Get your orange on

Illustration by Serene Lusano

I’m not so into rain, cold and other things that come with winter—except for mandarin oranges. Yum. Fortunately, mandarins grow beautifully in the region, and fun, family-friendly activities are scheduled to take over a bunch of local orchards from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, December 17, and Sunday, December 18, for Mountain Mandarin Orchard Days. Visit orchards in Penryn, Newcastle, Loomis, Lincoln and Auburn, and find farm animals, carousels for kids, art, crafts and lots of delicious things to taste. There will be mandarin-flavored products like oils, sauces, honey, juice, jams, fudge and baked treats, as well as mandarins still hanging on their trees for you to pick. While you’re at it, try local wine and beer and take home other seasonal produce, such as lemons, persimmons and winter squash. Don’t forget to pick up a bag of mandarins for the road. For more information—and a full list of orchards—visit