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Our Citrus

Updated: Jan 24, 2022

At this time of year the farm kitchen becomes ‘citrus central’ (smells lovely) and I find myself up to my ears in various citrus fruits that are harvested during winter months.

Aha, I hear you wondering, how are we harvested citrus fruits in County Durham?

Well, we’re not! Global warming hasn’t yet advanced that far (although we could grow them indoors if we had the space).

I import our organic unwaxed citrus direct from small organic farmers (like me) in Europe, where the climate is warmer. By purchasing direct from the growers, I know exactly where my fruit has come from and how it has been grown. I know too, that no chemicals have been used on it, or any waxes sprayed on it.

That does mean it has no preservatives beyond what nature provides, and it needs to be processed fairly soon after it arrives, so my kitchen becomes a hive of activity, cleaning, zesting, juicing, quartering, cooking, bottling, dehydrating, making pectin, etc.

All of the fruit (many boxes) arrives between the end of November and mid January, hence ’citrus central’.

Today I have taken delivery if the ‘blood’ oranges from Sicily. And who knew? - the weather last summer was sooo hot there, that the ‘bloodiness’ of the oranges is reduced! So they are, I suppose, a bit anaemic. Every day’s a school day huh?! Anyway they taste great nonetheless.

All this citrus is what I will use through the year (until it runs out) to make marmalade. The pectin I make from the citrus helps to make jams and other preserves too. In line with our ‘zero food waste policy’, nothing gets wasted and the zests are also used in other products.

The Clementines were the first to arrive this season and the Clementine Marmalades are already made. You may have been fortunate to grab some of these at the markets before Christmas, but if not, don’t worry, there is still a fair bit left in stock.

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