Friday, July 8, 2011

Pick Your Own Mandarins: Watkins Orchard


I’ve never been any good at gardening, though I’d have to admit, that may be because I can never maintain interest in caring for a plant long enough that it survives its first couple of weeks. After successfully growing leeks for agriculture in Year 8, I had a short lived interest in growing vegetables, which resulted in me attempting to grow some lettuce in our backyard. Though I carefully planted and watered them for a couple of months, they only managed to grow to about the size of a fist before they decided to stop growing.

An interest in gardening obviously does not run in our family. There was one time when my sister tried planting a couple of mandarin seeds in a pot in hopes of growing a mandarin tree, but the pot was then emptied out by my grandma when she came over the next day, thinking that it was just a pot of soil. We once had some sugar cane, tomatoes, chives and chilies in our backyard but over the years, we’ve gotten rid of them, mostly because their quality was depleting and we simply could not be bothered caring for them anymore.



So it’s not surprising that we don’t have any edible plants in our garden, much less a lemon/mandarin/orange tree, which so many people have. Luckily, there exists lovely orchards around Sydney for us to visit, whenever we feel like picking and eating fresh fruits straight off a tree- even if it means we have to drive a couple of hours to do so!

We visited Watkin’s Orchard a while ago, down at Wiseman’s ferry, a relatively short 1.5 hour drive from home. The first time went (last year), we did so on a weekday and forgot to make a booking- so we arrived to see the gate closed and the orchard, of course, empty. Luckily, the owners noticed us standing there, and opened it for us!

The imperial mandarins are in season right now- small, sweet and juicy mandarins which I think just might be my favourite! They are sold for $10 a big bucket and you're allowed to eat as many mandarins as you can while you're there :) I taste tested just about every tree I picked from (which is actually quite pointless because every mandarin on the one tree tastes different)....which was a lot of mandarins. Definitely the most mandarins I've ever eaten in one go ;)


I’ve created quite a big collection photos from our fruit picking adventures over the years- a lot of which I quite like, not because of my photography skills, but because I find orchards quite nice places in general. I’ve always wanted to blog about them, but I always end up having nothing much to say…..so I think I might just press the ‘publish’ button before I change my mind about this one! ;)

8 comments:

grub said...

haha i saw your flickr photos before i read your post! seems like a lot of fun :) i went to a cherry farm over the summer holidays but then we didnt pick anything because the price of them were more than what they were selling them at the market!

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more said...

The fruits look so good.
I'd never dare eat too many mandarins in one day.
The toilet experience later is much undesirable

Coraine said...

Hey i must really say that I did not notice much about the fruits..but your smooth fair hands!!!! =) So smooth and nice~~

grace said...

i've never visited an orchard, and i'm suddenly pretty sad about that. i've seen more than my share of farms and such, but no fruit factories. :)

muppy said...

looks like fun, i love the concept of picking your own fruit.

lynne said...

love the photos! I've always wanted to go fruit picking. Too bad there's none here :( but it sounds like a lot of fun!

Viv said...

haha our gardening situations are pretty similar :P i love goin to nurseries to stock up on edible plants but after a month or two, they all somehow die or get chucked away >< i think going fruit picking is a better use of money for sure :P
love that last photo!! beautiful!

Indie.Tea said...

The orchard sounds nice...and how nice that's its so close to your house. Those mandarins are so vivid, so gorgeous.

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