Mikan mania

A lot of people in Japan have mikan trees growing in front of their houses. I’m beyond jealous.

I hate winter after the holidays are done, much like I think everyone else does. After the cheerful glow of Christmas and Japan’s own version of that glow during the New Year’s holidays, we in the Northern Hemisphere are left with the dark, the cold and the dreary.

Where I live it rarely snows, too, which means nothing ever has that slightly cheerful look to it that snow can bring to your local landscape.

I survive winter with two things. First, the kotatsu, which deserves its own entry later on.

Second, mikans. They’re similar to tangerines and clementines, and they are the reason I can go entire days through winter without complaining about the cold because they’re in season only during the colder months of the year.

I love how easy they are to peel, how sweet or sour they can be and how there are usually no seeds to be found within. The juice also only rarely seeps out when you’re peeling it, making it mostly mess-free to eat.

One of my dreams has been having mikan trees growing on our balcony, from which I can pluck some mikans every morning. Year after year I’ve looked at them being sold at Japan’s answer to Home Depot and year after year I’ve looked at the price tag and kept walking.

Finally, though, I took some seeds from a mikan that did actually have seeds in it and planted them in the ground. I now have three mikan trees growing.

The internet has been swift to tell me this is a horrible way to grow mikan trees because they will probably not give me a single fruit for about ten years or so, but I don’t care. I like watching them slowly grow. I think I can wait.