We found out belatedly, but it’s satsuma harvest time already.
Satsumas are like giant tangerines, with loose, easy-peeling skin and juicy, nearly seedless sectioned flesh. They are credited with having originated in Japan, and are grown widely in this part of Texas because they can handle our coldest winters (maybe 18 degrees F.) without cover.
The trees can take four or five years before bearing fruit. Last year was our tree’s fourth, and it finally produced a small crop, about 20. We waited until they turned a lovely bright orange – late December, early January – then picked them to discover the sections were sometimes a little dry, and not very sweet or flavorful. It was an overall disappointment.
Since then, a little research (better late than never) indicated that Satsumas in our climate should be ready just before Thanksgiving, and are tasty when they still have a little green color on their rinds. Well, ours are coming ripe right now by the dozen and, unlike last year’s, they are juicy, sweet and flavorful. They’re also more yellow than orange, with a few green spots.
Live and learn.