It’s harvest time in the greenhouse. We’ve been eating Satsuma mandarins off our own trees for a couple weeks now, and they’re awfully good, especially when considering their provenance.
In 2007, Henry ordered 65+ year-old citrus seedlings from Tree Source Citrus Nursery (propagated from varieties kept at UC Riverside via Japan), and he grew them in tall pots for two years. Three years ago, he planted them into raised beds in our then-new greenhouse. The trees have been fertilized with compost and watered with rainwater and spring water.
The closest commercial citrus growing regions are hundreds of miles south of here, but some citrus plants are actually fairly hardy. Our trees will survive temperatures down to about 15°, but the fruit will spoil if temperatures dip below 28° for longer than 12 hours. On really cold nights (like some of the ones lately), Henry builds fires in the two big wood stoves at the ends of the greenhouse, and he stokes them a couple times in the middle of the night.
Aside from a smattering of random novelty citrus (pomelo, calamondin, kumquat, etc.), most of the trees in our greenhouse are Satsumas, including six different varieties: ‘Okitsu Wase’, ‘Miho Wase’, ‘Miyagawa’, ‘Armstrong’, ‘Kishu’, ‘Dobashi Beni’, and ‘Owari’ all growing on ‘C35′ or ‘carrizo’ rootstock. Henry’s favorites are ‘Miho Wase’ and ‘Miyagawa’ because they have superior flavor, and their fruit ripens earlier.
This is the first year that we’ll have more fruit than we can eat or give away to our friends and neighbors. Henry will harvest about 150 pounds of tree-ripened satsumas this week, and we’ve decided to sell them locally. If you are in the Philomath/Corvallis area, and you’d like to order 5+ pounds, email Henry at firstname.lastname@example.org. He’s going to set up a time and location in West Corvallis next Sunday (January 13) afternoon for order pickups. He will email you more details if you’re interested.
Update: Thanks, everyone! We’re sold out for the year.
We also have one meyer lemon tree, but those fruits are all mine and not for sale. I would, however, gladly accept your favorite lemon-centric recipes. Thanks!