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  • Writer's pictureMarilyn Gardner Woods

The mighty Kumquat's season is here!

Ramona Sculpture, (detail) Cheryl Tall artist

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.

Need no expertise.

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.

Or a hurricane blows.

What to do with the plentiful crop?

Pop off the tree,

Slingshot to your chops

Sugary-sweet skin

Paper-thin (like mine)

Mouth-puckeringly piquant,

Crunchy seeds—chew or spit out

Fraught with Vitamin C, the mini orange

Healthy, we’re taught

Yea big zest, vastly versatile

Tangy, sweet, sour, somewhat

An oddly zingy treat

Salads, streusels, morning smoothies

Cookies, cakes or marmalade

Yogurt parfait doozies.

Something juicy?

Add to liqueurs,

Cocktails or salads.




Or just nibble.


What’s not to love

This zippy turnout

On my urban plot

Not one,

but two trees

Abundant Kumquat.

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