Shop in our On Farm Farmer’s Market

We now have an on farm farmer’s market set up in our walk in refrigerator. You can arrange to come up to our farm at your convenience to choose from shelves packed with the freshest produce grown right here at the farm.

This week we have available:

Fuyu Persimmons

Parfianka Pomegranate

Wonderful Pomegranate

Key Lime

Bearss (Persian) Limes

Granny Smith Apples

Winesap Apples

Heirloom Pie Pumpkins

Butternut Squash

Chocolate Hachiya Persimmons

Meyer lemons

Garlic

All of these are offered at reasonable prices. Please contact us for more information or to set up a time to do your shopping!

 

 

Satsuma salad with bacon

 

mandarin bacon salad recipe photo2My son sent me a text message the other day that said “bacon and Satsumas make a delicious breakfast”.  That got me thinking that the combo of Satsumas and bacon, that  sweet and salty duo of favorite flavors, could be a good start for a few tasty recipes. This is my first rift on that theme and tasty it is indeed.

Satsuma salad with bacon.

This recipe serves 4 as a side salad. As a main dish, it could serve 2 and would be yummy with added smoked turkey or smoked chicken for some extra protein.

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh squeezed satsuma mandarin juice (our Satsuma are so juicy you can even do this by just squeezing them in your hand, or use a citrus reamer or other juicing device).

¼ cups thinly sliced peeled shallot

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 tsp. white wine vinegar.

¼ tsp. or less salt

6 slices bacon, chopped in large pieces, cooked until crispy and drained (save the bacon grease).

8 cups greens (I used escarole) torn into pieces. Spinach, sturdy lettuce or thinly sliced kale are other options for this salad. Arugula might also be a nice addition.

2 cups mandarins (peeled, cut in half and then segmented so they are individual segments cut in half)

2 ounces Feta cheese (I like to use the Danish Piknik sheep’s milk cheese which comes in a can with brine. It will store for a long time in the refrigerator in the brine. I find mine at middle eastern or European grocery stores).

To make the dressing, boil the Satsuma juice on the stove until it is reduced to a thick syrup (down to about 1/3 cup total volume). Add the sliced shallot the last minute or two of boiling, then let it cool down. Now add the olive oil,  Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, 1 Tablespoon of the reserved bacon grease and ¼ teaspoon or less salt (to taste) and mix well.

Put the greens in a bowl and add the mandarin pieces. Mix with the dressing. Serve into 4 bowls then top with the bacon pieces and crumbled white cheese.

mandarin bacon salad photo

Satsuma salad with bacon

To read more about our Satsuma mandarin farm, or to order our Satsuma mandarins to use in this recipe, please visit www.burgesonfamilyfarm.com.

Frozen Satsuma Smoothie

Satsuma Mandarin season is short and sweet. The fruit does not last very long on the trees after it is ripe, so we pick it as soon as possible. We will be harvesting mandarins for at least a few more weeks, and the fruit is extra sweet late in the season. This is the perfect time to save some mandarins for use throughout the year.

We like to peel the Satsumas, section them and freeze them on cookie sheets. Once they are frozen we seal them up in plastic baggies which we tuck away in the freezer to use later in the year. We also squeeze the juice and freeze it in ice cube trays or milk cartons to use later in cocktails or as juice for breakfast.

frozen mandarins

Gold from the freezer. This is the way to carry mandarin season into the summer!

Our favorite use for the chunks of frozen mandarin juice, or the mandarin sections we have frozen, is to make smoothies.  We start with a simple formula, equal parts frozen mandarin juice or frozen mandarin sections and milk. For example use 1 cup milk, 1 cup mandarin sections for 2 servings of about 1 cup each. We like to add a scoop of NorCal Organic (local) whey protein powder before blending it in our blender. This makes it extra fluffy and adds a protein boost for an easy breakfast.mandarin smoothie

Satsuma Mandarin Whey Protein smoothie. A delicious nutritious way to start the day.

You can use this basic recipe as a base for adding other ingredients. The mandarins are very sweet so no sweetener is needed, although you can add honey if you like. Frozen fruit such as blueberries, raspberries or banana are one way to mix it up. Sometimes we add vanilla or almond extract. Greek yogurt, vanilla flavored or plain, or adds another protein boost. Flax seed, wheat germ or hemp seed also add protein, B vitamins and essential fatty acids.  A handful of spinach or kale can give you a full meal in a glass.

We have extra ripe Satsumas, including “seconds” for half price, 75 cents per pound, available at our farm. These seconds are perfect for juicing or for peeling and freezing right away to use throughout the year. Contact us to arrange to pick yours up while we still have them available.

Wishing you a healthy and happy New Year!

Candied Mandarin Rind

Rind on wood tableDon’t toss out the rinds of our Satsuma Mandarins. They make delicious candied rinds to eat as a treat or to use in baked goods or candy. We love to make panforte out of our candied mandarin rinds.

For success with this recipe I recommend you have a candy thermometer or an instant read thermometer to check the temperature of the syrup throughout the process. You also should have some parchment paper, non-stick spray or vegetable oil or shortening, a good sized saucepan with a lid, and some type of heatproof strainer. Optional items are a cooling rack, and a dehydrator.

Ingredients are only the rinds, lots of sugar, and water.

When you are peeling the Satsumas, it is easy to keep the rinds in large pieces since the rinds usually separate so easily from the fruit. Larger rinds will be easier to candy although if you plan to use chopped rind in panforte or another recipe you can also chop the rind before candying it. In this case you may not cook it to quite as high of a temperature in the final step (try 225-230 instead of 240), as it may fall apart.  When I do that, I use it right away in recipes after draining it as chopped rind is harder to dry and store.

As you are eating the Satsumas, save your large nice looking rinds in a plastic bag in the refrigerator until you have enough to make a batch. For many of our customers this does not take very long! Remove any stem ends and slice or chop if desired, or leave in good sized pieces (¼ to 1/3 of a total mandarin rind is a good size)

peels

Once you have about 6-7 cups of rinds, you are ready to candy them.

Cover the rinds with a lot of water; you cannot really use too much so a large stockpot is useful here. Bring the water to a boil, boil for 10 minutes, then drain the rinds. Do this one more time. This softens the rinds and removes some of the bitterness. Note, mandarins can have much softer rinds than other citrus so use your judgement here. If the rinds are very soft and thin you may need to shorten the boiling time or only use one boil. Make sure they do not get so soft that they will fall apart in the next step.

boiling the peel

Once the rind has been softened by boiling, drain it and set aside.

drained peels

Now, in a medium to large sized saucepan, make a syrup using 3 cups water to 6 cups sugar. The height of the syrup should not be more than about ¼ up the sides of the pan. This allows room for boiling and for adding the rinds. Stir the sugar into the water, and gradually heat it making sure it dissolves. There should be no sugar crystals on the side of the pan so wash it down with a pastry brush with water or put a lid on the pan for a few minutes to let the steam build up to wash down the sides.  Be careful not to let the pan boil over.

sugar syrup

Once the sugar is well dissolved, raise the temperature of the syrup to a rolling boil and continue to boil until it has reached the “thread stage” which is 230 F on a candy thermometer.

Now add the rind to the pan and stir it in. Tuck the rind under the syrup as best you can so it is all being infused in the syrup.

rind in syrup

Put a piece of parchment paper over the rind to help hold it under the syrup.

parchment over the rind

Now let the rind slowly simmer in the syrup for about 1 hour. Once in a while you may want to remove the paper and gently stir the rind a bit and tuck it under the syrup again to make sure all of it gets infused with the syrup.

NOTE: Excessive stirring can break up the rind, and also cause sugar crystallization so a gentle touch with minimal stirring is important in this recipe.

After one hour, remove the parchment and raise the heat to a good rolling boil. Cook the rind in the syrup, giving it a gentle stir on occasion, especially making sure it does not burn at the bottom, until the syrup thickens and reaches the firm soft ball stage which is 240-245 range on the candy thermometer. Note: If the syrup gets very thick and stirring any more is breaking up the rind, causing it to turn to mush, or if the rind has absorbed most of the syrup, stop cooking it even if it has not reached 240. Anything above 230 should be fine.

Rind in syrup finished

Now remove the rind from the syrup. The easiest way to do this is to strain it in a strainer that has relatively large openings for the syrup to go through, or to remove it from the syrup with a slotted spoon. Be careful, the syrup is very hot and can burn you.

Separate the rinds out on parchment that has been sprayed with non-stick spray or oil, and let them cool. You may want to spoon them onto the paper when they are still hot, then let them sit until they can be touched at which time you can separate them from each other. If they cool all the way while stuck together you will have a hard time separating them.

rind on parchment

To dry further you can put them on a drying rack that has been sprayed with non-stick spray or oil, and put them in a warm dry place. You can also dry them at 100-110 in a dehydrator or in an oven set on the dehydrator setting or with the oven light on. Once they are no longer sticky they are ready.

Rind on racks

To store the rind, refrigerate it or put it in an airtight container and store at room temperature. Make sure it is kept very dry. You can layer it with sugar to help keep it dry. Keep an eye on it and do not store it too long though because if moisture builds up it can occasionally grow mold and spoil.

Use in recipes or serve as is.finished rind

Our Satsumas are not sprayed with any pesticides or herbicides or fungicides so the rinds are safe to eat. Although we are not certified organic, everything we use on our crop, even our fertilizer, meets organic certification standards through OMRI   We typically do not spray anything on our mandarins except an occasional one time per season use of an organic oil spray to protect the rinds if a lot of rain is predicted. We use hoeing, weedeating and flaming to control weeds under the trees, not herbicides

To order a box of our mandarins shipped use this link. If you would like to pick them up at our farm, contact us using this link.

For more about our farm visit our website www.burgesonfamilyfarm.com

Why we do what we do

The wind is roaring, it is pouring outside and we are wondering how many of the Satsumas left on the trees will survive this deluge. Over the past 3 days we have desperately tried to pick every ripe mandarin in our orchard prior to the storm. We had to leave many that did not meet our quality standards yet, as well as some that were ready when we just plain ran out of time. In an attempt to protect the mandarin skins from becoming like water soaked wet sponges, Adrian went back into the orchard after dark to spray the Satsumas with an organic oil spray to serve as a rain slicker for the remaining fruit.

Our garage has been taken over by the mandarins waiting to be packed and shipped. From morning to bedtime our living room is a hub of activity as we sort through Satsumas and pack them in boxes and bags and rush to the post office and local delivery sites to get them to our customers as soon as possible.

Why do we do what we do? There are many reasons including our belief in being part of a sustainable local food system, our love of being outdoors engaged in productive activity and our amazing fortune to have stumbled upon a piece of land singularly blessed with good soil, plenty of water and the right climate for growing Satsumas. And we owe thanks to Betty Iljana, one of the original Satsuma farmers in our area, who fostered our love for Newcastle mandarins years ago when Evan was a baby. Back then we would drive over to Betty’s several times in the season, buying paper bags full of perfect mandarins, usually hundreds of pounds a season. While we were there we would pick her brain for tips as to why, as Evan used to sing “Betty’s are the Best!”. Betty set the bar high for what a perfect mandarin should be, and patiently answered our rudimentary questions when we were planting our orchard.

But most of all, what keeps us going in the crazy harvest season is comments from our customers that come through email or on the phone as the Satsumas arrive at their destinations. Here are just a few that I have collected over the years, and from here on out I have made a vow to consolidate them in this post as a little inspirational list for myself and Adrian:

Your oranges are amazing!…JG

Our friend shared some of her shipment of Mandarins with us..they are the most incredible I have ever tasted!…TC

They are beyond yummy, as usual…GM

We just love your lovely mandarins….AE

I have bought Satsuma from 2 other farms but yours are simply the best!!!…KM

Got them, opened them, love them …PD

Oh my goodness!  These are by far the best Mandarins we’ve ever eaten!  Glenn picked them up last night at the bee meeting and we’ve been consuming them ever since. Thanks again for producing such a wonderful and pesticide free product.  YUMMMMMMYYYYY!!!!!!!…GM

I received them on Thursday and they are gone today.  My little girls absolutely loved
them, as well as a few guests we had over this weekend for a tamale
dinner. …VM

We are enjoying them very much…RF

I can hardly wait for your mandarins…SM

I received a box of Satsuma mandarins as a gift this week and they
are wonderful…KW

We received a box of your mandarins last year as a gift from a family member (and we’re about to receive one again this year!).  They were so delicious that we are interested in sending some as a gift as well…TG

The oranges have arrived safely and all have responded with very positive
comments.  Thanks for completing these orders for me…MR

my Dad LOVES them!!…LR

Hi Dayna, I am thrilled to get your mandarins this year.  I still wish you
are just down the street…JG

I am looking forward to those great
mandarins from your farm… J.P

You guys really have the best mandarins in the area…JG

Last year my mom sent me satsumas and a few lemons from your orchard, they were fantastic!…YA

Thank you very much for the update. My little girls are already asking when we get that bag of those delicious little oranges. :0) ..VM

Can’t wait to get my share of these Satsuma’s: we had them when we were visiting our friends and grandchildren in California over the holidays and we were hooked.  My husband who generally does not like citrus foods that much, kept eating them too…EV

The ones I tasted were sweet as could be and far superior to the ones in the grocery stores!…SO

The box with the mandarins and lemons arrived with todays parcel mail. The fruit is in perfect condition and is as flavorful as only your mandarins are.  The best I ever had Thank you…AMW

The Mandarins arrived and they are delicious…JF

Our good friends gave us a box of your indescribably yummy mandarins.  She was a little vague about how we could order some for ourselves.  I think she wants them all for herself.  I’m writing to ask that if possible you please include us as likely customers for you future harvests.  Then we could astound and frustrate our friends with mysteriously fabulous fruit just like they do…KM

Got ’em today, as did at least one of my siblings. They’re REALLY good. I’m sure you’re working hard down there, but it’s worth it! …PN

Thank you, received in great shape. They are most delicious and lovely…..DW

Your mandarins are so wonderful it’s totally worth waiting until they’re ready….AE