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.