I am so excited because we are finally on the eve of citrus season! Citrus has a long history of symbolism and tradition, as well as nutrition and medicine. This cheerful bright fruit inspired humans and lit up the winter months for centuries.
(A gorgeous illustration that’s lit up our lives for decades from the book The Sun Egg by Elsa Beskow)
While citrus reminds many northerners of summer, these fruits are actually harvested in the winter months down south where the temperatures stay mild. December to March is the peak for harvesting, with the end of harvest time culminating in the euphoric scent of the citrus tree blooms – starting the whole cycle all over again!
In December lemons and an array of oranges shine bright on the trees during the long solstice night. After ringing in the new year, we look forward to the tangerine harvest (I loved when I had a honeybell tangelo tree). All the while, various orange and grapefruit varieties peak, offering a revolving plethora of subtle flavor differences the whole season.
Limes – well they are the rebels and ripen in summer (did you know they are supposed to be yellow when you eat them?), but harvest them green and enjoy all year long.
And these are just a few of the most common citrus types! I need to write an encyclopedia to get into them all! There are sooo many spectacular and unusual varieties. (For starters, have you ever tried bael fruit or buddah’s hand?)
Historically, citrus was given as winter gifts because that is when it was ready to harvest – before we had the refrigeration and shipping methods available today.
Ever noticed how oranges are better in winter than summer? It’s no accident.
The citrus you eat in the northern hemisphere in summer is either shipped a really long way or been in cold storage since winter. Yuck! Forego citrus in summer and enjoy peaches instead. Save eating oranges for the winter time!
But what about lemonade at my summer picnic you ask? Easy.
Buy lots of super juicy fresh lemons in winter – true meyers if you’re lucky! Juice them, freeze them into ice cube trays, and voila! Lemon juice for your recipes and water all year long. I do this every year because there is no way I could eat (or share) all the lemons off my tree in only December and January.
This can be done with any type of citrus and you can even freeze the zest in bags for baking recipes. While you’re at it, make some candied peels too!
Now back to giving citrus as gifts. In Europe, gift oranges as winter holiday symbols of gold. Visit China and other Asian countries at the new year (early February), and tangerines are given to symbolize fortune and abundance. Participate in an Earth centered tradition, and give oranges at Solstice to symbolize the sun and the return of longer days.
If you don’t live in an area with trees to pick from yourself it can be less fun to give tangerines as a gift, but there are plenty groves in Florida and California who ship unique varieties to your door.
For many, sending actual fruit isn’t practical, so why not give cheerful citrus inspired gifts for you winter holidays?
I have so many fun citrus inspired gifts in all my shops that will brighten your days – and those of your friends and family!
You know I pride myself on creating items for you that are useful, inspiring, and give you pops of nature in your everyday.
At checkout, use the 10% off discount code:
Every sale of citrus themed items from my etsy shop will get a citrus inspired surprise gift!
This sale runs from 11/13-12/7!
(The etsy shop will be closed for winter break 12/8-1/18.)
Want items like bath and floor mats, indoor and outdoor decorative pillows, larger framed prints, notebooks, travel mugs, and phone and laptop sleeves? Click here to check out my Citrus Collection on Society6!
November 14-18, 2018
Get the Art Bundle for Good 4!
Including $4000 of art related courses, workbooks and other great resources – including my online class Connecting With Color!
& The best part is that 25% of the profits are going to support Courageous Kitchen, a Bangkok based charity helping refugee kids.
In the bundle you’ll receive courses and classes on topics like painting, watercolor, calligraphy, drawing, mixed media arts, creativity, and more all bundled together for one low price. This is an amazing opportunity to get 98 art resources at such a low price. With so many products, it works out to about $1 per course!
The Art Bundle for Good is a great package. It’s super fun to have so many classes to inspire you all winter long!
What citrus varieties do you hope to score this season at your local markets?
Share in the comments below!
Share pics of your fruity finds on Instagram #wingswormsandwonder !
And if it’s right for you, click here to check out my sale, support small artists, and give bright inspired gifts featuring some of the world’s favorite fruit!
Seeds to Sprout:
Learn more about how awesome this bundle is for both art making and for helping do a little bonus good in the world! (And to see some of the adorable Courageous Kitchen kids your purchase of the bundle goes toward. (from last years post.))