalade? It’s really easy, and jars make nice gifts to have on hand.

  • nicole i

    meyers are a cross breed between a lemon and a mandarin orange…thus the color. they are simply the best lemons ever.
    You could make lemon curd and marmalade for gifts…or to sell!
    We are still hoping to swing by ans say hi, i’ll email you details.

  • Ellen W

    I’m jealous of your tree! I live in currently cold and dreary Montana where having a citrus tree is a fantasy. I would like to find a small one I could keep indoors along with my fickle ficus tree.

  • Madge

    You could start taking mail orders, they travel well in flat rate priority boxes, haha. I’m sending mine all over the country. Sorry that you guys didn’t have much traffic. You need my after school traffic again.

  • Peggi

    My mouth is watering. Let us know if you end up making lemon curd. Can you put lemon curd or marmalade on Etsy? Technically it’s a homemade craft!

    Brings back memories of my grandparents’ home in Hawaii. They had orange and grapefruit trees in the yard. Every morning my grandmother would pick oranges through her kitchen window and make juice. Can’t get any fresher than that.

  • Auntie Keren

    I’d like to order two bags full, please. I plan to bake all kinds of lemon things when Aunt Kathy is here, especially lemon bars. And Ruby Cook’s Lemon Bread, Lemon Cake, and Marge’s lemon meringue pie for All Day Meeting, Lemon Chicken, Chicken Picatta, Diablo Sauce for Salmon, and lemon glaze for asparagus.
    PS. I finally got Gramma’s hat safely put away & I still have your bathmat in my back seat. Shannon & Ernie were here for meeting last night. The doves are back in the hanging basket. oh- and Trini Lopez was the original song-ster of Lemon Tree. You can still get it on YouTube. (he has much more ‘tude!)

  • Kitty M

    Lemon curd. Make it on the stove top Jar/can it it all up. Make some cute labels…tons of on hand gifts!

  • Deidre

    I would totally buy some of your lemons – if you know I didn’t live in Australia. it’s my dream to have a lemon tree like that. Could you make and freeze lemon curd? Or jar it or something?

  • gingermog

    I have a lemon tree growing on top of my fridge. It is 5 inches tall and almost one years old, it grew from a lemon pip. I am proud of it and defend it from my cats jaws ( shes a plant muncher) on a regular basis. It has a long way to go until its grows as big as your wonderful lemon tree. it lives in England, so lets face it it may never bare fruit, but there is always the hope. :)

    Good luck to Bug and her budding lemonade stand enterprise. xx

  • Alli

    We have a friend who had a plum tree that was supposed to be decorative- she was told it wouldn’t actually produce fruit. Imagine her surprise when it started producing plums! And lots of them. She was able to turn this surprise into profit when she sold them to a local restaurant that prided itself on all local/ seasonal ingredients. Maybe you can find one of those around your neck of the woods?

  • JaeElle

    I, too, am having some serious citrus envy. I love all things lemon-flavored. If you made lemon curd and sold it on etsy, I would buy some. It’s 30 degrees here and snow is on the ground. :(

  • rhonda joy in FLORIDA

    Wow! I would love some lemonade!

    I spy the throw/quilt behind Bug juicing the lemons…is it for sale? ;) OR can i buy one like it somewhere? Thanks!

  • BeachMama

    Oh my, what an abundance of lemons. Not only can I not pick lemons in Summer (they don’t grow here) but right now all we are picking are icicles :) Enjoy making all things lemony, since your freezer works perhaps a lemon granita is in order :)

    Love the Rock Star and the shorts, helps keep me warm.