As citrus people, we’ve always loved Meyer lemons. And up until a few years ago, we hadn’t found the right farm to partner with to make them available to you. But after having an especially bad batch of Meyer lemons from the grocery store, we decided to go back to the drawing board.
That’s when we found Árvore de Luz, a small farm operated by John and Melissa. It takes a lot for us to be blown away by fruit, but that was the reaction we had the first time we tried their lemons. They are so unique and delicious! And while you won’t be peeling them and eating them like an orange, you can (and will want to) use the whole lemon. Candied peels, preserved lemons, limoncello…the list goes on and on.
We get hyped for lemon season, and you should too! Check out our interview below with Melissa Alvis, co-owner of our partner farm Árvore de Luz. 🍋
What is unique and special about Árvore de Luz? What makes you the best lemon grower there is?
“At Árvore De Luz, we raise over 3000 trees organically and sustainably without the use of chemicals, pesticides or herbicides. Just sunshine, water and organic fertilizers. Our fruit is hand-tended, tree-ripened and packed within days of picking so you have the freshest fruit possible. We never use ripening sprays or leave our fruit in cold storage for months before shipping, and we take great pride in our direct small farm to table approach.“
What makes your region ideally suited for growing Meyer lemons?
“Southern California’s Mediterranean climate provides the ideal growing conditions for cold-sensitive lemon trees. The Pacific Coastal region’s long hot summers, cool misty winters and extended mild springs give our trees a growing advantage that allows them to produce Meyer lemons that ripen naturally on the tree – giving them their unique sweet, tart and extra juicy flavor.“
What is the timeline for growing lemons? When do they blossom, when do they harvest, how long is the season?
“Meyer lemons are a winter fruit which means they bloom in early spring filling the air with the sweet scent of orange blossoms! They begin to set tiny, lime green fruit by mid-summer. In November the lemons begin turning their lovely pale-yellow color and as the winter chill sets in, they ripen fully and are ready for harvest.”
Anything else that you’d like to emphasize about the lemons or educate customers about?
“Growing and packing organically isn’t always easy. It presents a lot of challenges and additional costs from hand tending our fields to paying extra for only the best fertilizers, but we think it’s worth it when the final product tastes as good as our lemons. But it’s not only about the end product – it’s also about the health of our workers and your family (we never use Roundup or other pesticides!) Our bees love us too, as we provide a chemical free environment for them to thrive. Operating as a small family farm we see our land as an ecosystem within a larger community. Using sustainable practices that reduce our footprint and promote healthy living are pillars of our business model.“
We couldn’t agree more and are so happy to be partnered with this farm!