Kumquat harvest means kumquat marmalade…..
The big tunnel is heated and ventilated and an ideal environment for all our various sized citrus trees to languish in over the winter or maybe just for a few weeks until they are selected for a very nice customer. They don't necessarily have to have such luxurious accomodation as the orange and kumquat trees being the hardiest of the citrus, would cope with a relatively normal UK winter in a sheltered spot but we have to think about the quality of appearence when sending out a tree for mailorder and the tunnel provides a good protection from leaf damaging frosts or even rain drenched pots which are not particularly conducive to being packed in a cardbouard box.
Moving in time coincides with kumquat harvest time and this year the trees are heavily laden with good sized juicy orange fruits, the skins and zest are slightly sweeter than the flesh, which is tangy and sharp. Kumquat (or cumquat) is the ideal fruit for making into marmalade and there are abundant recipes to be found these days as kumquat fruit has moved into the culinary spotlight.
The Kumquat tree (Citrus japonica) strangely native to China not Japan, is evergreen and has a mass of leathery dark leaves, is self fertile and not fussy about pH level in the soil and hardy down to -8C, I would say that is a fairly easy going plant. Our Kumquat trees start from the table top size which are really sweet and make excellent indoor plants or a great gift. We also have a shrub sized trees which produce lots of fruits and then there are the really large trees which are over 10 years old and look instantly magnificent.