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The first Valley Gold hybrid mandarins are already on the market

With over 10 days before the usual ripening schedule, the first Valley Gold® mandarins, sourced from young plantings in southern Italy, are already available on some Italian markets.

“I started picking the fruit a few days ago. I will be supplying them to Apofruit cooperative,” said Rocco Venezia, an entrepreneur from Basilicata with 400 Valley Gold trees planted in June 2020. “The market response seems promising for now. The quality of the tangerines is also good. They have few seeds, an interesting caliber (about 170-180 g), an attractive color and a Brix value of about 15. My orchard is located 80 meters above sea level, in the municipality of Montescaglioso (Matera province). The soil there is red, soft and rich in rock, which prevents water from accumulating there.”

The grower says he expects around 5 kg per plant this year. “I am surprised by the adaptability of the trees to the soil and climatic conditions of our region. I didn’t think I would be able to pick the first fruit in just over 24 months after planting. The harvest should have actually started in late January and continued until mid-February, but December’s mild climate brought forward the coloring. This early ripeness does not deter me, however, because the fruit shows the right balance of acidity and sugars, even when it is almost overripe. Proper feeding and pruning are basic principles to obtain quality and quantity, though. I am convinced that this variety will continue to surprise me.”

source : freshplaza

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