Celebrate Father’s Day with a difference: relaxing picnic lunch and picking of Rex Union oranges

Rex Union Orange

It is citrus month and we have a special event for Father’s day to celebrate these fruits in a countryside setting.

Enjoy a Father’s Day with a difference in the Magalies on Sunday 18 June 2017.

Bring the whole family and join in the picking of Rex Union oranges followed by a picnic lunch between the trees and a oranges preserving workshop.

Date: Sunday 18 June

Time: 12h00 (allow for 90 minutes travel time from Linden/Northcliff area).

Address: Dunedin Farm. Opposite the entrance to Hunters Rest Hotel, 16 km before Rustenburg on the R24 from Magaliesburg.

Cost: R140 for Slow Food members, R180 for non-members, R80 for children under 12.

Limited space available, book only online: http://bit.ly/2RexUnionOranges 

The day will start with picking of the Rex Union oranges on the farm (pay per bag) followed by a preserving workshop on the making of Rex Union marmalade. Hilary Biller, food editor, author, TV chef, consummate cook and committee member of Slow Food JHB will be guiding this informative workshop.

Laid out amongst the trees will be a sumptuous lunch of smoked chicken, roast beef, salami, salads, pickles, olives, breads, cheeses, pate, jams and honey, all of which will be sourced from small producers.

After lunch take a peaceful stroll through the olive groves and buy some of their exceptional products.

The Rex Union variety of orange epitomises our efforts to preserve South Africa’s biodiversity. It is a cross between a pomelo and a seville orange that was created by George Rex and planted in an orchard opposite the Hunters Rest Hotel outside Rustenburg.

It makes for the best marmalade orange in South Africa.

Of critical importance is that, apart from a few trees in private gardens, the trees on this farm are the only trees in existence worldwide.

For that reason, on a recent visit to SA, Professor Francesco Sotile, Slow Foods advisor on agronomy, proposed that the Rex Union be declared a Presidium.  This means that worldwide awareness will be increased and efforts made to preserve the trees.

We will use this day to launch the process of creating a presidium – only the 4th in South Africa!

Rex Union recipe challenge!

Although the Rex Union has traditionally been used as a marmalade ingredient, we would like to challenge you to create new and exciting uses for the orange.

Send us your recipes and we will publish them.  Bring us a sample to taste if possible and by this means we will extend the use and preserve these trees in perpetuity.

The Rex History

George Wellington Rex III, the grandson of the more famous George Rex of Knysna,was said to have been the illegitimate son of King George III of Britain.

George Rex had nine children, but his grandson George Wellington Rex fathered no fewer than 14 with his wife, Georgina.

George Wellington Rex came to the Magaliesberg area in the mid-1880s to hunt big game. He stayed on, and became firm friends with President Paul Kruger, who by then had become a substantial land owner in the area.

Kruger ceded part of his Magaliesberg land to Rex, who then built Hunter’s Rest on the property. At first, it was a private hunter’s lodge for George Wellington Rex and his friends. It was later developed into a hotel, but the olde worlde charm and Victorian character was retained. George was a very knowledgeable, intelligent man and was given the right to practice medicine in the Rustenburg district by President Paul Kruger.

George Rex was the pioneer of grapefruit in South Africa and he ‘evolved’ a new grapefruit known as “Rex union.” He passed away in Rustenburg on 28 March 1923. The graves are in the family cemetery at Hunters Rest.

 

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