Meyer lemon tree blossom

A couple years ago, I bought a 2-year old organic, dwarf Meyer Lemon tree from Four Winds Growers to grow indoors. Indoor plants are great for removing toxins in the air, so getting plants into our new home was really important to me. So, when I came across the idea of getting a dwarf lemon tree in a magazine, it was kind of a no-brainer for me—I mean, why not get something that bears fruit?!

My tree has been low maintenance (and fun to watch grow), but it does take a little while to bloom and bear fruit—a year and a half to be exact. But, it's been well worth the wait, because the lemons are delicious and while it's not in bloom, the tree is just a nice addition to our home. Growing lemons in your home is nice, but even if you're not interested in that, you can still buy quality lemons at the store. They are a delicious addition to drinks and food.

Meyer lemon tree

Health benefits of lemons:
1. Antioxidant and anti-cancer properties
2. High in vitamin C
3. Aid in detoxification

Tips:
1. Choose lemons that are thin-skinned as they will have more juice than the thick-skinned ones
2. Lemons always give more juice when they are at room temperature
3. Store lemons on the counter for 1 week or in the fridge for about 4 weeks
4. If you don't think you'll use the lemons before they go bad, juice the lemons into ice cube trays and freeze for later use. You can also dry the lemon zest (yellow part of the skin) and store in a glass jar in a cool, dark place. If you plan on using the zest, organically grown lemons are best because they will not have the wax coating that conventionally grown fruits may have.

Ways to use lemons:
1. Enjoy a few slices of lemon in a glass of water or warm tea
2. Make homemade lemonade
3. Sprinkle some fresh lemon zest on top of fish or chicken
4. Use them for natural cleaning
5. Enjoy a cup of warm lemon water to soothe a sore throat or cough
6. Mix 1 tablespoon of lemon juice with 2 tablespoons of olive oil for a quick and simple salad dressing

Tipoftheday This is only one example of food you can grow indoors—herbs also make excellent indoor plants. Covenant Natural Health Care has a one-hour workshop coming up on outdoor gardening, but will also address some edibles you can grow indoors. Stay tuned!