Due to a warm spring and a mild fall, our Satsuma mandarins are ripe and ready for sale a little early this year. Here’s the scoop:
Satsuma mandarins are alternate bearing, meaning they produce a lot of fruit only every other year. This is an off year, but somehow we ended up with about the same amount as last year. Quality-wise, however, these oranges are definitely better tasting and have better texture than last year’s. Like wine grapes, our fruit will continue to improve in flavor over time, but eight years into our citrus growing experiment, it’s already pretty dang good.
Henry harvested about 250 pounds of tree-ripened satsumas right before the big storm, and we’ll be selling them locally. Our mandarins may not be quite as brightly colored as those you’ll find in the supermarket because it doesn’t get as hot here as the Sacramento Valley, but their looks don’t detract from their delicious taste. If you are in the Philomath/Corvallis area, and you’d like to order 5+ pounds at $3/pound, email Henry at firstname.lastname@example.org. He’s going to set up a time and location in West Corvallis on Sunday afternoon (December 15) for order pickups. He will respond to your email with more details if you’re interested.
For those of you who are curious about growing citrus in Oregon…
Henry’s been happy with several early varieties that do quite well in marginally heated greenhouses in this area but aren’t favored by growers in California for various reasons. The two he likes best, ‘Miho Wase’ and ‘Miyagawa’, ripen fruit before Oregon’s coldest weather, and they have great taste. Both ‘Miho Wase’ and ‘Miyagawa’ are widely planted in northern growing regions of Japan and seem well adapted to our climate. The standard California-grown Satsuma mandarin, ‘Owari’ predominates in southern growing regions of Japan, but it rarely reaches full flavor in Oregon.
You can read a little more about our citrus-growing program in this post.