Most of us assume citrus fruit comes from Southern California, Florida, and the Central Valley. Wrong! On a southwest facing hillside just off of Cement Hill Road, bright orange baubles hang on dwarf mandarin trees ripening in the crisp autumn air. It’s harvest season. Seven varieties of mandarins as well as other citrus trees are loaded with fruit and bursting with sweetness. The hillside where primarily citrus trees grow is bordered by two ravines that seem to trap some of the season’s cold air.
Jeff Wells bought these ten acres called Sun Rock Farm in 2006. He got his organic certification four years ago. Currently, Wells has three acres planted in grapefruits, oranges, figs, citron, limes, lemons, and stone fruits. Heirloom beans, squash, melons and culinary herbs are his secondary crops for sale in the summer at the Nevada City Farmers Market.