There is nothing better than a fresh mandarin picked cool fresh and juicy straight from the tree. This year Fords Farm at Wisemans Ferry opens their “pick your own” mandarin season on Saturday the 31st of May (Saturday 28th of May for 2016). My family embrace the opportunity to pick our own fruit. It’s a great way to enjoy a great family day out while teaching your children where their food comes from. It also encourages them to eat healthy. Kids are always keen to eat what they have picked. We were granted the oppertunity to pick some mandarins at Fords Farm just outside Wisemans Ferry. It was a fantastic way to spend a sunny Saturday morning

 

We have driven out to Fords Farm during mandarin picking season a few times over the years. Each time we have ventured out with our buckets and snipping shears in hand with great excitement. Mandarins are the favoured fruit in our household. To see an orchard full of  mandarin trees before us, branches weighed down by the abundance of this dazzling orange fruit, makes our day!

 

14289227964 c696c5b8bd  14103109210 df8f20fec6

 

 The fun starts with the short drive from Wisemans Ferry to the farm. The sometimes winding road follows the river giving picturesque views of the river, national park and “Forgotten Valley” surrounding you.  I give advice to drive with care as some parts of the road are quite narrow making two way traffic a challenge. 

There are two mandarin picking farms along this road, both are very well signposted during the season.  

 

lime  14078758878 c38b175c5f          

 

 There is no cover charge to enter the farm, you only pay for the fruit you pick or other purchases from the “the shed.” On arrival you enter the shed . The friendly staff will equip you with a picking bucket then give you a quick brief on the types of mandarins and other fruit currently available. Price is by the kilo, your bucket is weighted on exit. 

 

14262334814 3bac284a8c

 

Buckets in hand you step out into the orchard to pick your desired fruit. What makes this a more special experience is the scenery. The farm is in a pretty valley set against a backdrop of national park. Don't forget to show the children the sheep. The owners usually have them out for the kids to see and enjoy on picking days.

 

14276930502 d4e265a760   

14076088938 37fb41163f

 

On the day we picked fruit we picked satsuma mandarins, imperial mandarins as well as lemons and limes . Other fruits available include cumquats, oranges and other varieties of mandarines as they come into season. We  filled two buckets of fruit of which together weighed 11 kilos. On that day the total cost for our fruit was $22.00. All fruit was of extremely good quality, juicy and delicious.

 

14092406207 c8a7e28a83  14266589786 5156e6b62e

 

14259384381 0642d8782b-2

 

Available for purchase in “The Shed” are an extensive range of delectable pickles jam and condiments all made by the owner from produce grown on the farm. We bought home chilli lime jam, pickles and lemon butter. We have opened the chilli lime jam and found it was fantastic with our BBQ steak that night. If you are thirsty you can also purchase a cool cup of freshly squeezed mandarin juice, its yum. For keen gardeners citrus trees are available for purchase as well.

 

14266609666 5fe2753680

14078603589 534d8c6f5d-2  14242131086 718e5dd4ac-2

 

To make this a complete family day out you are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy in the orchard surrounds. 

 

14285597883 e84ec05713-2

mandarin branch

 

Fruit picking is a regular  activity we enjoy as a family. Fords farm is our favourite destination.  When talking to the owners I get a sense of pride of their farm and produce. I felt they wanted me to enjoy their farm experience as much as they do.

 

14103067708 018105687e

 

I previously mentioned these types of activities encourage children to eat healthy. On our way back from the farm Mr 8 told me we could make a pasta dressing using olive oil and juice from the lemon and limes we picked. With supervision he proudly made it, and we all enjoyed it!

 

del Rio Dinner2 

 

Fords Farm is located at 1275 Singleton Mills, Laughtondale NSW 2775.  For more information go to http://www.fordsfarm.com.au