A South African citrus grower plans to extend its season into January.
Citrusdal, South Africa-based A.L.G. Estates has acquired a citrus farm at a higher altitude to allow the company to ship valencias and mandarins well past the deal’s current end date, according to a company news release.
“The cooler temperatures on the mountain create what is known as a micro-climate, causing the fruit to ripen later in the season,” Gerrit van der Merwe Jr., head of marketing for A.L.G. Estates, said in the release. “This is very exciting for us as it is a start toward positioning South Africa as a year-round provider of first-quality citrus.”
The higher-elevation farm is currently being expanded from 49 to 148 acres. By 2015, fruit from the farm should begin shipping to the U.S., which typically imports South African citrus from June through October.