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  • Writer's pictureMarilyn Gardner Woods

The mighty Kumquat

Updated: Oct 5, 2021

Harvest time.

Not fruits of my bygone Camelot,

Lush wine grapes

Juicy oranges.

Instead, the modest kumquat

Is sought

From my hillside plot.

An acre, it’s not.

Kumquats grow with ease.

Without disease.

No expertise needed

Aim to please.

Teensy in size, the citrus mascot

Close to martini’s green olive,

Or Tater Tot.

Oblong shaped with smooth skin, taut

A pleasant orange, not Valencia or Navel

Softer, golden, more apricot.

Good nose for a wee snowman.

When it snows, not when it’s hot.

What to do with the plentiful crop?

Pop one off the tree,

slingshot it

To your chops

Sugary-sweet skin

Paper-thin (like mine)

Mouth-puckeringly oh-so-sour flesh,

Crunchy seeds—chew or spit out

Fraught with Vitamin C, the mini orange

Healthy, we’re taught

Yea big zest, vastly versitile

Tangy, sweet, sour, somewhat

Marmalade up for a zingy treat

Salads, streusels, morning smoothies

Cookies, cakes or yogurt parfait doozies.

Something sweet.

Add to liqueurs or cocktails?

Duck, goose or snails?




Or just nibble.


What’s not to love

This zippy turnout

On my urban plot—not one, but two trees

Abundant Kumquat.

A powerful shot.


"Ramona" Sculpture (with added mouthful of kumquats) by artist, Cheryl Tall. Click here to see more of the artist's work!


DELIGHTFUL! Love the two photos as well. We really must get by for some kumquats before they are gone! Happy Saturday! SB

Thanks for bringing back lovely memories of my childhood. We had a kumquat tree in our yard. We ate them right off the tree, and my mother made fabulous marmalade!


What a delightful poem! Delightful substance to it.

Do folks know how to eat kumquats without the sourness? Squeeze out after an end nibble and eat the rest. They would go well candied for a Christmas stolen. Bob

You are so lucky to have kumquats...I had them in the desert...

Julianne loves them and will come pick some if you have toooo many??

Hope we can see each other some day??!! xxAudrey

Well I needed some kumquats to watch the KU Texas Tech basketball game today. Love the poem. I don’t know if I’ve ever eaten a kumquat. Jan

You are an amazing writer. I used to pick kumquats when I was riding my bike. Loved the sour and then the luscious sweet and then chewing it until it was all goneLO

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