- Chloe Grabham
Pick your own mandarins- Watkins Family Farm
In a 24/7 society, we are so used to everything being available in the click of a button, a blink of an eye, a swipe of a credit card. This instant " I want it now" attitude is something which has significantly influenced our food industry, where the term " what's in season" is nothing but a buzz word of days gone by.
Seasonality becomes replaced with industrial-strength sized freezers that can keep all varieties of produce readily available all year round; not the best ethos or philosophy when trying to eat what is in season and what nature is determining should be eaten during different times of the year.
This weekend was a refreshing change from the neon glow of supermarket aisles and signs screaming out "This week's special" with pieces of something that looked it once had a life sitting there merciless. It was a chance to rekindle my love affair of picking your own fruit and getting back in touch with the grass roots of where one of Australia's most loved pieces of fruit, the humble mandarin comes from.
Watkins Family Farm can be found 75minutes drive north-west of Sydney in the scenic township of Wisemans Ferry and is a great day trip for the whole family to enjoy. There are over 2000 trees to pick from which feature two varieties of mandarins, Hickson and Imperials.
Pre-purchase your bucket and head to the open rows of mandarin trees which are just abundant with fruit. It is a rewarding experience being able to pick straight from the trees, not an industrial freezer in sight.
On the property, there are covered picnic areas, chickens and sheep to feed, fresh local honey to buy and fresh eggs straight from the chicken coop. It is a great way to teach the little ones about local produce and farming first hand.
In my next post, I will show you how to put all those freshly picked mandarins to good use with a fuss-free and flavoursome recipe for mandarin marmalade.
Watkins Family Farm
1006 Singleton Road, Laughtondale Via Wisemans Ferry
Only open weekends and select dates during picking season
Please check their website for dates here