It happens this time every year. January and February are full of all sorts of special events and winter pickles and ferments. We are just recovering from the holiday season. Then March hits and the phone starts ringing off the hook. Farmers from every nook and cranny are calling about their citrus being ready. I love all of the adventures down dirt roads picking up unique varieties of citrus, which will inspire me to create new recipes. We source citrus from Big Sur to Santa Cruz in many varieties. We have access to local Mandarins, Clementines, Valencia Oranges, Meyer Lemons, Rangpur Limes and Bearss Limes to name a few. It is always a great excuse to take the kids out of school and along for a journey.
We have a few more workshops where we are teaching how to make marmalade and have other fun with citrus in the kitchen. You can also order loads of citrus through the Food Preservationists for the month of March. We will consider shipping citrus if you request it nicely.
One of my favorite trips this year was to Marsalisi Farm in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Along the way on the dirt road we passed some Miller’s Honeybee hives, which is who we source our honey from. The two brothers that own the farm planted trees for their retirement plan. They planted loads of Bearss Limes, Meyer Lemons, avocadoes and macadamia nuts (that right….macadamia nuts!). We had a blast with them in the barn and riding around with them in the orchard on their ATV. We ate tree-ripened avocadoes with fresh lime juice squeezed on them and my son had a great time cracking open macadamia nuts for us. The day was one of those little reminders that life is amazing! Marmalade is a great excuse for a journey!
(top photo: Marmalade competition in England, From left to right: bee hives, macadamia nut blossom, citrus orchard, buddha's hand)