What a difference in perspective you gain from seeing where fruit comes from 1st hand. I’ve been to the Farmer’s Markets a million times but still didn’t gather all that goes into the care and growth of the fruits or vegetables. You sort of take things for granted when it is packaged and sold at your local convenient store or Supermarket.
I was recently invited on an adventure for ‘the citrus lover’ up to Ojai to get a first taste/tour of their exclusive “Pixie Tangerines” (they will be in the markets starting March 10th). In accepting this invitation I was able to walk the farms where the citrus is grown and learn all types of interesting facts along the way. Did you know that the tangerines get their color when the temperature drops at night and the weather turns cold???? I didn’t. Like most Americans I like seedless fruit and most of the citrus we sampled was seedless including the tangerines. Nothing prepared me for the exquisite taste of these tangerines….. I called them “jewels for the mouth” a burst of candied citrus tangy-ness with hints of berries and honey…… the PERFECT specimen.
First stop: Friend’s Orchards … this is a Father daughter team ran by Tony and Emily Thatcher. In addition to the delicious Pixie tangerines they grow, they also produce some of the BEST tasting ‘W. Murcotts’ I’ve ever known. Here are some pictures of their orchard.
Next stop: Churchill & Brennis Orchards….. Jim Churchill and Lisa Brennis , a husband and wife duo. Their orchard has been CCOF- Certified Organic since 2007. They have many acres of pixie tangerine trees and also produce the cute sweet little “Kishu”, look for it… only in season for a few more weeks. A little photo diary of our visit.
The great news is you don’t need to go all the way to Ojai to get your mitts on these citrus gems, Melissa’s Produce will be bringing them to you. Keep an eye out for this packaging….. when you see it grab away!