Citrus Abundance Boxes to see you through winter on a wave of Vit C 

In a country that exports roughly 90% of its fruit, South Africans have had to make peace with produce that is picked early to allow for extra ripening during the long journey to foreign markets. Much like French farmers – famed for keeping their finest produce on home soil for own consumption – Babylonstoren is committed to providing you with beautiful fruit, picked for optimum ripeness. Even if it means that lines within an orchard are picked at different times. High maintenance picking is part of our commitment to quality.  

Our first Abundance Boxes went out in the winter of 2023, partly because we were excited to share in the bounty of this antioxidant-rich, delicious fruit. But also, because we wanted to give local lovers of juicy, ripe fruit access to produce that is picked tree ripe. 

This year, farmer Ian de Villiers and fresh produce manager, Didi Brink, are rolling out a bonanza of citrus Abundance Boxes from May to August. “Our fruit is picked tree ripe and gathered for flavour and purpose, rather than size and unblemished perfection,” says Didi. “These boxes are meant to be shared, enjoyed fresh or juiced, and used in marmalades, preserves and cordials.” 

Hit that High C! 

First up in May, a nartjie Abundance Box (first Nules, then Tangos) followed by lemons, both weighing in at 8kg. The size of our Abundance Box increases in direct proportion to the harvest, with our orange and blood orange Abundance Boxes weighing a healthy 12 kg respectively. After our orange Abundance Box, we round the citrus season off with blood oranges. Oranges and blood oranges have similar levels of fibre and Vit C but in terms of taste, blood oranges have a floral, slightly tarter flavour. Besides being the most aromatic member of the citrus family, the red pigmentation that gives it its unique colour, also boosts its anthocyanin level beyond that of any other citrus fruit.  

“As we share our abundance on the farm, with baskets of seasonal fruit for guests to enjoy as they please, the Abundance Box was borne from a desire to extend the sharing beyond Babylonstoren. These generous boxes are meant to be shared among neighbours, friends, and family. They’re also a healthy gifting option for corporates,” says Didi.  

For everyone who does not live on or nearby a fruit farm, a Babylonstoren Abundance Box offers sustainably farmed fruit, picked for optimum ripeness – something most of us haven’t tasted for many years, if not decades. The idea of selling export quality fruit locally has provided an unexpected solution to premium fruit farmers struggling with precarious export platforms. Besides our own produce, Babylonstoren also sources prime quality produce from farmers who prefer to sell locally, rather than lose a consignment due to export obstacles. In this case, it makes complete sense to eat the best.  

Sharing makes one feel good. And it feels even better to know that you’re sharing the absolute best grown in South Africa. What could be lekkerder than loads of local goodness? 

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