The sweetest Satsuma mandarins of the season. Available from our farm by prior arrangement.

By mid to late January, the Satsuma mandarin season is often over for us. We have usually sold all of the fruit, or the skins have become soft and the fruit does not meet our high standards. However this year we have a bumper crop, and the fruit has held up well on the trees and has ripened to perfection. The last few days, while picking this beautiful fruit, both of us have commented that these are the best Satsumas we have eaten all season, if not ever. Brix (sugar) refractometer readings in the orchard are often reading above 14. Those are some very high numbers and that means this fruit is extra sweet. Many Satsuma mandarin growers in California have sold out, but we will still have these “late harvest Satsumas” available for a few more weeks.

Now is the time to taste these “late harvest Satsuma mandarins” for yourself. We are available most days for sales by appointment. Click here for more info.

For those who are attempting to reduce their plastic footprint, we now sell our mandarins in a 10 pound box from the farm for the same price as our 10 pound mesh plastic bags. 15 dollars for the box. We also offer a 6 pound burlap sack of mandarins for 10 dollars. This sack is reusable and compostable and was made in the USA.

gift bag with copyright

In addition to Satsumas, we now are harvesting other delicious sweet citrus fruit that you can purchase if you come to visit us at the farm. We are still selling Meyer Lemons, Eureka Lemons and Washington Navel Oranges. We have a few of our “sweetie” Oro Blanco Grapefruit left but are almost sold out of those. We have just started to harvest our Sanguinelli Blood Oranges so we have a few available and more will be available for sale over the next few weeks.

Here is a little photo tour of what you will see if you come up to our farm to visit!

A few trees are still dripping with sweet Satsuma Mandarins waiting to be harvested.

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We have some of the largest, juiciest Meyer lemons and Eureka lemons that you have ever seen.

lemon tree with copyright

meyer-lemon wm

Our Sanguinelli blood oranges have started to color up. Still a bit tart with a raspberry flavor, they are perfect for use in savory recipes or for marmalade. As the season progresses they will get a bit sweeter and less tart.

blood-oranges cr

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The last of our “sweetie” Oro Blanco grapefruit have been harvested and are tucked away in our walk in refrigerator. These have been very popular and we expect we will sell out by the end of the weekend. oro-blance-trimmed wm

We are also selling “seconds” which are mandarins with skin damage that must be peeled and frozen immediately for smoothies or squeezed for juice immediately as they will spoil within a few days. But these are discount priced at 75 cents per pound.

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frozen mandarins

A visit to our farm is a refreshing way to pick up your fruit for the week. Skip the grocery store parking lot hassles, the fluorescent lights and the fruits packaged in plastic and instead come out for a breath of fresh air and extra fresh fruit packed grown without harmful pesticides and packaged in sustainable packaging.   trees loaded wm

 

For more information about our farm and our growing practices check out this link.

If you would like to contact us for questions about ordering, or to be placed on our email list, please use this link.

Thank you for your interest in Burgeson Family Farm. We hope to see you soon!

http://www.burgesonfamilyfarm.com

Late harvest Satsuma Mandarins. Get them while you can.

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As we pass into January the frantic harvesting, packing and shipping of our Satsumas to fill those holiday orders is behind us as another successful year passes into memory.  That hectic pace of December has slowed, the weather has cooled, and all of us are ready for our long winter’s nap. Our Satsumas have been associated with holidays and gifts, as a special December treat, so it is easy to assume that mandarin season is over too. Many of our customers won’t be seen again until next December.

This year however, we have hundreds of pounds of Satsumas still on the trees waiting to be harvested. The cold nights and dry warm days of the past few weeks have provided the ideal conditions for developing the sugar and flavor in the fruit. Many trees had fruit that was “not ready yet” in December, and now that fruit is perfect.

We use a brix refractometer to measure sugar in the mandarins before harvesting, and 12 or above is the Japanese standard for Satsuma. In December, if the fruit reaches 12 and has no green on the skin and tastes good to us we will harvest it to sell. Many of the “late harvest Satsumas” have brix of 13 and above but just finally have turned from green to orange and softened in the acidity. These are some of the best fruit of the season.

Unfortunately these perfect fruit also will not last long on the trees. The rain, wind and cold of January can soften the skins and beat up the fruit and soon it will be too damaged to harvest. We harvested a big pick yesterday and will not be able to pick again until after the storms that are predicted over the next few days. If they survive the wind and rain of these storms, we still anticipate only a few weeks before all our mandarins will be too damaged to sell. Now is the time to taste these “late harvest Satsumas” before they are gone.

Please contact us to arrange a time to pick up your fruit. On the farm we also have Meyer Lemons, Eureka Lemons, Algerian Clementines,Oro Blanco grapefruit and Washington Navel Oranges available for sale.

We also continue to ship boxes of Satsuma mandarins. For more information click here.

Thanks for your support of our small family farm. We hope to see you up at the farm in the next few weeks. If not, we look forward to seeing you next year.

The Burgesons

www.burgesonfamilyfarm.com

Our Shipped Boxes of Satsuma Mandarins

We are taking orders for shipped boxes of our sweet, seedless, delicious Satsuma Mandarins. When you place an order, the mandarins will be harvested, packed and shipped for you in a USPS flat rate box. Expect the mandarins within 3-7 business days from the time you order.  This is what to expect:

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The owner of the farm, Dayna, Adrian or Evan Burgeson, will hand pick the very best of the fruit from our Sierra foothill mandarin trees.

We will then take a USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate box and line it with another box. We will line that box with a soft liner. We do not use plastic in our packaging.

Box with liner

We will then hand select the mandarins to fit snugly in the box. We lay down one layer at a time. Sometimes we will put the mandarins sideways, or upside down to get a more snug fit. We may include both small and large mandarins to get a better fit so you receive the most weight for your money.partially filled box

Once the box is filled, we put our “Junior” mandarin and a card inside as a cheerful reminder that this box is from Burgeson Family Farm. The card also has information for the recipient regarding our growing practices and how to store the mandarins. filled box of mandarins

Finally the top layer is also covered with the wadding material for additional protection.

box with wadding on top  We then label the top of the box, close it up, seal it with packing tape and send it out right away, usually the very same day the box is packed.

closed box lid

We try to use all biodegradable and recyclable materials to ship your mandarins. We also attempt to use the minimum amount of packing material necessary to protect the fruit so you can receive the maximum amount of fruit for your money. On occasion a few mandarins may develop cracks in the skin during shipping, but if you open the box to examine the contents immediately upon receipt and eat those mandarins first they should still be fresh and delicious. We would rather use the mandarins themselves as “packing material” rather than using plastic bubble wrap, packing peanuts and other unsustainable materials to protect our mandarins when shipping.

If you would like to order shipped boxes of our Satsuma Mandarins please go to this link to read more about how to order.

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

We Now Offer Satsuma Mandarins in Sustainable Bags: These make great gifts!

gift bag with copyright

Our Satsuma Mandarins are now offered in reusable 6 pound bags!  These make great gifts for friends, employees, teachers, coworkers, family, or of course, a great gift for yourself!  These bags were custom made for us in the USA using food grade burlap which is a natural, compostable product.

These bags are filled with 6 pounds of our delicious, freshly picked sweet Satsuma Mandarins and are available from the farm for 10 dollars per bag. If you would like to place an order to pick up at the farm please contact us at this link.

For large corporate gift orders, depending upon quantity, delivery in Northern California can be arranged.  Contact us for more information.

If you would like to order shipped mandarins, we recommend our USPS flat rate box products which are available at this link.

We are now shipping boxes of Satsuma Mandarins

orchard harvest box

We are happy to report that our Satsuma Mandarin crop is abundant this year, and the fruit is of excellent quality. We have had a lot of rain, but during the sunny breaks we have been out in the orchard harvesting beautiful fruit, so we are finally able to take orders for shipped boxes of Satsuma Mandarins.

Our ordering procedures have significantly changed this year. We urge you to carefully read the information about ordering on this webpage  which also contains the links for ordering boxes.

We also have boxes packed and ready to go for you to mail yourself if you prefer to come up to the farm. And of course we have plenty of bags of Satsumas and our other produce available. Just contact us and we will have your order ready for you when you arrive.

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