Warby Range Citrus is a 4th Generation Citrus Farm located in the Warby Ranges, South Wangaratta, Victoria, Australia. The Great Grandparents planted the orange, lemon and grapefruit trees over 100 years ago, and always ran the orchards organically, despite organic certification only being formally applied for and granted in more recent years. After a decade or so of tens of thousands of tonnes Brazilian orange juice concentrate being shipped into Australia, and having water added before it is put on our shelves and marked as a product of Australia, consumers are finally beginning to understand that fruit coming from these countries is often riddled with chemicals that are very bad for you – eg see this article. As a result, we are now cranking up the operations again, much like our ancestors before us, to bring you citrus that not only is free from dangerous chemicals, but also that has an incredibly intense flavour. We believe there are 7 reasons why our oranges are so much better than any others, and indeed these are 7 reasons why you should choose our Organic Oranges ahead of the supermarkets and most fruiterers:
- No Fertilizers
- No Sprays
- No Irrigation – better taste!
- No Wax
- No Fungicide
- No Heating
- Certified Organic
Almost without fail those tasting this fruit, particularly the navel oranges, say they have never tasted anything like it and where can they get some. We are now making this limited supply of fruit available online. Some fruit in the box has the leaves left on as evidence of freshness and lack of processing. Fruit is not sold if the flavour is not good and the acidity is low.
Besides hand watering during droughts and of young trees, irrigation has historically not been used. This lack of irrigation leads to intense flavour not seen in the citrus found in supermarket fruit from the irrigation areas. Citrus growing districts of Australia have been overtaken by huge irrigation operations, however in the longer term ever expanding irrigation is not sustainable making this district desirable for citrus in the long term.
Navel Oranges (Washington)
These are the feature of the district with a perfumed flavour at their best. In July some like them with their acidic tang, others like to wait until the less acidic perfumed stage in October. Seasonal conditions lead to sharp changes in availability. No ‘stop drop’ hormone is applied to prevent them dropping and no antifungal spray is used. Size is generally small due to a lack of irrigation but they are easy to peel.
This fruit is generally more concentrated in flavour compared with those from the irrigation areas. Despite maturing around August/ September these fruit can be retained in good condition up to a year on the tree but are best eaten Jan – August with the acidity decreasing over this time. Seasonal re-greening occurs but it does not influence flavour. Valencias are better than navels for cooking and for juice that is stored.
Grapefruit (Marshes, seedless)
This fruit is best after January with acidity decreasing to July. Most other grapefruit are treated with antifungal spray to prevent surface-only brown blemishes, and with hormones to delay dropping of fruit off the tree.
Mature lemons are on the tree all year round as they have three flowerings. Lemons can be used when they have a green yellow appearance. Later they can be a golden dark yellow. Others commonly spray with an antifungal agent to prevent a brown surface-only mark but the flavour of the juice is unaffected.
Fruit will retain their fresh appearance longer in the refrigerator but improves in flavour (particularly Valencias and grapefruit) in a cool place. The skin may soften but the flavour can be retained and improved for 2 – 6 weeks. The fruit should be emptied into a box upon receipt and checked each week or so to detect any bad fruit resulting from damage on the way direct from the tree to you.
Whilst frequently washed by rain some dust is retained on the fruit, thus like processed fresh fruit they should be washed. Skin can be used without fear of wax, antifungal or hormonal agents.