With 1,839 acres of lemons throughout California, Limoneira is one of the largest lemon producers in North America. In its 120 years of operation, the Company has introduced a number of innovations that have added significantly to the citrus industry. Charles Collins Teague arrived at Limoneira in 1893 at the suggestion of his great uncle, Wallace Hardison, a Limoneira co-founder. Teague, eventually became a director of the Company and Chairman of the Board of Directors. He established a reputation as an astute agriculturalist and developed strategies to overcome problems related to pest disease and control, weather damage and fruit handling. He contacted university agriculture departments to sponsor research, spoke at conferences and contributed to agricultural journals.
He introduced an improved ventilation system in the early nineteen century to eliminate decay to lemons due to the accumulation of moisture. This storage or curing system, known as the “Teague Method” was used exclusively in the industry until air-conditioning became available.
In the 1920s, Limoneira utilized entomologists and pathologists to conquer diseases and set up field laboratories to test new developments in handling and packing, knowing that success depended on uncompromising standards of grading and packing.
In the 1940’s, Limoneira developed the Limco 8A (bred in Limoneira’s Olivelands 8-A orchard), a new lemon variety that proved more resistant to disease, yielded more fruit, was high in quality and maintained a strong shelf life. This variety remains one of the standard bearers for lemon production throughout the world.
Limoneira was at the forefront in developing a fumigation system to permit the reuse of land invested with root-destroying nematodes. Limoneira’s research department eventually found a practical method to disinfect the soil. These methods came to be employed in citrus growing regions throughout the world.
A 1956 Saturday Evening Post article identified Limoneira as one of America’s agricultural show places” a status conferred upon the company by the U.S. Department of state.
The thread of innovation continues through Limoneira’s fiber and bridges our past with tomorrow’s promise. Solar Orchards, organic recycling, optically scanned and graded produce, integrated pest management, live-walk, work communities and new social marketing programs are just a few of the ways Limoneira pushes the lemon forward.
“Teague Method” – A curing method that controlled temperature and humidity of fruit. This method used canvas tarps to cover the fruit and well ventilated, open-air storage sheds. This method was used exclusively until air conditioning became available.