A Photo Tour of Burgeson Family Farm

trees loaded wm

On Burgeson Family Farm, our Satsuma mandarins are our primary crop, but we have planted a variety of specialty citrus and other fruit on our two acres in Newcastle, California. 

Big changes are coming to our farm over the next few weeks, so stay tuned. In the meantime, I am taking a trip down memory lane by sharing these photos of some of the fun things we have grown on this fertile piece of the planet over the years.

About 10 years ago we started planting avocados. We are growing the Mexicola, Stewart and Pinkerton avocados and are having some great results with these more frost tolerant varieties.avocado tree

The white powder on the tree is called Kaolin Clay. It is a fine organic clay powder we mix with water and spray on some of our trees such as apples and avocados. It protects the fruit and leaves from sunburn and also discourages insects. It washes off the fruit after we harvest.avocado

 

avocado low res

Mexicola Avocado.

Mexicola avocados have a very thin skin and buttery flesh. The skin is actually edible!

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During harvest season we often will host and open house where we offer citrus tastings.

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

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

clementine copyright final

Algerian Clementines

Our first citrus crop in the fall is usually the Persian (Bearss) Limes. They have no seeds and have more juice than most store bought limes. 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.

bearss-lime wm

Persian (Bearss) limes

Key limes are small, and have seeds, and are more tart than the Persian limes. 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.

keyt-lime-trimmed wm

California Key Limes

Oro Blanco grapefruit 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

blood-oranges cr

We also grow Tarocco blood oranges.These are interesting in that they color up and sweeten  in storage after harvest so we usually keep them for several weeks after harvest before selling or eating them.

Cara Cara oranges have pink flesh and otherwise are similar to a Navel orange.

cara cara orange

Cara Cara Orange

Washington Navel and Valencia oranges are your more common varieties, and they seem to be especially sweet when grown on our Sierra foothills property. Washington Navels are eaten as a fresh orange. The juice will turn bitter soon after pressing. Valencia oranges can be used as fresh fruit or for juice as they are the traditional Florida juice orange.

Valencia Orange

Valencia orange

Meyer Lemons 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

lemon tree with copyright

Meyer Lemon

Our Meyer Lemon tree typically gets between 500 and 1000 pounds of fruit per year!

We have 2 types of apple trees, Granny Smith and Winesap. The Granny Smith apples get very sweet and delicious if you leave them on the tree until late fall. Winesap apples develop more flavor and sweetness when you store them for a week or two after you harvest them.

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Winesap apples

Adrian has planted a lot of pomegranate trees over the years.

photoshopped-pomegranate-11 We especially like the special Parfianka variety shown below. They have softer seeds than the “Wonderful” pomegranate you typically see in the stores and the seeds are easier to remove from the skins.

Parfianka pomegranate

Parfianka Pomegranates

We love to make juice from pomegranates by removing the seeds, then pressing them with this little tabletop press.

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We grow a large crop of garlic every year, then set some aside to plant for the following year. Some varieties last longer after harvest, giving us home grown garlic year round.

home grown garlic cr

There are several types of garlic shown here. The big red ones are Spanish Roja. They grow very large in our well drained soil.

Winter squash is another crop that can be grown over the summer and stored to be eaten for much of the winter.

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Butternut Squash

We have found that Sweetmeat squash, which are larger, last a bit longer in storage than the Butternut.

Quince are an old fashioned winter fruit. We have one dwarf tree and it is prolific.

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Smyrna Quince

Quince must be cooked to be eaten and will turn a lovely pink color as they cook.

Fall is olive harvest season.

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We typically use some of the olives for preserving and the majority of them to make oil which we use throughout the year. 

Fuyu persimmons are also harvested In the fall. 

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Fuyu Persimmon 

Fuyu Persimmons can be eaten when crispy, like an apple, or when soft. Unlike Hachiya persimmons, they are never bitter.

In the summer we usually plant a vegetable garden. We especially have success with tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and squash.

end-of-season-harvest

Tomatoes are great to can, freeze or dry for the winter so a big crop is no problem.

Figs are another great summer crop and some of the heirloom varieties we are growing are giant! 

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Black Mission Figs

We like to dry the figs to eat for snacks during the winter.

We are not animal farmers, but when our son was young we did have chickens. He loved to play with them

evan chickens copyrignht

 

This is the time of year when all of these trees start blooming in preparation for another harvest season on the farm. The farm is abuzz with the humming of thousands of bees at work.

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limes-with-flowers

The scent of so many citrus trees in bloom is intoxicating!

Before we know it, we will have made another trip around the sun, and the trees will be loaded and waiting for harvest once again.

 

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Thanks for visiting. We hope you enjoyed this little tour of Burgeson Family Farm

© 2021 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

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

Winter Citrus Tour at Burgeson Family Farm

trees loaded wm

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.

 

taste1 watermark

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.

satsuma bag wm

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

clementine copyright final

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.

bearss-lime wm

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.

keyt-lime-trimmed wm

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