The chilly temperatures and wet weather of late Fall help these breathtaking fruits to produce sweet flavors that dress up meals with a wealth of flavor and fight off winter’s wrath. Citrus is loaded with vitamin C so they’re perfect to prevent or overcome illness during flu season. Like little orbs of packaged sunshine, these bright gems seem to stand in defiance to Jack Frost.
Our farm sits in a little microclimate, protected on 3 sides by Table Mountain. Our exposure faces West so every night as the sun sets, we have a pocket of about 400-500 acres that retains heat. The mountain’s vertical face also absorbs massive amounts of heat since it’s solid basalt. Like a big heating block, the thermal energy is radiated back into the orchard throughout the night, warding off winter’s chill. This doesn’t make us impervious to weather conditions, but it gives us a leg up, and we are typically one of the last farms in our county to have issues with freezes.
Citrus is available for shipping when it’s in season, and provided we have ample volume available. Please check our Shop for availability.
Sweet Seedless Satsuma Mandarins
In a typical year our Satsuma Mandarins (Origin and History) become available the week of Thanksgiving and are available until Christmas. They’re easy to peel, seedless, juicy, and very sweet. They don’t keep as well as other citrus though, so don’t keep them in the fridge. They’re best stored somewhere cold and dry; the garage can be an ideal place provided there is no an issue with freezing. Usually people eat them so fast that storage doesn’t become an issue. But if you’ve had your fill, or the mandarins are starting to dry out, you can juice and freeze the juice for long-term storage.
Mandarin and Cranberry Relish
Delicious Sweet Navel Oranges
Navel Oranges (Origin and History) are the premier eating orange. Early Navel Oranges usually start ripening around January, but the bulk of the fruit doesn’t come on until later in the month. Most farms flash pick their entire orchard at once. We prefer to leave the fruit on the trees and pick it as needed. This way, it continues to sweeten all season long; occasional fruit may even make it until the middle of summer. Week after week, the oranges get better until we sell out.
Kept dry and cool, oranges can keep for weeks. Most citrus will mold extremely quickly under the presence of moisture. Navels are not known for juicing because they have a high content of limonin which develops a bitter flavor when exposed to oxygen. Fresh juice from navels is great, however, when used right away. Even though most websites say that freezing the juice leads to the same result, we haven’t found that to be the case. Most folks just peel or slice them and eat them as is. Their sweet citrus flavor makes them hard to resist, a welcome dose of sunshine on dreary winter days.
Pink & White Grapefruit
We have both pink and white grapefruit (Origin and History), which ripen around February. Like the navels, they continue to ripen and sweeten all year long. If we have a big crop it’s not unusual for us to have grapefruits available all year round. Our grapefruit are very large, thick skinned, and incredibly sweet and juicy. Many people who don’t like store-bought grapefruit enjoy ours.