Saturday, 17 November 2018
Day Trip Nosh

On the Mandarin Trail in Placer County

Photo of Willow Creek Ranch in Penryn, California
The Mandarin Trail in Placer County – Willow Creek Ranch.  Photo by Monique Wilber

On Small Business Saturday – the day after Black Friday – hubby and I opted to go out to Penryn, California to purchase another 25 pounds of small farm mandarins.  Yes, another.  We’ve already gotten through 50 pounds of mandarins since the first week of November.  No, we didn’t eat them all.  Some went to friends, some went to our college kids.

Placer County has a unique micro-climate that allows farmers like Gordon, pictured above, to cultivate citrus.  In particular, this part of Placer County specializes in mandarins.  And don’t think that they all taste the same.  Oh, no.  They don’t.  We happen to enjoy the fruits from Gordon’s five acre farm….it’s like crops for wine or beer….it depends on the soils, precipitation, sunshine, slope (to stave off freezing temperatures), variety, and other attributes that contribute to the acidity or sweetness of the fruit.

On Saturday, besides our next 25 pounds of mandarins, we purchased Gordon’s watermelon radishes, and a pound of walnuts that he gets from a farming friend in Woodland, California.  He also carries squashes and persimmons.  In the summer, he says he’s got some tasty plums.

We are regulars every year.  I have him ship some California sunshine to my aunties and uncles back in Massachusetts, and I also shipped some mandarins to a dear friend in southern California who had cheered me up recently, so I was returning the favor.  Gordon will ship five pounds for you, and he even has enclosure cards, and will do the mailing for you, for $25. What a great holiday gift.

When you buy in big quantities, the price goes down.  Trust me.  Twenty-five pounds of mandarins is nothing to go through. 🙂

Cash or check only accepted.

Where:  Willow Creek Ranch, 1301 Clark Tunnel Road, Penryn, CA
When: November through the end of December, for mandarins
More Info: 916-663-2820 or


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