As the namesake of towns in Florida, Alabama, Texas and Louisiana, the satsuma is arguably the South's ultimate citrus star, though Louisianians might claim their particular crop tops its contemporaries. With origins in China and Japan, the orange spinoff crop (also known as a mikan) proved highly successful in southern weather and adapted well to (and sweetened in) colder conditions. Picked when still a mottled yellow and green, in a couple of weeks, satsumas pop to a bright orange, a familiar near-neon orb on desks, in lunchboxes and in holiday gift baskets statewide. Local taste buds can't wait for the first pick — some might be ready for market as early as late September. The Hollygrove Market & Farm says its early-fall Saturday market baskets should have the earliest of the bunch: the acidic, juicy St. Ann variety.
The Crescent City Farmers Market is at Uptown Square on River Road from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays, and Magazine and Girod streets from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturdays. The Gretna Farmers Market is at Huey P. Long Avenue between Third and Fourth streets in Gretna from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays. The Westwego Farmers & Fisheries Market is at 484 Sala Ave., Westwego from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.