It’s mandarin time of the year, and the orchards are bursting with bright orange fruit. The mandarin is well-loved for both its sweet taste and its powerful health benefits, and around here, the trees thrive. The valley is home to many mandarin orchards, all of which have their own special features, from picnic areas to nature trails to cafes. During the first and third weekends in December, Placer County mandarin orchards will be celebrating the harvest with Mountain Mandarin Orchard Days. The family-friendly festivities will include orchard tours, mandarin-inspired foods, local wine and ale tasting, artists and crafters, antique tractors, carousels, farm animals, live music and more. You will also have the opportunity to pick your own mandarins, as well as sample and purchase mandarins and mandarin products. Some farms also offer wholesale options, organic options and other seasonal produce such as Meyer lemons, persimmons, blood oranges, Asian pears, kiwis, walnuts and much more. You can go to Mountainmandarins.com to see the full list of activities, produce and amenities that each orchard offers, and to see where the orchards are located. Theses are free all-ages events, and families are invited to attend.
**This write-up first appeared in print on page 12 of issue #253 (Nov. 20 – Dec. 4, 2017)**