Winter Citrus Tour at Burgeson Family Farm

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On Burgeson Family Farm, our hundred plus Satsuma mandarin trees are our primary crop, but over the years we have planted a variety of specialty citrus and other fruit on our two acres in Newcastle, California.

Below is a tour of some of the citrus fruit that we have for sale when it is in season. Customers contact us to order fruit picked to order to pick up at our farm, or at times have our fruit shipped to them through the US Postal Service. Our season starts in the fall, with the limes being the first to ripen. Our Satsuma mandarin harvest starts around Thanksgiving.

 

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If you have never tried some of these specialty citrus fruits, seek them out when they are in season and have a taste.

We are famous for our sweet, seedless, easy to peel Satsuma mandarins.satsuma-cut1 wm

Satsuma Mandarins

When they are available, we sell Satsumas in 10 pound bags, 5 pound bags and we also ship boxes.

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Have you ever tasted Algerian clementines? They are incredibly sweet. They do have seeds, unlike our Satsumas.

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Algerian Clementines

Our first citrus crop in the fall is usually the Persian (Bearss) Limes. They have no seeds and are incredibly juicy. They start out green and eventually turn yellow but can be used when they are yellow or green. The yellow ones are more juicy and sweet, the green ones are more tart and aromatic.

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Persian (Bearss) limes

We also have Key Limes. They are small, and have seeds, but they are very juicy and most importantly they are grown right here on our farm, not imported from Mexico. We use no pesticides or herbicides in growing any of our produce. Key limes can be used in any recipe calling for limes. We use them in cocktails.

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California Key Limes

We also have Oro Blanco Grapefruit. These are like a Pomelo, with very thick skin and sweet, juicy flesh. We peel them and eat them like an orange, and will often remove the membrane from each segment as it is so easy to remove. When you eat a peeled Oro Blanco segment, you will agree it is the sweetest grapefruit you have ever tasted. Because they are so juicy, they are fabulous for fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and have a very high yield. Of course you can also cut them in half and eat them with a grapefruit spoon but expect them to have more juice than a typical grapefruit.

oro-blance-trimmed wmOro Blanco Grapefruit

Sanguinella  blood oranges have a sweet tart flavor, with a hint of raspberry. They are popular for using in savory dishes and salad, they make beautiful juice for cocktails and delicious marmalade. Blood oranges are also fun to eat sliced in wedges. Try tucking some wedges in a child’s lunchbox for fun. Kids love the name and the color!

blood-orange-final wmSanguinella Blood Orange

We also grow Meyer Lemons. They are the most frost tolerant of all lemons. They are very sweet, aromatic, and juicy, with soft skins, and as the season progresses they get bigger, with thicker skin. Meyer Lemons are actually a cross between a mandarin and a lemon

meyer-lemon wmA large Meyer Lemon

Thanks for visiting and please contact us if you are interested in ordering any of the fruit in season for pick up from our farm.

© 2015. Dayna Green-Burgeson RD, CDE. All Rights Reserved.

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

http://www.burgesonfamilyfarm.com

 

Satsumas are not “Cuties” (TM)

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On our farm, we grow Owari Satsuma mandarin oranges. Owari satsuma are a genetically seedless type of mandarin orange, developed in Japan hundreds of years ago. Because they are genetically seedless, our farm is bee friendly and we have thousands of bees covering our trees when they are blossoming. The sound of the buzz of the bees, and the intense floral aroma of the trees in bloom is mesmerizing. Satsuma mandarins  have an intense sweet tart flavor, and are especially delicious when grown in foothill climates such as that in Placer County, California. Less than 10 percent of all the tangerine/mandarins grown in California are of the Satsuma type.

Cuties (TM) are a type of clementine (another type of mandarin) and are a brand name product. The name was originally owned by Paramount citrus, but recently after much litigation, Sun Pacific Brands split from Paramount citrus and purchased the rights to the name Cuties. Paramount now is marketing clementines under the Halo brand name. These are large, multi-million dollar corporations and they grow their citrus in California’s central valley, in areas previously used to grow seedless naval oranges. They also seem to have a lot of legal battles between themselves and others as discussed in this Wall Street Journal Article. They originally planted clementines that were not genetically seedless, and then used their assets to hire legal counsel to sue beekeepers for bees trespassing and causing their products to have seeds. This is a link to a copy of the letter written to one beekeeper. They now net their trees to keep bees away and also have started planting new varieties developed by UC that are genetically seedless. The majority of mandarins/tangerines grown in California are these clementine type of mandarins.

So, a satsuma is a type of mandarin, a clementine is a type of mandarin, but please, please do not call our Satsuma “cuties”….

 

© 2015. Dayna Green-Burgeson RD, CDE. All Rights Reserved.

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

http://www.burgesonfamilyfarm.com

New Years Cheer: Satsuma Juice and Cocktails

When we sort through our Satsumas before boxing and bagging them we pull out all of the “uglies” that we do not think are of sufficient quality to sell. Some of them have damaged skin, others are just too large and fibrous, some have hard green spots on the skin.

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“Ugly mandarins”

These mandarins are still very sweet and juicy however, so they make great mandarin juice. We just cut them in half and juice them using a citrus juicer. You can even squeeze them by hand, they are so soft and juicy.

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Delicious fresh Satsuma Mandarin juice

We have come up with some delicious cocktail recipes using the mandarin juice.

Sierra Sunset Cocktail

In addition to using the fresh squeezed mandarin juice, this recipe uses pomegranate juice, sweet sparkling wine such as Proseco, and Grand Marnier. The recipe for our home-made pomegranate juice is here:

https://burgesonfamilyfarm.com/2018/10/05/pomegranates-how-to-get-to-the-seeds-how-to-make-juice-2/

Fill a glass with crushed ice. Fill the glass with slightly less than 1/3 pomegranate juice, then add 1/3 sweet sparkling wine and 1/3 mandarin juice. Finally pour 1 Tablespoon of Grand Marnier over the top.

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“Sierra Sunset Cocktail”

For a non alcoholic version, fill the glass with 1/3 pomegranate juice, 1/3 tonic water, and 1/3 mandarin juice.

Mandarin Vodka Tonic

Fill a glass with crushed ice. Mix 1/2 cup mandarin juice, 1/2 cup tonic water and 1 shot of vodka and pour over the ice.

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“Mandarin Vodka Tonic”

You can also make a delicious Satsuma Mandarin Margarita.

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.

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© 2013. Dayna Green-Burgeson RD, CDE. All Rights Reserved.

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

http://www.burgesonfamilyfarm.com

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

 

Killer Tomato Sauce

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I have been making tomato sauce from the garden for over 30 years, but only recently did I come upon this method and I think it is the best. Why? Well it is easy for one thing. Just pop it in an oven, sit down to read a book or play with your kids or whatever, and get up every 15 minutes or so to stir it. The other reason is that the slow oven cooking caramelizes the sugars that are naturally present in the tomatoes giving a sweetness and intensity that you just cannot get with a stove-top tomato sauce. You will soon notice on this blog that I use a large roasting pan often to make my favorite easy meals. If you do not have one yet, I highly recommend a dark, steel roasting pan. To tell you the truth, I have had mine so long I do not know who the manufacturer is as the label is worn away  but it is indispensable in my kitchen.

I started with this harvest of tomatoes. The rain was really coming down so we needed to salvage them before it was too late.  A lot of them are cracked and a few are also not as ripe as I would like. The beautiful convoluted ones are called Costoluto Genovese.

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Adrian is removing the core of the tomato with a knife. This is a Cherokee Purple tomato, they often have a bit of green around the top.

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I put them in boiling water for a minute or so to blanch and help with removing the skin. I  took them out of the water with one of my favorite kitchen tools which is this Asian style handled strainer.

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After they cooled a bit we removed the skin and broke the tomatoes into rough pieces with our hands. Adrian is doing this over a bowl. We usually catch all the juices and scrape out most of the seeds into a bowl and discard them. I think the seeds make the sauce bitter. We put the chunks of tomatoes in another bowl ready for making the sauce. This can be done ahead of time and they can be refrigerated.

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I chopped some onions in very large chunks. I also peeled some whole garlic. It is not necessary to chop the garlic at all.

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Oops, time to run out to the garden with a flashlight to grab some herbs. At least I caught a glimpse of the sunset….

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I grabbed some of this fresh thyme and also some oregano. I kept the stems whole, no need to chop them.

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I  put some extra virgin olive oil into the pan. Then all these big chunks of tomatoes, onions and whole cloves of garlic, along with the stalks of herbs, are thrown into the pan. Sometimes I have added chunks of red bell peppers or eggplant also. I put the pan into the very hot oven…400-450 degrees is good.

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After 15 minutes, I opened the oven and gave it a stir. As you can see the vegetables have released a lot of liquid. I continued to open the oven every 15 minutes or so, giving it a stir, and then closed the oven. Eventually the liquid evaporated and it started browning around the edges.One more stir, then I gave it another 10-15 minutes or so and it was done. This step should take 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

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It should look like this.

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Here I am pulling the stems of the herbs out of the sauce. The actual herbs will have dissolved into the sauce and flavored it. How easy is that?

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I put it in a bowl and hit it with a hand blender until it is my desired level of smoothness. Notice the whole garlic clove in there. It will puree easily. The stick hand blender is another one of my indispensable kitchen tools. But you could cool it and put it in a food processor or a regular blender.

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This is it, the final sauce. It is delicious on pasta or as a base for soups. It also can be used on pizza…

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I froze some to use later. Believe it or not that huge pile of tomatoes cooked down to about 2 quarts of delicious concentrated extract of tomato…

Nutrition Tip: Tomatoes, especially tomatoes that are cooked and eaten with some oil, like these, supply lycopene which is a phytochemical known to be a powerful antioxidant. Research suggests that diets high in lycopene may reduce the risk of certain cancers, especially prostate cancer. One thing I know for sure is it tastes great so eat up!

© 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.

http://www.burgesonfamilyfarm.com