Burgeson Family Farm is in the news.

We just finished an interview with CBS news in Sacramento and will be on their 10 o’clock news show tonight. They wanted to know all about our satsumas and the challenge of the cold weather. They will be shooting live from the farm tonight at 10. Check it out!

Here is the link to their story

Last night was not as frigid as the last few nights and it looks like the coldest nights of this weather system are over for now.


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


Mandarin Margarita Recipe

This one is for all the co-workers and former interns who enjoyed this cocktail at a previous holiday staff party. You know who you are…

Satsuma Mandarin Margarita

Mix together :

3 shots fresh squeezed Satsuma mandarin juice

1 shot white 100% agave tequila (such as Patron silver)

½ shot Cointreau

½ shot fresh squeezed lime juice

Pour this over ice in a glass and serve immediately.

© 2012. Dayna Green-Burgeson RD, CDE. All Rights Reserved.

Reproduction of any content in the article without the written persmission of the author is prohibited.


The colors of October

I love October! Okay, I admit it is my birthday month, which at this age is not such a great thing. But the weather…oh, October weather! The clear warm days, the cool crisp nights. The colors and flavors of fall.  Fall to me means the orange of pumpkins and winter squash, Fuyu persimmons and mandarins starting to color up.

The Fuyu persimmons are delicious just eaten like an apple. Unlike the Hachiya persimmons, which have a pointed end and must be dead ripe soft to eat, the Fuyu, with a rounded end, are delicious whether they are crispy or soft.  I peel them myself, as the peel is a bit tough, then slice them for a delicious treat.  They also can be used in all types of recipes. Try replacing them in recipes calling for mangoes; they make a fabulous salsa for example.

Here is the link to my California Mediterranean Diet website recipe for persimmon salsa:


Then there is the pomegranate harvest. Adrian has planted several different varieties of pomegranates and this year they are starting to produce. The Parfianka is a variety that has large seeds (arils) that are easy to separate from the pulp. They also have a very soft small seed, so they are not as chewy as other pomegranate seeds. The Wonderful is the type that we have been growing for years, and they have such deep red flesh, full of those wonderful phytochemicals that protect against heart disease and cancer. He makes delicious juice from these. It is a time consuming process but it is unlike any other pomegranate juice I have ever tried.

Here is a link to my post on how to make pomegranate juice:


© 2011. Dayna Green-Burgeson RD, CDE. All Rights Reserved.

Reproduction of any content in the article without the written persmission of the author is prohibited.


Breakfast in the fall

I must admit if there is one packaged food I do not understand it is instant oatmeal. It is very expensive, a waste of packaging material and  the flavored versions are very sweet with minimal amounts of real fruits. All oatmeal (except old-fashioned steel-cut oats) is pretty close to “instant” when you have a microwave oven.

In the winter we cook old-fashioned oats in the microwave with water, and add dried fruit or whatever fresh fruit is in season. In the summer we often roast them lightly in the oven or microwave, add dried nuts and fruit, and serve them cold with milk or yogurt (This is called muesli in Switzerland and our whole family loves it).  Usually we make a huge batch of this and store it in the pantry in a jar. When Evan left to serve in the arctic ocean in the Coast Guard, Adrian sent him off with 13 pounds of this muesli and it was gone within a few weeks. There is no mail service in the arctic to send him more, so when he comes home to visit we need to make a big batch.

This is how I make apple cinnamon oatmeal which is a favorite fall breakfast:

I spoon the amount of dry oatmeal I want (about 1/3 cup) in a ceramic or glass bowl. I add some chopped almonds or pecans, and half of an apple which I have peeled, cored and chopped. I add about a Tablespoon of raisins if I want extra sweetness. Sometimes I also add some wheat germ or ground hemp seeds for extra protein and vitamins. I add about 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (you can add a pinch of salt also) and enough water to almost cover the oats.

This is how it looks in the bowl:

Now I put it in the microwave and zap it for 1 minute. I take it out, stir it, zap it for another minute and take it out of the oven. I stir it and let it sit on the counter for a minute.

It looks like this now:

If you like it softer, add more water and cook it longer. I like texture…

Finally I top it with non-fat Greek yogurt, but you can also use milk, vanilla yogurt or anything else you might want to top it with, or nothing at all.

Nutrition tip: Oats and apples are both good sources of soluble fiber which can lower cholesterol levels. Almonds are also a good source of fiber and have some protein. Non-fat Greek yogurt has 3 times the protein of regular nonfat yogurt.  All the fiber and protein makes this a very filling breakfast so it should hold you over until lunch.

© 2011. Dayna Green-Burgeson RD, CDE. All Rights Reserved.

Reproduction of any content in the article without the written persmission of the author is prohibited.


Mediterranean Fish Recipe

I started this recipe with some fish I purchased at the Sacramento Natural Foods Coop. It was a Pacific Cod filet that was caught in the Pacific Northwest. The piece I chose was about 3/4 of a pound for the two of us, but a larger piece of fish would work just as well in this recipe. I checked the cod carefully for bones and pulled a few out using some needle nosed pliers.

I put a splash of olive oil and about 1/2 cup of white wine in the bottom of a rectangular ceramic baking dish.

I took 4 large tomatoes and chopped them up. You should have between 4 and 8 cups of tomatoes depending upon your preference. I had about 6 cups of tomatoes for the 2 of us. There is no need to remove the tomato skin. I also chopped up a large onion.

I picked a good sized handful of parsley and basil from the garden.

I removed the large basil stems and chopped these herbs up. Then I grabbed about 1/2 cup of pitted kalamata olives.

The olives were also chopped coarsely, and the herbs and olives were added to the tomato and onion mixture.

Finally I added about 3 Tablespoons of drained capers and a Tablespoon of olive oil and I mixed it all together..

I poured this vegetable mixture over the top of the fish, then placed it into a 350 degree oven.

After 25-30 minutes the fish should flake easily in the middle. That means it is done. Mine looked like this.

I mixed together about 1/2 cup of bread crumbs with 1/4 cup of crushed cornflake crumbs, 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and 1/4 cup of grated Pecorino Romano cheese. I sprinkled this over the top of the fish.

Now I put it under the broiler for just a few minutes until the breading had turned nice and toasty brown. It was ready to serve. I served it with brown rice.

© 2011. Dayna Green-Burgeson RD, CDE. All Rights Reserved.

Reproduction of any content in the article without the written persmission of the author is prohibited.


Drying Apples

Our little farm keeps us busy and well fed. We are getting to the end of the summer harvest season now, but I can still run out there and grab a few tomatoes, or a pepper, or some squash and cucumber to make dinner.

We have a Winesap apple tree which we planted when we first moved here over 20 years ago. The apples are not the best for eating but are good to cook with. Today Adrian picked the first batch of apples.

As you can see a lot of the apples have holes in them. We are organic! That means slice around the worms. He slices them thinly in a little apple slicer which cores and peels them at the same time. It slices them very thin, which is perfect for drying.

He then soaks them in some “fruit fresh” which is a natural acid solution which keeps the apples from turning brown. Then he brushes them with maple syrup, and sprinkles them with cinnamon. Finally he places them on drying racks in our little table top dryer and plugs it in.

When the apples have gotten very dry we remove them from the trays. They should be very crispy.

To keep them crispy we store them in mason jars with desiccant packages we have saved from other foods, shoes, anything we buy that has a package of desiccant in it. You know..those little bags that say “do not eat”! Just make sure the package will not leak into your food.

These apples are delicious. What a tasty treat for kids and adults alike. Great mixed with some toasted almonds for an afternoon snack. We also add them to oatmeal when we cook it to make apple cinnamon oatmeal without buying that packaged sugary stuff.

Nutrition Note: A recent Dutch study suggested that eating white fleshed fruits and vegetables such as apples may reduce the risk of stroke.  Apples contain quercetin,  which is a flavonoid, one of the multiple compounds in fruits and vegetables that are antioxidants associated with reducing inflammation and damage to the body that may lead to chronic disease. Apples are also very high in the soluble fiber pectin, which has been shown to reduce absorption of cholesterol and to stabilize blood sugar.

© 2011. Dayna Green-Burgeson RD, CDE. All Rights Reserved.

Reproduction of any content in the article without the written persmission of the author is prohibited.