Unexpected Fruit


Sometimes you miss things that are right in front of you. Like lemons.

We live in the warmest part of Germany, something I have been told many times. I do miss the Canadian winter, but there is something to be said for the assortment of fruits growing locally.

I’ve mentioned them before: apples, pears, cherries, strawberries, plums, blackberries, raspberries and a few I didn’t recognize. Many grow in public places – you can pick them if you so desire. But not the lemons.IMG_20200721_1547315

Tuesday was the first time I noticed the lemon tree, though I must have walked past it dozens of times – it is on one of my regular walking routes. The lemons were big and ripe and looked juicy.

However, there was no question of picking them, given that the tree was right beside someone’s front doorstep. Somehow I suspect lemons are not native to the area.

It did have me wondering though about the lemon tree growing in my kitchen. About 10 days ago my wife’s cousin gave her a cutting from a lemon tree, which was potted as soon as we got home. I didn’t think to ask where the original tree came from.IMG_20200721_2052494

Looking online I see that lemon trees are relatively easy to grow indoors. Given their preferred temperature, I think the one down the street must spend a good portion of its life indoors, coming out for the summer months. Maybe that is why I never noticed it before.

Looking online though, I discover that lemon trees prefer to be outdoors. That means I’m just not very observant; the tree must have been there for a while.

Having seen lemons growing down the street, I began wondering how long it will be before this cutting turns into a tree and starts producing fruit. It looks pretty feeble at the moment.

It turns out there are a multitude of factors and possibilities that could influence fruit production. I can expect to wait three to  five years before I can make my first homemade lemonade.

I’m not surer I was planning on living in Germany that long. I wonder if they will let me take the tree on the plane?

Probably not – and an Ottawa winter would probably kill it. The leaves smell nice though. And whenever we move, I’m sure someone here will take the lemon tree off our hands.



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