It’s peak citrus time, which is great news. Not only are these delicious juicy fruits at their best flavour-wise, but they are also packed with vitamin C to help ward off winter colds, naturally.
Take your pick of a great range of limes, lemons, oranges, mandarins and grapefruit at Byron and Bangalow Farmers Markets every week.
‘There’s an abundance of citrus available at the farmers markets at this time of year,’ said Byron Farmers Market manager, Tom Carey. ‘So it’s the ideal time to stock up while these fruits are at their peak.’
As well as vitamin C, citrus fruits are full of immune-boosting nutrients and antioxidants, including B vitamins, potassium, magnesium and fibre. And the best bit – all of the citrus available at the farmers markets are locally grown and available direct from the people who grew it.
There are so many ways to use citrus fruits; from freshly squeezed juice to freezing, dehydrating and preserving. And don’t forget marmalade, curds and cordials!
When using citrus, don’t throw the peels out. Citrus rinds can be used in a variety of ways; as candied peels to add to meals, as a garnish, or even just as a snack on their own.
Local farmers, Jane Boniface and Jose Falagan have been growing an amazing range of citrus on their farm, Rancho Relaxo, in the Byron hinterland for almost 20 years.
As well as selling just-picked limes, lemons, mandarins and oranges, Jane and Jose use some of their produce to make their award-winning Rancho Lime cordial.
‘In 2006 we entered it in our first competition, the Sydney Royal Fine Food Show where, much to our delight, it picked up a Silver Medal,’ said Jane. ‘It was the first of many – since 2006 Rancho Lime has been awarded two Gold, two Silver and three Bronze at the Royal Sydney and Royal Hobart Fine Food Shows.’
Following the success of their Rancho Lime Cordial, Jane and Jose went on to develop Rancho Mandarina.
‘To balance out the intense sweetness of the mandarins, we add a little lime juice, which gives it a nice clean finish,’ said Jane.
In 2011, Rancho Mandarina scored Silver in the Royal Hobart Fine Food Awards, scoring 96 out of a possible 100, and in 2012, it picked up the Gold.
Byron Farmers Market is held every Thursday from 7–11am at the Cavanbah Centre, and Bangalow Farmers Market is every Saturday from 7–11am behind the Bangalow Pub.