Lemons

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The lemon is undoubtedly one of the most (if not THE most) popular citrus fruits in the whole world. While it is very popular, it is rarely consumed as a fruit due to its acidity and tartness. Gene studies have shown that the lemon is a natural hybrid of the citron and bitter orange, which explains the bitter aftertaste and the extreme acidity of the fruit. How did it become so popular? Because its juice makes for one of the most refreshing drinks known to man, the lemonade.

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Order: Sapindales
  • Family: Rutaceae
  • Genus: Citrus
  • Species: C. limon
  • Binomial name: Citrus limon

Lemon Trivia

  • A lemon contains 8 seeds (most of the time).
  • While it doesn’t seem like it, lemons are technically considered to be berries.
  • The term lemon is said to have been derived from an Asian word meaning “Sour Fruit”
  • Lemon juice is often used to prevent other fruits from turning brown or oxidizing.

Lemon Buying Guide

As with any other citrus fruit, you should choose lemons that feel heavy for their size and not hollow. The lemon should be firm and the peel should be textured. The color of the lemon should be deep yellow and not pale. Deep yellow signifies that the lemon is perfectly ripe and less acidic than its paler counterparts. Avoid lemons that are bruised and dried out as these will contain very little juice and will be very acidic.

Lemon Production & Farming in Texas

Of all the citrus fruits, the lemon is the most cold-sensitive. Because of the frosts and chills that occur in Texas, growing lemons outside of the Rio Grande Valley is almost impossible without extra cold protection. This is the reason why commercial lemon production has never taken off in Texas with few growers willing to risk entire crops due to cold and frost.

Pesticides:

Lemons, just like any other citrus fruit, have a lot of pesticide residue on their peels. Not only pesticide but also antibiotics as the EPA has approved the use of antibiotics to counter the effects of an infection called citrus greening.

If we were just consuming the juice inside the lemon then this would not be a problem. But in many applications, the rind comes into contact with everything the lemon is used for and this can cause contamination.

To reduce the risk of getting sick from pesticide residue or developing antibiotic resistance from the antibiotics sprayed, try to purchase organic lemons if possible.

Geography:

In Texas, the best place to grow lemons would be inside the Rio Grande Valley as it provides cold protection.

For home growers, you can try to grow your own lemon trees if you can provide it with adequate cold protection. As long as the soil is slightly acidic and it is well-drained, the lemon tree can thrive in it. The positioning also plays a role in planting lemons. Plant them at the south side of your house to protect them from the cold.

Packaging:

Lemons are especially hardy fruits and don’t require any special packaging. Most of the time, lemons are transported in bulk boxes to be displayed in supermarkets. Some suppliers or retailers pack the lemons in net bags, but that’s the extent of lemon packaging.

Eating Lemons

Lemons aren’t normally eaten raw as a fruit due to their acidity and tartness.

Storage:

Lemons can be stored on the countertop for up to a week before they dry up. In the fridge, lemons can last up to one month before they dry up, just make sure to store them in sealed plastic bags so that their moisture will be retained.

Cooking:

Lemons are best used as a flavoring for beverages. Almost any beverage can be livened up by the addition of lemon juice. Lemons are also the garnish of choice when it comes to drinks and desserts, just slice up thinly and use it as a garnish.

Lemons juice can also be added to add a fresh flavor burst to pastries, cakes, bread, and cookies.

For heated applications, lemon juice adds a delicious brightness to almost any dish. Just add a squeeze of lemon before serving to bring your dish to the next level. Lemons are also used in a variety of sauces to liven them up by adding a sweet and tangy twist to them.

The lemon zest can be used both as a garnish or as part of any dish to add the scent of lemon without the tartness.

Nutrition:

  • Carbs
    • Lemons contain very little carbs and sugar so they have little to no impact on one’s diet. Just be careful to monitor the added sugar in lemon applications like lemonades and juices.
    • The glycemic load of lemon is at 1, which has very little impact on blood sugar levels.
  • Fiber
    • Lemon juice contains negligible levels of dietary fiber.
  • Vitamins and minerals:
    • The primary health benefits that lemons provide comes from it being an excellent source of Vitamin C.
      • A 100g serving of lemons contains 88% of the RDI of Vitamin C.
        • Vitamin C is vital for the strength of your immune system, protecting you from infections and illnesses.
        • Vitamin C is also a good antioxidant that combats the effects of oxidative stress on your cells.
      • Since people usually consume more than 100g of lemons in a large serving of lemonade, this more than covers the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C, ensuring that we get all the benefits of the vitamin.

When Are Lemons in Season in Texas?

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  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • September
  • Oktober
  • November
  • December

One of the most salient benefits to eating seasonally is that you are effectively reducing your carbon footprint and supporting a more geographically sustainable food economy. We are rarely encouraged to think about the physical lengths our food travels before arriving on the market shelves. And all of this travel comes with a hefty environmental cost that is concealed from the consumer’s eye. Check other fruit and veg that’s in season in Texas.

Buy Local Farmfresh Lemons in Texas Directly from the Producer

mapMarkerGreyBandera

A Garden in Every Home

mapMarkerGreyAustin

Barrel Creek Provisions

mapMarkerGreyAlvin

Co-Creative Farm

mapMarkerGreyCorpus Christi

Corpus Christi Produce

mapMarkerGreySinton

Elemental Farm

mapMarkerGreyAlamo

Engert Farms

mapMarkerGreyBreckenridge

Fambro Family Farms

mapMarkerGreyNatalia

Fernandez Family Farms

mapMarkerGreyMcAllen

G and S Groves

mapMarkerGreyJacksonville

HalleluYah Haven

mapMarkerGreySmithville

Indian Hills Farm

mapMarkerGreySalt Flat

LCF Ranch

mapMarkerGreyMission

Marshall Farms

mapMarkerGreyHouston

Old School Produce

mapMarkerGreyBogata

Pullen Produce

mapMarkerGreyMission

South Tex Organics

mapMarkerGreyCelina

Stonebranch Microfarm

mapMarkerGreyMcAllen

Strohmeyer Family Farm DBA G&S Groves

mapMarkerGreyQuinlan

Sunfun Farms

mapMarkerGreyGarwood

Sunshine Chicken Farm