Home & Garden

Do you have extra lemons in your garden? Here’s how to use them.

There are many ways to preserve lemons from your garden.
There are many ways to preserve lemons from your garden.

Q: What can I do with all my extra lemons from my garden?

Ann B., Nipomo

A: San Luis Obispo County gardeners are very lucky, because with a little frost protection, we can grow citrus throughout the winter season well into summer, depending on the varieties. And the best way to extend the citrus season even further is to preserve your harvest.

Preservation methods can include pickling, freezing, dehydrating or canning. On Saturday, the UCCE Master Food Preservers will hold an “All Things Citrus” preserving workshop to show you how. A variety of citrus subjects will be discussed, but one of the more unique recipes that will be demonstrated is salt-preserved lemons.

It is a process of salting lemons and preserving them in their own juices for up to 30 days. This is an easy process that results in creating a unique, flavorful pickled taste with a wonderful silken texture. They are great in salads, salsa, dips, chicken, lamb and pasta dishes.

You will also be shown how to make lemon curd, a decadent, creamy delight that can be used in pies, pancakes and even oatmeal. But it never seems to last until the next morning at my house!

Finally, safe methods to store, preserve and enjoy oranges will be discussed, as well as marmalades.

The workshop will be held in the auditorium adjacent to the parking lot at 2156 Sierra Way in San Luis Obispo from 10 a.m. to noon. There will be a $5 charge to cover class supplies, and you must register at http://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=19887 as space is limited.

If you have any questions regarding the class or general preserving questions regarding water bath canning, pressure canning, freezing or dehydrating, call our UCCE Master Food Preserver Helpline at 805-781-1429 and leave a message, or email the UCCE Master Food Preservers at slomfp@ucanr.edu.

A UCCE Master Food Preserver is available every Wednesday from 1 to 3 p.m. to assist you with your questions.

To view seasonal preserving recipes, food safety information, articles on food preservation, or other classes available in 2017 from the UCCE Master Food Preservers, visit http://cesanluisobispo.ucanr.edu/YouthFamilyCommunities/Master_Food_Preserver_Program/.

Tami Reece is a UCCE Master Food Preserver.

Got a gardening question?

In San Luis Obispo, call 805-781-5939, Arroyo Grande, 805-473-7190, and Templeton, 805-434-4105. Visit us at http://ucanr.org/sites/mgslo/ or email us at anrmgslo@ucanr.edu. Follow us on Instagram at slo_mgs and like us on Facebook. Informative garden workshops are held the third Saturday of every month, 10 a.m. to noon at 2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo. Garden docents are available after the workshop until 1 p.m. To request a tour of the garden, call 805-781-5939.