Mikandori

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GaijinAgain
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Mikandori

Post by GaijinAgain » Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:03 pm

Time again for the annual Mikan harvest. Seemed like on Omote-doshi this year as the trees were pretty loaded. Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate so we only got in half a day before the rain started. Now that all the helpers are getting on in age, I tend to be the one climbing up and getting the fruit from the top. I always enjoy the view though.

Today we were in the lower orchards, so not much of a view, but still a good workout.

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Zasso Nouka
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Re: Mikandori

Post by Zasso Nouka » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:50 am

This autumn the rain seems to have been unceasing, our soil as totally waterlogged.

Do you completely stop picking with the rain or after a few days is it time to don the rain suit and get out there ? I wish we could grow mikan here but it's too cold in winter for the trees to survive.

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Eric in Japan
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Re: Mikandori

Post by Eric in Japan » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:34 am

Zasso Nouka wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:50 am
I wish we could grow mikan here but it's too cold in winter for the trees to survive.
Is Chiba that cold? I have mikan trees loaded with fruit in my garden. I have to admit that they are quite sour until they have a few days inside after picking. I planted them next to a rock wall on a hillside so the coldest air can drain down and away. If you have a south slope I bet you could get some to grow.
Or if you have a unused end of a greenhouse you could probably put one there. They would probably only need a few degrees protection.
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GaijinAgain
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Re: Mikandori

Post by GaijinAgain » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:43 am

Yeah, you can't harvest mikan when wet. Many of them are put into storage sheds and spread out to sweeten before being sold. If they are wet they will mold/rot. Looks like Uncle Shuji will wait until Tuesday/Wednesday for the weather to clear up to try to finish the harvest.

Because of this method, you have to be careful when you harvest them as well. You can't damage the skin when you cut the stems off because juice will also cause them to rot.

Rain here has been kind of standard. We get a lot of dry weather through October/November so the mikan growers tend to hope for rain and cold weather around the end of November to sweeten them up before the December harvest.

This is a major mikan producing area. (My house is basically surrounded by orchards.) That leads to a lot of problems though, because of over-saturation. Uncle Shuji has said in the past that he doesn't make any money from them - in fact he says he loses money. You also can't grow any citrus here without major pesticide usage because all the farms around here follow the traditional Japanese cultural norm - if some is good, more is better! Once tried to grow a lemon tree without using pesticides and that obviously didn't go well.

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Re: Mikandori

Post by Zasso Nouka » Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:28 am

Eric in Japan wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:34 am
Is Chiba that cold? I have mikan trees loaded with fruit in my garden. I have to admit that they are quite sour until they have a few days inside after picking. I planted them next to a rock wall on a hillside so the coldest air can drain down and away. If you have a south slope I bet you could get some to grow.
Or if you have a unused end of a greenhouse you could probably put one there. They would probably only need a few degrees protection.
If we were slightly closer to the beach we'd be fine but unfortunately where we are gets a few nights every couple of years where the temp drops too low for the sweet varieties of mikan trees so they die before getting to a decent size. There is a very bitter one several folk grow in our village but it isn't good eating. We've tried several times and the tree starts off well only to die after a couple of years. A few years back we recorded a low of -9C which killed off loads of things.
GaijinAgain wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:43 am
You also can't grow any citrus here without major pesticide usage because all the farms around here follow the traditional Japanese cultural norm - if some is good, more is better! Once tried to grow a lemon tree without using pesticides and that obviously didn't go well.
That seems to be an opinion followed over this way as well. We regularly have to attend meetings at one of the michi no eki's because the local health department has detected excessive levels of pesticides on one of their random tests so all the farmers have to attend a lecture on correct pesticide practices and be reminded not to over spray.