By Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau Outreach Director
The 2017/18 crop results for Arizona lemons are in: Production this season is slightly down from last year, but much better than our 2012 lemon harvest. Arizona citrus farmers harvested 1.30 million 80-pound boxes of lemons this season
You may recall that Arizona citrus is one of our state’s five “C’s.” Lemons is right in there with the rest of the citrus our state produces. And while you’ve seen citrus acres decrease in our state over the decades we still have a story to tell about our Arizona lemons, especially since most of our lemon production is coming out of Yuma Arizona.
California and Arizona produce 95% of the entire lemon crop the United States enjoys each year. So, lemons are an important part of the mix of agriculture in our state. The following list of lemon facts will help us appreciate the fine fruit even more.
- As we all know, lemons are rich in vitamin C.
- The typical lemon tree can produce fruit all year round and can produce up to 600 pounds of lemons every year.
- This tangy citrus in native to Asia.
- Lemon zest, grated from the rind, is often used in baking.
- The leaves of a lemon tree can be used to make tea.
- Lemon is derived from an Asian word for “sour fruit.”
- The average lemon holds three tablespoons of juice.
- During the Renaissance, ladies used the juice of a lemon to redden their lips.
- The average lifespan of lemon trees is over 50 years. With proper care and disease prevention practices, a vigorous tree can live more than 100 years.
- One whole raw lemon contains 139% of the daily recommended vitamin C intake and has 22 calories.
Go to Fill Your Plate and search our recipes by selecting “lemon” as a category to see what recipes pop up. We have one lemon pie recipe that will make you pucker up and say, “lemon pie tonight, please!”