The kids and I went mikan picking. The winters here are pretty mild, so stuff like this can easily be done in the middle of winter.
According to Wikipedia, a mikan or Citrus unshiu is a seedless and easy-peeling citrus species, also known as cold hardy mandarin, satsuma mandarin, satsuma orange, Christmas orange, and tangerine. It is probably of Japanese origin and introduced elsewhere.
We drove up north to the place to go picking. As soon as we walked in the building, a lady asked if we wanted to pick. I told her yes and she instructed me to park behind a truck and he would take me. 45 minutes later, the guy finally left. We drove a little ways down the road, he stopped, got out, and proceeded to tell me something. A lot of hand motions later, I drove back to the store and followed a different lady. She took us down teeny, little mountain roads. She was flying and I was scared we were going to fall off the side into the creek. There was no shoulder. It was just a 90 degree drop off. The cherry blossom trees were blooming though and it made for a gorgeous drive.
After we got there, we parked, paid the fee to pick, were given a bucket and off we went. Everything I had read and heard said we picked for a set amount of time and then were given a pound or two to take home. I let the kids fill the bucket and they had a blast doing it.
When we had overfilled the bucket, we took it back to the lady we had paid before. She weighed it at 10 kilograms and then showed me a chart with prices according to weight. Son of a…… I converted it later, we took home 22 pounds of these things. Sure it was only 2,700 yen ($31), but still. I really thought they were just using us as cheap labor and would give us a pound to take home. I’m giving away as many as I can.