The always bright and sweet Valencia and Navel oranges and flavorful Minneola tangelos that decorate the coldest months of winter come from the hills just outside of Kingsburg, on Cliff McFarlin’s diversified fruit ranch, where Cliff grows apples, apricots, avocados, blueberries, blood oranges, grapefruit, grapes, jujubees, lemons, mandarines, navel oranges, nectarines, peaches, persimmons, plums, pluots, pomegranates, and pomelos.
He is the Abundant Harvest go to farmer for citrus.
To hear Cliff explain the flavors of the different varieties of citrus on his sixty-four acre ranch is like listening to a wine connoisseur unpacking a wine cellar.
Take this explanation of the tangerine and grapefruit hybrid and AHO subscriber favorite, Minneola tangelo, for example:
“Now this one here will wake you up. It’s super juicy, beautiful brick orange color, at first it hits you with the tartness and then the sweetness comes in behind, it has a tremendous flavor. The longer they hang on the tree the sweeter they get and the more and more people like them.”
Or the Moro blood orange:
“It has a little different shape, not quite as smooth, not as egg shaped, and it’s even darker inside than the Sanguinelli variety. You can smell it before you even taste it, there’s a little bit of a citrus-raspberry flavor to this one.”
Cliff’ is the kind of farmer who walks his fields, knows the tastes and smells from experience, does the research necessary to grow something new, and can tell you with first hand knowledge about each part of the growing and handling process because he is a part of it.
A lesser known farmer fact about citrus grower Cliff McFarlin
He still makes time here and there for a passion from his youth: the game of golf.
Over his lifetime, Cliff has hit thousands of golf balls, taught hundreds of lessons, and even handcrafted golf clubs.