Satsuma

“Satsuma”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

One of my favorite childhood memories centers around my sister and I playing in the far back garden at my parents’ house. In that area were three satsuma mandarin trees and a grapefruit tree. Nothing was sweeter in the spring than the aroma of the blooming citrus trees. In the summer, we would pretend that each tree with its drooping branches was a house, and in early fall, when the fruit ripened, anytime we were hungry or thirsty, we would just reach up and pull a satsuma off the tree, peel it, and then eat it. Talk about carefree times.

When I finally had my own home, one of the first plants that went in the ground was a satsuma mandarin (Citrus reticulata). This is the citrus of choice along the Gulf Coast because it can take colder weather (temperatures in the mid teens). While this small tree does need full sun to do well, ours grows under pine trees and still does fine.

 

 

For us, the best thing about this fruit is the ease of peeling it and the lack of seeds. The peel of a satsuma is a little leathery, but is easily pulled away from the fruit. No knife required. Ours also has little or no seeds, another plus when snacking. The flavor is sweet and not very acidic – perfect for a simple dessert after any meal.

 

 

While these citrus trees are hardy to zone 8b, they can be grown in colder areas in containers that can be brought in when temperatures hit the mid twenties. An unheated garage where temperatures do not get below twenty would be fine. Since these trees will grow four to six feet in a container even after many years, they could also be brought inside a house for the winter.

Having this wonderful fruit around at this time of year is doubly appreciated. First is the great taste, and second is the wonderful memories of childhood.

Fruit Trees

“Fruit Trees”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

The fruit trees that were planted last year are doing very well.  I expected that the pear tree might bear a few fruit this year as the Bartlett pear tree that was planted several years ago is doing extremely well.  The new one does not have that many pears, but for a new tree, it is surpassing expectations.  I am surprised that the birds are leaving it alone.  Maybe having all those feeders and bird baths are keeping them too busy to check out the fruit trees.

The two new peach trees are also doing very well.  I tried to talk hubby into taking some of them off when they were tiny and just starting because the tree may not support all of them, but he would not do it.  So, we will have to see if they all stay on until they are ripe.  They certainly look good.

The citrus trees are doing well, as usual.  We have been growing Satsumas for about ten years now.  They, too, have a lot of fruit that we will be able to harvest.  Our new little lime tree, however, only kept two limes this year.  I know that this is not unusual for new citrus trees not to hold on to their fruit, so I guess the mojitoes will have to wait for another year.

Hubby also planted three fig trees last year, but the figs are still tiny and few.

So our “orchard” progresses.  We are hoping in a few years to have a bumper crop from every tree, but only time will tell if we get our wish.