The Birds’ Wherrol Flat mandies

The Birds’ Wherrol Flat mandies


Graeme and Rozann Bird live a few clicks down Little Run Rd – and have been for some 30 years.  Rozann makes a mean homebrew craft beer.  After winning the local beer-making competition 2 years in a row, she’s holding back a bit to give the other talents in the valley a chance to shine.


Mandarin farm in Wherrol Flat

A few years ago, they planted some 30-odd mandarin trees.  Nothing unusual about that, as almost everyone in Wherrol Flat grows some citrus or kiwi or passionfruit or pumpkin or… well anything, really.  Because that seems to be the nature of the place: anything you throw into the soil seems to grow and thrive.

Graeme picking mandarins in Wherrol Flat

It’s just that the Birds’ mandies have this je ne sais qua – sweetness with a hint of mint, and some spice, and a whole lot of other flavours that are difficult to place – but they combine to give it a beautiful flavour.  It’s in the soil, the air or the water.  Or perhaps in all 3.



Mandarins in Wherrol FlatThey managed to pick about 150kg of ripe fruit, so we just hope that will last us till the end of the week.  Luckily, we’re making another commute next weekand the sunny weather holds promise for more mandies.

Ortanique Mandarins

Ortanique Mandarins   ……    Citrus reticulata Blanco

Ortanique Mandarins

Recipes: Mandarin & Yoghurt Cake

Mandarin & Avocado Salad see below.

The Ortanique Mandarins originates from Jamaica. It was popular in the early-mid sixties but got pushed out by the popular Imperials.  However, it is making a come-back via the Citrus Clonal Protection Program which seeks to re-establish heirloom citrus varieties.

What’s unusual about these mandarins?

The Ortanique is in fact a hybrid between an orange and a tangerine – hence the name OR(ange)TAN(gerine)(un)IQUE.

David D. Phillips was recognized as the creator of the fruit by the Jamaica Agricultural Society (J.A.S.).

Ortanique Mandarins heldHow do they look different?

They have a broad base with a tapered neck. The rind is thin and tight and peelable.

 Do they have seeds?

Yes, a few which is great.

Mandarin Yoghurt Cake
Recipe Type: Cake
Author: Harvest Hub
Serves: 4
  • 1/4 cups sugar
  • rind of three mandarins
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 tbs mandarin juice
  • cups self-rising flour
  • [b]To make icing:[/b]
  • 1 tbs mandarin juice
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced).
  2. Grease and line a long loaf pan. In a food processor, put the sugar into the dry bowl with the metal chopping blade. Peel all the yellow peel from the lemons, using a potato peeler, and add to the bowl. Run the machine until the lemon peel is finely chopped through the sugar.
  3. Add the eggs, oil and salt and process until thick and smooth, then add the yoghurt and lemon juice and blend enough to mix. Add the flour and process just enough to combine with the rest of the mixture. Pour into the cake pan and bake until golden brown and shrinking away from the sides of the pan. Insert a skewer to check it’s cooked.
  4. [b]To make icing:[/b]
  5. When the cake is cool, mix just enough lemon juice with the icing sugar to make a liquid but not too runny mixture. Smooth over the top of the cake and let it dribble down the sides a bit.
Mandarin and Avocado Salad
Recipe Type: Salad
Author: Harvest Hub
Serves: 4
  • 1 1/2 tbs fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 3 fresh mandarins
  • ½ -1 fresh avocado, halved and thinly sliced cross-wise
  • 1 ½ tbs toasted sunflower seeds
  1. Using a large bowl, whisk together the lime juice, honey, vinegar, salt, and cayenne.
  2. Peel 3 long strips from a mandarin using a vegetable peeler, and cut the strips into matchstick-thickness pieces. Peel the mandarins and separate them into segments. Cut the mandarin segments cross-wise into 2 or 3 pieces.
  3. Add the avocado and mandarins to the bowl, and toss to combine.
  4. Chill the completed salad until serving time.
  5. Sprinkle with the toasted sunflower seeds immediately before serving.