I was lucky enough to fly out to Spain this April to photograph the Clementine Harvest in Spain near Seville. The picking finishes at the start of May but I was surprised by how much fruit was still on the trees at this time of the year.
They start to pick in November and work through to the end of their early Spring. Still picked by hand keeping cutting by knife so the green ends stay on preventing the fruit dehydrating. We took a few off the branches to sample and they were amazingly juicy and sweet.
And the majority were a lot larger than you find on our shelves. The Uk market seem to like the small fruit where as the rest of Europe prefer the larger . According to the grower our supermarkets are the hardest to please, and they struggle with our concept of what is a good fruit. We would reject a clementine if the skin is blemished. These marks are caused by the fruit brushing against branches as it grows. It has no affect on flavour but we (the UK) won’t accept it. I feel we need a reeducation on buying fruit and veg as we waste so much perfectly good produce purely on aesthetics.
Another interesting fact is that the tree can blossom at the same time as having ripe fruit, and they can get upto three harvests off one tree per year. It was a lovely two days but very long ones stuck out in the grove, in the sun surrounded by mosquitoes. But got some great pics so well worth it.