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First Satsumas of the Season

Posted by hoosierquilt z10a/23 Vista Calif (My Page) on
Sun, Nov 25, 12 at 15:08

Thought I'd share a photo of my first Okitsu Wase satsumas. As with all satsumas, this cultivar is very prolific. This is a small tree, about 2 to 2 1/2' tall, just planted this spring. I had two fruit on it when I bought it, so I left them on. It is growing vigorously, and has set another 13-20 fruits in varying sizes, that will probably be ready ealier in it's normal season, which is October through December. Wase means "early" in Japanese, and this is one of the better early satsuma cultivars that are very popular in Japan. I think because there were only two fruits, they ended up being bigger than normal. Much bigger. The size of a large orange. The skin is a bit greenish, but I attribute this to not having a lot of cool summer nights this year. I'm seeing this in all my citrus, although things are now starting to color up nicely for my later citrus. I snapped the pic with some other citrus for size comparisons, a Rio Red grapefruit, a Chandler pummelo (which is not overly large as Chandlers go), and a Wonderful pomegranate. I will commence the eating with lunch today! Yum, just love winter, it means citrus are ripening, yea!

Patty S.

Here is a link that might be useful: UC Citrus Variety Collection: Okitsu Wase Satsuma


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

My Miho Satsuma was the same way. First year with just a few fruit that were very large. They matured very early.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

My Miho didn't have any fruit this year, so hopefully next. I know it takes a few years for Satsumas to really reach their prime, so not holding my breath on these, but sure fun to see the pretty new fruit.

Patty S.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

Patty,

Is that one of the pomelos you had supported by buckets?

Some Chandlers in the heat of my lemon farm get the size of volleyballs.

John


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

No, one of my neighbors. Mine are as big as volleyballs this year :-) I think they'll be more normally sized next year, since I'll probably leave more fruit on. Because I thinned the tree due to being so young, I think I made the remaining fruit bigger.

Patty S.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

Thinning most certainly makes them larger. For my Antigua garden Meyers, which are for show lemons, demo lemons, marketing, etc., I thin them constantly and the result is average size of half a pound. BTW, on Saturday I picked 200 show lemons from my two trees there; they weighed 110 lbs and that is definitely overripe (read dark yellow and less juice).
That makes 600 lemons I have harvested from those two trees this year and they have another 200 left on the tree for the February show in Berlin.
Today I delivered 600 lemons to my exporter for air shipment for European broker samples; and 100 manufacturing grade lemons to the biggest ice cream maker in Central America for trials.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

That looks like Sumo orange. I wander if I can find it in TX.
My Miho produces its first 15 fruits this years. The last 12 were all consumed on Thanksgiving Day. Everyone thought they were better than Cuties.

Photobucket


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

You might be able to find the Okitsu Wase mandarin in Texas because it is also very early like the Miho. I think next year it will not be so big and puffy, nor will it have such a pronounce neck, either. I plan on a snack this afternoon, so I'll report back on flavor.

Patty S.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

Well, YUM is right!

Fantastic Patty. I am very impressed with your hard work and the colors of the fruit! Oh, if only I could visit for a fruit or two:-0)

I hope you are well and thank you for sharing these wonderful fruit withm us!

Ripeon!

Mike


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

Well, if you're ever out to the west coast, Mike, you know I've got a nice guest room set up that overlooks the front slope where most of my citrus are planted :-) I'm just tickled to even get fruit at all this season. Satsumas remind me of Christmas as a kid. I always got one in my stocking, in the toe. Best part of my Christmas stocking!

Patty S.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Tue, Nov 27, 12 at 20:30

Nice fruit. I thought that Kishu was the earliest mandarin. Mine are close but not ready yet, maybe a week or two off. Four winds has Kishu listed as earlier than Oware. Looks like the Miho & Okitsu Wase Satsumas have them both beat. Let us know how the Okitsu Wase taste and if they are seedless.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

Okitsu, Miho, Seto and Kishu all ripen at about the same time, starting in October, mrclint. Owari is a little later, about December. I don't have any Kishu this year (brand new tree), so I can't comment on my little orchard, but I'll watch to see how Kishu comes in, compared to both my Okitsu and my Miho next season. The Okitsu Wase mandarins were very good. I think they would have been better two weeks ago, and suspect I left them on too long, and was fooled by the greenish cast. They were very sweet, probably a little sub-acid, and fairly juicy, probably would have been a little more balanced and juicy two weeks ago. But still very delicious, I was very happy with the taste. We're so used to citrus coloring up here in California, but we had a very long and warm summer and fall, including very warm evenings, so we had a much more tropical set up this year. I see this in several of my trees, which are coloring up later, now that we're having cooler nights. And, I only got one plump seed from the two large mandarins, so yes, nearly seedless.

Patty S.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

Thats nice because I was scared I was the only one noticing the color of the citrus this year...lol

People kept thinking I was crazy talking about how the fruit looks funny...hehehe

Still taste good tho =)

Looks good Patty =)


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Tue, Nov 27, 12 at 22:35

Holy cow, you are right. I just brought in a "yellowish" Kishu and it tasted like a Kishu should -- like tangerine lifesavers. And the fragrance when peeling it was incredible. Good snackin' is here!


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

Yup, very, very weird coloration this year for me. My Cara Cara navels, which should not be coloring up for a while, yet, are already turning yellow to orange. They won't be ready at the earliest this January, but really more like February to March. Very odd. Think I'll pick one of my Chandler pummelos tomorrow. Yumm!!

Patty S.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Wed, Nov 28, 12 at 10:30

The good news is that citrus will benefit from sitting on the tree a bit longer. So waiting for better color doesn't really have a down side.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

Not really, mrclint. Satsumas (in fact, most mandarins) that sit too long tend to get puffy, dry and sub-acid. There are some exceptions: Seedless Kishu,does sit well on the tree and Gold Nugget mandarins are exceptionally long lasting on the tree. Meyer lemons and Moro Blood oranges will develop an off-flavor if left on the tree too long as well. In general, most citrus should not be left on the tree overly long. They can become sub-acid, dried out or off-tasting. A small number of citrus cultivars can, and hence are very attractive cultivars for our dooryard situation :-)

Patty S.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Wed, Nov 28, 12 at 15:53

The problem is quantifying just how long is too long. We are talking art versus science. :)

Yes, as in all things your mileage and tastes may vary. Citrus may not hold well for every local, every variety, or for everyone's conditions. I can only tell you from personal experience that the following citrus will hold well and often improve if left to sit longer on the tree:
Washington Navel
Meyer Lemon
Valencia Orange
Lane Late Navel
Kishu Mandarin
Oro Blanco Grapefruit

I would recommend that folks experiment a little and not just harvest all their citrus at one time. Don't be afraid to allow a few to shrivel a bit as well.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

And here is what I (and commercial growers) have found:

Washington Navel can become sub-acid and dry
Meyer can become off-tasting (piney tasting. I don't mind it, for others it's a real turn-off)
Valencia can last forever on a tree. Amazingly long. I am still picking off Valencias from the abandoned orchard behind me
Lane Late, same as Washington Navel, but not quite as bad
Kishu will stay on a long time and be just as good as ever
Oroblanco (and Melogold) will also stay on well, might dry out a bit
Rio Red, stays on forever, and will sweeten up, especially if you get a heat spell, which we often due about the time it's ready to be picked, so I leave mine on longer

I would say this is more science than art, but your results will vary depending on where you live, and how you grow your citrus. Many variables come into play with ripening times and brix. So, perhaps more an "art" of applying science to your orchard :-) But there really are some citrus you just shouldn't leave on the tree too long, or you'll miss their best time. That just happened with my two Okitsu Wase satsumas due to me being fooled by their color. If I had picked them two weeks ago, they would have been better.

Patty S.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Wed, Nov 28, 12 at 17:03

Are you sure it is science over art? What then is the science that you and commercial growers are using? Are you taking a brix reading and then harvesting all the fruit when it reaches your desired sugar level? What is sub-acid and how do you quantify it scientifically -- with a pH reading?


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

I can tell you with Meyers in a commercial environment, it is often as much about the buyer as about the fruit. The fruits we sent to Europe this week were harvested between 1 and 15 November, an ideal time for quality, shipping, arriving for the Christmas season, etc. We have picked some 15 October, mostly for tests; and they are excellent, especially a cupla weeks after harvest.

Last year, because we had committed to send lemons to Berlin for the big show in February, we left a cupla hundred on the tree until the first of February; they became deep orange, lost a little juice and weight, but were widely acclaimed by the buyers/consumers at the show; when the Meyer gets to that stage, it can be easily peeled, like an orange, and many at the show were walking around sucking on the peels.

BTW, that is the stage of harvest that gives rise to the myth that the Meyer peel is too delicate and will not last long off the tree. True enough; but if you are shipping by air it lasts long enough.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

Commercial growers will regulate water, fertilizer, planting spacing, etc. in order to time ripeness determined by brix as well as solids ratio, for their particular cultivars, mrclint. Commercial growers actually have legal solids ratios and brix to state when things are "legally ripe". There is "science" to that :-) But, of course we are always at the mercy of Mother Nature, who can throw all our scientific plannings into disarray :-) It's never just a seat of the pants proposition, but science tempered by trial and error. I wouldn't necessarily say one over the other, but I would say a good scientific foundation, and then a lot of trial and error based on where you live. I remember when I was getting started, and I asked one of my commercial growers how they determined the watering of their citrus groves, considering water out our way commands the same price as gold. I was prepared for some very complicated, scientific explanation and formula. The fellow told me, "Well I just kind of keep my eye out across the orchard. If the leaves start to cup, I water." I was so surprised at that, as watering (too much or too little at the right/wrong times) can significantly affect fruit quality as well as splitting in some varieties. I think this was a perfect example of this grower's many years of trial and error, and just having the sense his grove needed to be watered.

For us hobbyist growers, it really helps to understand the science, then we apply that science to our growing conditions, and through trial and error, come up with what works best for each of us, in our specific areas, and then try to make our best guestimates every season, based on what is going on with precipitation, watering, heat units, fertilization rates, disease pressure, etc.

Patty S.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

Regarding that commercial grower, who just sorta keeps his eye on the orchard, a state of the art grower today would have a drip system with maybe 7 or 8 emitters per tree, tensiometers in the field to determine soil moisture and a computerized irrigation control to water scientifically at the exact best moment. True story... I once talked to the production manager of Newhall Farms in California, who at the time was farming 400,000 acres. He told me that in the Spring, when the grape buds begin to swell, we send samples to the lab; and at that moment we make ALL our marketing decisions for the year, i.e., number of boxes to buy, size of the crop to commit/market, etc.; because AT THAT MOMENT, nature is done and technology takes over.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Wed, Nov 28, 12 at 18:08

There is a rather large window for when you can harvest the citrus I have listed. Most of the citrus that I have bought over the years seems to have been picked too soon. The science I am looking for is how to quantify just how long is too long to let fruit hold on the tree. Thanks!


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

I have spent years doing countless trials to learn that about Meyers. Doubtless there are many others doing the same for other varieties.

There really is no definitive answer; it depends in large part on the variety, but more importantly on the consumer and the individual taste of that consumer. For example, are you going to consume the fruit on the day you harvest it? Does the juiciness of the fruit matter to you, or the acidity, or the color... the real "answer" is... "it depends"


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

This was a smaller grower, but I'm sure he had all the equipment in ground for soil moisture determination, he just used his many years of growing experience to know when his orchard needed to be watered, and probably verified it with his tensiometers. This is a 3rd generation orchard. But, you're so correct, John. It's not an art so much as good agricultural science. And experience.

BTW, I'm so excited for you and your first crop. I can't wait to see how things go, so please keep your thread updated!

Patty S.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Wed, Nov 28, 12 at 20:09

"There really is no definitive answer"

That's pretty much what I thought. Thanks Johnmerr!

Patty and I will have to agree to disagree on art versus science. Searching on the phrase legally ripe citrus was not very helpful. :)


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

Well, I think John actually made my point, mrclint :-) I never said anything was definitive, but as John has pointed out very clearly, it is science that drives how commercial groves are run and maintained. We could learn a thing or two about commercial productions like John's. And, you can ask John about the "legal ripeness" definition. It has to do with brix and when citrus may be picked. Not something we need to worry about as backyard hobbyists, but very important for commercial growers, and it tells the grower when they may pick their crops and bring them to market.

Frankly, think we're splitting hairs. I think we can all agree that agricultural science has helped all of us to be able to grow better citrus, whether that's in our backyards or in large commercial production. The rest is up to our good common sense, experience and trial and error.

Patty S.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Thu, Nov 29, 12 at 13:42

Sorry if my questions appear confrontational or bothersome, but I asked at least 3x for the science that quantifies when citrus has been left on the tree too long. I enjoy your posts Patty, and respect your opinions -- even if we may disagree on allowing citrus to hold. :)

Rather than ask again, here's a document that details the holding capabilities of many popular citrus. Note that I have let Washington Navel hold until June, Meyer Lemons hold into summer, and Valencias for 18+ months without piney or other off flavors.

You mentioned sub-acid flavors, I'm not sure that I've encountered this - or if it would actually be a negative thing if I did. Sub-acid in stone fruit is a positive as it allows me to eat peaches such as Babcock at an earlier, crunchy stage. I like sub-acid fruits a lot.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

mrclint, if you look back at my many posts on this list, I reference this document frequently. I guess I didn't realize you needed an actual hard reference, and were questioning my understanding of citrus. I don't always reference myself, as I've done it so much on this forum (just search my past posts, you'll see many, many linked references, I'm not just making this stuff up as I go along.) This is one of many resources I have used in the past on this forum. Another great resource is the UC Riverside Citrus Variety Collection web site, which details about 2,000 or more citrus varieties (from which this document was partially based, and from the same professors, Peggy Mauk and Tom Shea, both of whom I have met and taken classes from). Another great resource is the Citrus Pages site managed by Jorma Koskinen, http://users.kymp.net/citruspages/home.html . As well as many resources from University of Florida, U of AZ, and Texas A&M. I also have about 4 or 5 scholarly reference books I also tend to go to, as well as the "Citrus Industry" volumes. Lots of good references out there, and this is known information. Sorry I didn't provide you with hard references, but as you can see by the reference you provided, what I'm telling you about satsumas not holding well on the tree and becoming sub-acid (or insipid) is the case:

"Satsuma Mandarin
Satsuma mandarins produce easy-to-peel and seedless fruit. The varieties, Dobashi beni, Okitsu wase and Owari all thrive in cooler parts of Southern California. Satsuma is sensitive to high temperature and thus there are no Satsuma varieties suitable to plant in the lower desert valleys. Satsumas are the most cold hardy citrus trees of commercial importance. They are also the earliest fruit to ripen. Fruit from both Dobashi beni and Okitsu wase mature at the end of October. Owari ripens a month later. If fruit are left on the tree they rapidly becomes puffy and insipid, however, fruit store well off of the tree. Some Owari strains have degenerated into poor trees due to its ability to sport readily producing new strains that are not productive. Most Satsuma varieties tend to alternate bear (see Q. 10)."

Acid drop off is well known in many citrus. Some are more prone to becoming sub-acide than others. And, I guess whether or not you find it unappealing, willdepends on how you like your citrus. Commercially, it is not optimal. It can make some citrus start to taste flat, uninteresting and bordering on insipid. For most people, there tends to be a line that goes from being sweet and interesting, to sweet and boring. Or even insipid. Each citrus has a different line to cross, depending on that cultivar's natural acid to sugar ratio. Some are sweeter at full ripeness, like the Cara Cara for example, and some are more sprightly, like the Tarocco and Sanguinelli. Different tastes for different palettes. I like my citrus to taste like they're supposed to - rich, with their correct acid to sugar ratio. By leaving it on the tree longer, some citrus will sweeten up but still taste interesting and have a nice balance, while other citrus simple get flat tasting.

With stone fruit, it can be the same. You want enough of a bite to be interesting, not so much you pucker up, but for me, not so sickly sweet it loses its interest. I tend to like all my fruit on the sweeter side, but definitely not sub-acid. The great thing is we can all make our own decisions as to what our palettes prefer. Each to our own tastes.

Patty S.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

I really appreciate this discussion so thank you Patty, John, and Mr. Clint.

Being an indoor grower it seems even for me that I can be fooled by color of the fruits.

For the first time, I have a Ruby Red grape fruit tree that is holding onto it's fruits. I have had a few drop since bringing it in but I think partly it was due to my tree being infested with spider mites, but now, I have that issue mostly under control.

The first fruit that dropped was a yellow green color and I thought for sure it would be a terribly tasting fruit. Boy was I wrong! When I peeled it, I was sprayed in the eye with juice. The pith around the fruit was a deep red color, and also the fruit itself.

I will say that the fruits are still under ripe. They were still slightly sour but edible. Now that first fruit was from a week or so ago. This fruit had turned more a yellowish red color so I am hoping for a better tasting fruit.

I also wanted to ask about the fruits I am growing. Now I remember what I read about allowing meyer lemons being over ripe, and I wont let that happen. I love my meyer lemon fruits, and I just don't have the patience for them to stay on the tree for more than a few weeks, and then I have to eat them. I have had a few that I could tell could have stayed on the tree a little longer but only a very few and I suspect that they were not totally ripe.

Now besides the Ruby Red, I also have the Oro Blanco grapefruit.

I would like to round out my small collection with a nice navel orange. What are your opinions here on growing a potted Navel orange? Is there a better choice for me? I also realize that most of you who live in the citrus belts don't have as much experience with growing citrus in pots. I know Mike loves his Navels, so that is partly why I am wanting one.

Thanks for any help and suggestions!

Andrew


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

Okay, for fear of not providing resources about when to pick the Improved Meyer Lemon hybrid :-), the common thought out there is to pick them just as they start to turn slightly orange-yellow. Now, for some folks, they can taste off or have a piney taste if left on the tree too long. So, some folks will pick them before they take on that orangish cast. I personally don't really notice it, but for some people, it can be off-putting. This is anecdotal, having had many discussions on this forum as well as the Citrus Growers Forum about the Meyer lemon with folks much more erudite than I (and pickier). So, I would experiment with your Meyer lemon, and see if you can distinguish a taste difference between lemons that are yellow, versus riper lemons that are yellow-orange. Then you can decide what level of ripeness you prefer, if any.

As to a navel orange. The good old Washington Navel orange is a great cultivar. I happen to really like the Cara Cara, which is a sport of the Washington Navel because, first off, it's a wee bit sweeter (again, this is anecdotal, you may find this in resources, but frankly, I'm not going to look it up, as I have tasted both and this is what I and many others on forums report), as well as the flesh has a pink cast, so it's a really pretty orange, especially in salads. Cara Cara ripens here in California Nov through Jan. Mine are starting to color up right now, but look to not be ready for about 2 more weeks at least. Washington Navel ripens about the same time. Four Winds carries both, so if you like sweet and colorful fruit, the Cara Cara may be up your alley. Both do well in pots in a nice, controlled environment. Navel oranges are a wee bit temperamental outside, and do so much like our hotter, dryer S. California desert areas, so tend to do better in our more moderate climate zones. THAT I can provide resources for, see below. They do tend to stay well on the tree, but I have found that sometimes mine can get a bit dried out. Now, that is anecdotal and my experience, and might be due to an occasional weird heat wave and drop in soil moisture. Taste is not affected, though, and being in a container, you have good control over watering and moisture.
Patty S.

Here is a link that might be useful: UC Riverside Citrus Variety Collection: Parent Washington Navel


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

Correction, the navel oranges "do NOT so much like our hotter, dryer S. California desert areas." Missed the "not". I live in "Navel" country, they do exceptionally well here in N. San Diego county, a few miles in from the ocean. Orange County used to be filled with acres and acres of commercial navel orange trees. I remember them vividly, growing up as a kid in Fullerton and Huntington Beach.

Patty S.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Thu, Nov 29, 12 at 19:22

Got it. Thanks for your patience, Patty. Satsumas are an exception (to holding well) that is worth noting. The degenerated strains and alternate bearing would be negatives to consider as well. I don't grow any Satsumas, and didn't grow up around any, so maybe the blurb about being unsuitable in hot desert valleys may include inland valleys as well.

Dang, I left Page Mandarin off my list above! It's like I forgot one of my kids. Found a Page Mandarin on my tree that was burning bright orange this morning -- and it was outstanding.

Andrew, I don't know what an overripe Meyer Lemon is like, which adds to some of my confusion. They hold long enough for me to get around to using them at my leisure. They are always good. My approach to citrus is to harvest them early, late and in between as needed/desired.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

Yes, you might struggle with satsumas in the hotter inland valleys. If you have them in an area, though, where they can get some afternoon shade, you should be able to grow them. I think they're worth it because they really are delicious, and taste different than the clementines. Plus, I happen to thing that the satsumas have one of the nicest forms of all citrus trees. They are very ornamental. They stay low, have a lovely drooping habit, long lanceolate leaves, and are very pretty landscape trees. So, if you've got a spot perhaps on the east side of your house, consider planting one. They can alternate bear, but often, with more mature trees what you'll see is a really heavy year, followed by a lighter year (not necessarily a completely barren year). Interestingly, it looks like my Miho and my Okitsu will have opposite alternating years, so I'll have satsumas every year. The Okitsu is absolutely loaded. The Miho has none right now. I'll see how my two varieties produce for me, and watch to see if fruit degenerates either in quality or quantity. Hopefully not.

And yes, I think everyone should have a Page mandarin hybrid in their yard! I just love the taste of this fruit. Mine is way packed with fruit (I really should have thinned it). I did notice this year, due to our crazy heat wave, that I had some splitting with my Page. No other fruit split, not even any of my navel oranges. Just the Page. But, there was so much fruit, that I didn't mind, so in a sense, it did get some thinning. Mine are turning bright orange right now, too!

I would say for me, over ripe with a Meyer is way orangy-yellow, and getting soft. However, for me, I can't taste the difference, so I don't care if they're on the tree longer than might be considered optimal ripeness. I think they make spectacular lemonade and limoncello. We do tend to use the less over-ripe Meyers for our limoncello, though.

Patty S.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Thu, Nov 29, 12 at 23:15

Interestingly enough (or not), my goal has been to walk out my sliding glass door and pick fresh fruits and veggies every (or any) day of the year. So far, so good. :)

When I was looking for early mandarins to fill in the Nov-Dec time frame, I visited the local farmers markets and sampled every Satsuma that I could find. They all were too acid, sour or just not very appealing. True confessions -- I've never had a Satsuma that I liked. I've had Kishu and Page and loved them, so I went in that direction. The family is shredding through the Kishus right now, so they will not make it too far into December.

Some years Page will run into the Washington Navel time frame, but this year they appear to be running a bit earlier than that. No need for me to get excited either way, as everything I have holds well, or word travels and they go pretty fast.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

Wow. I've never had a sour satsuma. Bland ones, but never sour. But, I'm with you on the Seedless Kishu. One of my top 5 most favorite citrus cultivars. They are simply outstanding. The most seedless of all my citrus. Haven't had a seed, yet. I have Brown's Select satsuma seeds planted, so I'm hopeful to get a few seedlings. They are earlier than Miho, Okitsu, Owari or Kishu. So, hopefully I can get some to sprout. My Page and Cara Cara will overlap as well, but that's okay. Glad to have both. No Lane Late this year, as this little tree had to overcome Phytophthora, but it's doing very well, now, and had a nice growth spurt this summer, so I expect fruit next year for sure.

Patty S.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

I had sour Owari Satsumas at the Mandarin Festival last weekend :-)
For some local orchards, the fruit just hasn't ripened properly....and for other orchards,
the fruit from certain trees/regions of the orchard is actually over-ripe (dry, loose-skinned fruit). It's
a real trick to harvest a full crop for market all at once and still have consistent flavor
from fruit to fruit.

My friends and I just go up and down the row of Owari vendors, until we find the orchard
that ended up with the best fruit by the third week of November festival deadline. Each year
it seems to be a different orchard.


Josh


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Fri, Nov 30, 12 at 11:36

This is a great time of year in the garden. The spinach is super buttery and crunchy, and pairs so well with the early citrus. Salad greens are also peaking and fresh Meyer Lemon dressing makes for a nice compliment. :)

Lane Late is a light bearer for me but is super sweet. We have them for dessert when they are at their peak around February.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

I wish I could have a veggie garden. It would take so much effort to build one that would keep out all the rodents I deal with here, it just hasn't bee worth the effort, sadly. Between the rats, the gophers, the ground squirrels and the bunnies, I would have to build a totally enclosed area on all six sides. Maybe when I have a ton of spare time. I miss having my own veggies, especially lettuce and greens.

Good to know about Lane Late. This will be a new cultivar for me, and looking forward to having it produce. I wanted to try to extend my navel orange season, and figured this was a good choice. It does well here, as well, and will also do better in the hotter areas of S. California and AZ, better than Parent Washington, apparently.

I'd love to have your Meyer Lemon dressing recipe if you'd like to share it. I'm always looking for more ways to use my gazillion Meyer lemons, lol!!

Patty S.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Fri, Nov 30, 12 at 15:00

As one of the regulars on the fruit message board has said, gardening is the gateway drug to starting an orchard. That has certainly been the case for me.

Lemon juice dressing is completely by feel, dare I say it's an art? ;)

1. Give a fresh lemon a good scrubbing (just get all the dirt off). If your lemons are small, try using a couple. The idea here is to use fresh right away rather than make a huge batch.
2. Use a microplane and zest the lemon. Don't dig into the white pith of the lemon. You probably know this from making Lemoncello.
3. Juice the lemon into a small bowl.
4. Add high quality extra virgin olive oil to taste. I don't use much, maybe 3-4 splashes.
5. Which way you take it from here is highly variable:
- Add a few shakes of 21 seasoning salute (Trader Joes)
-- or chopped or dried Italian herbs.
-- or just salt and cracked pepper.
- Maybe a slash of worchester sauce.
- Maybe a splash or two of high quality balsamic vinegar.
- And/or maybe a dab of Dijon mustard to taste and to emulsify.
5. Whip it good with a fork
6. Dip in a pinky and taste.
7. Add more of something to taste if needed and/or serve over fresh salad greens right away.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

Yum! Thanks, saving this and will play around with it. Anything I can do to use up my Meyer lemons. If I can come up with a good combo, I will bottle up and give as gifts for the holidays.

Patty S.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

For you folks that just "know" when you are zesting a lemon NOT to get any of the white because it is soooo bitter... With Meyers, that is NOT an issue; the peel is not bitter. For Meyer zest I use a vegetable peeler to peel the skin and then just chop it up with a chef knife.

Same for limoncello. At the Fruit Logistica show in Berlin last year, the folks were so excited to find the Meyer peel is not bitter; they were walking around peeling the fruit and sucking on the peels.

Same for juice..with the Meyer you can just throw the whole fruit into the juicer.

The future of the lemon world is Meyer.

If life gives you lemons, pray they are Meyers.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

You're right, John. I actually tasted the pith from my "Mystery" lemon (most likely an Italian femminello lemon) against the pith from the Meyer. I really think this is why our Limoncello is so incredibly smooth. There is zero bitterness aftertaste with our Meyer lemon limoncello. We have 3 different alcohol contents we make - 20%, alcohol, 26% alcohol, and 57% alcohol (not for the faint-hearted). It is extremely important to remove all pith, especially in our 57% product. I can attest that the pith is nothing nearly as bitter as my femminello lemon. We take extensive care to remove all pith, but have found we don't need to be as careful in doing that with our Meyer lemons. I really love our limoncello made with our Meyer lemons. It is absolutely exceptional. I can say with confidence that it surpasses the 6 different limoncellos we've tasted, all products from Italy. And, it has passed the multiple "Nonna" tests. We may make some Femminello batches, but so far, nothing touches our Meyer lemon limoncello.

Patty S.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

Patty.....

Have any fruit left over? lol

I have a question for you?

What is a Cara Cara like? I have seen them for sale. Do they flower profusely and is the fruit worth growing?

Hope you are well these days:-)

Mike


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

Well, my two satsumas are new, and only the Okitsu Wase had fruit set on it when I bought it. I thinned down to two, just to give it a good start, and because I wanted to at least have a couple of fruit right out of the box. So, no more satsumas for my trees this year, but certainly lots of other fruit just about ready.

The Cara Cara navel. Very lovely fruit, a sport of Washington Navel, so it is very much like the Washington navel with regard to blossom time (spring), fruiting time (Nov-Jan). It has a smaller navel, The Cara Cara has a fairly strong propensity to sport variegated branches which will produced variegated fruit, so that's a plus. And, the fruit is a bit sweeter, and the flesh is pink (due to lycopene). I really like the Cara Cara, and it's why I have this variety, as opposed to the Washington Navel in my yard. If you have room for another tree, I would highly recommend it. I have 3 navel oranges for specific reasons: Cara Cara and Fukumoto, both which have this propensity to sport variegated limbs, which if they do, I will be t-budding to produce a variegated tree, and Lane Late, to stretch out my navel crop a wee bit.

Patty S.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

John, it's funny you say that. I was zesting some meyer lemons yesterday, and I had an extra lemon that I decided to section (supreme) and eat the fruit. I loved it! Then I saw the zested peel sitting there and couldn't possibly throw it out! So I just ate the peel, and it was REALLY good! I was surprised. I might have to buy Meyers now just to eat the peel haha. Hopefully someday I will see your Meyers here in the eastern US!

Kristopher


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

I've only made Limoncello once with my brother...and we used Meyer Lemons.
The product turned out great, and sure didn't last long! ;-)

Josh


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Sat, Dec 1, 12 at 20:46

Does good Lemoncello really need as much sugar as the majority of recipes call for? I know if I cut way down on the amount of sugar used to make lemon bars, it actually makes for a superior dessert.


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RE: First Satsumas of the Season

Yes, limoncello does need a fair amount of sugar. The stronger the alcohol we use, the most sugar we find we need. You can experiment with different ratios of sugar to see what gives you the best mix and what tastes the best on your palette.

Patty S.


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