Mountain Mandarin Festival is November 21-23

THE MOUNTAIN MANDARIN Festival marks the start of Placer County Mountain Mandarin season. This three-day celebration from November 21-23 draws more than 20,000 visitors from as far away as the Bay Area and Reno.

Festival attendees can sample fresh mandarins hand-picked by Mountain Mandarin Growers’ Association members, as well as a variety of mandarin-based products including olive oils, marinades, marmalades, syrups, and mandarin blossom honey. Growers will have plenty of five and ten pound bags of mandarins for sale, ready for holiday enjoyment.

The experience doesn’t end with the Mountain Mandarin Festival. Join Mountain Mandarin Growers’ Association members at their ranches on December 6, 7, 20 and 21 for Orchard Days. A map is here.

Satsuma mandarins have been a farming tradition for more than 125 years in the Placer County foothills. Welsh settlers established the town of Penryn in the 1880s and started planting orchards of pears, plums, peaches, oranges and mandarins.

Satsuma mandarins originated in Japan more than 700 years ago and were first introduced into the United States in 1876. The name “Satsuma” is credited to the wife of a U.S. Minister to Japan, who sent trees home in 1878 from Satsuma, a former province on the southern tip of Kyushu Island, now called Kagoshima Prefecture.

Otow Orchards
The towns of Loomis, Penryn, Newcastle, and Auburn were once surrounded by peach, plum, and pear orchards. Japanese farmers worked on the fruit ranches and supported a local economy of Japanese businesses.

Examples include Otow Orchards, with roots going back to the ‘30s. It sells fresh fruits and veggies and continues to specialize in the ancient art of dried persimmons known as hoshigaki.

By the early 1900s, Penryn’s Japantown was established along Penryn Road. Although smaller, the neighboring towns of Loomis, Newcastle, and Auburn had several Japanese businesses that catered to local residents.
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