Recently I have been feeling the need to head out of the city and get some fresh country air. After some quick google searching, I stumbled across this cute looking mandarin farm called the Watkins Mandarin Orchard which seemed like the perfect place to give me my nature fix.
The orchard is just a short drive (about 1.5 hours north) out of Sydney in Wisemans Ferry. It’s quite a scenic route with lots of farms, cows and pretty fields to keep you occupied along the way.
When you see the sign for the orchard, you turn right and drive down the muddy road which makes you wonder if you are going the right way…. and then you spot all these gorgeous trees dotted with juicy mandarins.
When you are in the orchard, you head up to the window and pay your $10 for a bucket and a refundable $5 for some scissors if you feel the need to pick the mandarins with a little greenery (I did on accountant of the fact that I thought they looked more authentic that way!)
With our bucket and scissors in tow, we ran into the orchard ready to get picking! The orchard is about 30 rows deep so there is plenty of space to find your own little area to pick away!
Because you are spoilt for choice, you can take your time to pick the plumpest, juiciest mandarins you can find.
And of course – you are allowed to taste just how good these fresh mandies are while you are picking away!
They are so plump and delicious that it’s hard to not want to devour a whole tree!
Here is a bit for you to try!
And when you are stuffed from eating too many mandarins – you can go for a twirl in the orchard and breathe in all that wonderfully sweet and fresh country air!
Or play a game of hide and seek!
Or see how many ways you can manage to pull silly mandarin faces.
The mandarin season opens at the end of May and runs to October or until all the trees are emptied by eager pickers. However judging from the amount of little people running around the orchard, I would say that the fruit will be well picked and eaten before October. My advice would be to go sooner rather than later!
Whilst I’m not planning on turning into TUQ farmer anytime soon, it was such a fun experience to pick your own fruit! And now I’ve got two buckets of mandarins to turn into some ‘mandy’ delights – so get ready for a mandarin recipe coming soon!