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do floridians consume more fresh oranges than other states??

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  • MarkG Mar 26, 2008 01:32 AM
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is there overwhelming availability of citrus in supermarkets or is it no different than say NYC??

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  1. I lived in FL for three years. In supermarkets I didn't find there to be any more or less available than elsewhere, but outside the supermarkets we had access to u-pick groves and farmers markets where I always found the quality and variety to be much better.

    1. I also lived in FL for about three years and I never noticed that the quality and availability of citrus in supermarkets was anything great. Much of the citrus that I saw at my local Publix stores was imported from elsewhere in the U.S. or Mexico, even when it would have been in season locally.

      1. I would assume that Californians consume more whole oranges. The Cali varieties are better suited for eating as is.

        1 Reply
        1. re: gordeaux

          If Southern California and visit the desert, you also wind up with bagfuls of grapefruit from friends on cholesterol medication.

        2. In the supermarket, you're not likely to find an over-abundance of citrus. But, if you are a Floridian you are likely to know at least a few people with citrus trees in their yards who have more fruit than they know what to do with. Right now, I have a couple dozen grapefruit (mixed white and pink), several meyer lemons, and a stockpile of limes (persians mostly.) I really need to make friends with the owner of a sour orange tree...

          14 Replies
          1. re: Agent Orange

            You just made me sob Agent Orange! The damn canker police came through here a couple of years ago and cut down my perfectly healthy grapefruit and orange trees. Now I have to buy grapefruit at the supermarket.

            1. re: Linda VH

              That's tragic. I'm trying to convince my parents to plant citrus trees at their new house. I hope theirs don't succumb to the same fate.

              Whereabouts do you live?

              1. re: Agent Orange

                The canker eradication program in Florida has been declared a failure and is no longer administered or funded. Your parents can plant citrus of all kinds without interference from the big "G". And many varieties bear fruit in just a few years. Have at it!

              2. re: Linda VH

                My mother actually cried when they took away her trees. She was especially upset about her Key Lime tree in a large barrel since they wouldn't give her the full reimbursement.

                I think people who have the citrus in their yards may consume more, but my family prefers to juice them. Florida oranges are more the juicing kind than the eating kind.

                1. re: Linda VH

                  Who are the canker police? Why would they cut down your trees?

                  1. re: danhole

                    It was a program to contain the spreading of citrus canker, that required every citrus tree within an 1800 ft. radius of a canker detection be destroyed. The state paid (and actually still owes) for many trees literally dug up, hauled off, and burned, from peoples' yards, plus whole citrus farms. About $55 per tree. The canker, which spread from Brazil, can be windborne, and cannot be controlled. It affects the appearance of the fruit with unsightly discoloration, and reduces the juice content by 5-15%. Brazil has learned to live with it; so will we.

                    1. re: Veggo

                      canker police were despicable. another stupid program created without knowledge and without heed to the consequences (and cost) for thousands and thousands of floridians.

                      1. re: alkapal

                        There were a lot of home burglaries in the wake of the canker cops too -- because they could go on your property and snoop around it seems they tipped off burglars.

                      2. re: Veggo

                        Thanks for answering me. I had no idea.

                        1. re: Veggo

                          They were paid not in cash, though. My parents received Wal-mart gift cards.

                          1. re: AlyKen

                            I live in AZ and have 5 citrus trees in my yard: valencia orange, lisbon lemon, meyer lemon hybrid, mexican key lime and pink grapefruit.

                            I feel for your Mom, if someone came and chopped down my trees I think I'd cry for years afterwards. And being a non WalMart shopper that would have just added insult to injury.

                            That really stinks. Was she able to replant?

                            1. re: ziggylu

                              They told them initially something like 5-10 years (I cannot remember). When they decided that the program didn't work, my parents used their GCs from Wal-mart to buy some new trees. Of course, nothing can replace a 40-year old Valencia. What hurricane Charley didn't take, the FL Dept. of Ag. did :-(

                              1. re: AlyKen

                                This makes me really sad for them. :( I had a bumper crop of really juicy sweet fruit on my valencia this year(getting close to twenty years old itself now).

                                I'm glad they were at least able to put new trees back in. Hopefully they grow up to be big and generous trees.

                            2. re: AlyKen

                              Oh, that's just dreadful! bad enough to lose her trees, but to be "paid" in Walmart currency - shudder. I would have cried too!

                    2. What is funny about this question is, my hubby is a truck driver for produce items and he always take oranges from Ca to Fl and from FL to Ca. They like each others oranges better. I prefer CA oranges over FL oranges. And here in IND, we have mostly CA oranges in our stores. He just got my 40 lbs of oranges in CA for $2.80 total. Didnt last very long here, about a week.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: thecountryrose

                        Historically Florida grew juice oranges & Cal. grew fruit for eating out of hand.

                        1. re: meatn3

                          well, he takes lots of oranges to the donald duck plant in florida from cal cause they have been having freezing in fla for the last couple of years and cal fills in.

                          1. re: thecountryrose

                            Good point. The freezes have really pushed a lot of groves to the point where they are selling the land for development - too hard taking such a financial hit, especially when the land keeps rising in value. Sometimes it feels like that state will eventually have no agriculture except a few avocado pits rooting on someones kitchen window sill.

                            1. re: meatn3

                              your right with that. He is now having back hauls out of Miami of houseplants cause produce is getting real scarce for truckers to bring out of there

                      2. My guess is that in places where citrus fruits are grown the season has more effect on what's available in the stores. In places where all citrus fruits are shipped in anyway, availability of citrus probably doesn't vary much from season to season, but when the fruit is grown locally you get sudden gluts as various fruits are at their peak. I don't know when the peak citrus season is in Florida -- in California it really gets going in December (Satsuma mandarins, mmmmm) and lasts through the winter. That's for commercially grown fruit -- backyard fruit trees bear much longer, partly because people tend to leave the fruit on the trees.

                        1. Don't know how consumption generally of oranges compares to other states, but toward the back of this chart is data showing how much of Florida's citrus production is delivered within state as compared to other states and Canada ->

                          http://www.floridajuice.com/user_uplo...

                          Here's another report which shows consumption by region (but not by state) ->

                          http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/...

                          1. The best ones are the UGLY ones. They aren't brightly colored, they usually have dirt and twigs hanging off them and they bring them into work and share them fresh off the tree..... We have lived here going on 4 years and I hate grocery store oranges. Either get them from the road stands, someone's yard or on the turnpike (taste them first-they cut them up for you to sample). I like the yard ones best. Ugly ones. They are sweet and you need 99 paper towels. (Our trees aren't old enough to grow the good ones yet, but give me time!!!)

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Boccone Dolce

                              U r right. He brought home all the ugly ones and they were so sweet. he is headed to Miami this weekend and told him to see if he can get a couple cases down there. and lemons the size of golf balls and so much juice in them, i got a case of those too and froze the juice in ice cube trays and 2 baggies of peel. Bet you wish there was miracle grow for your trees.

                            2. When I lived in Floria I ate a wider variety of citrus due to small farm stands and the grocery bags full that friends with too much would leave on your doorstep. There are so many interesting backyard varieties that you just won't see in a grocery. When I first moved "North" (to Tenn.) I brought several bags of citrus with me. Arrived very late, was tired, so did not unpack the car. All the fruit froze over night...that concept had just never occurred to a 35 year old who had never seen snow!

                              1. I agree that the good stuff is in people's backyards, and the grocery store stuff is very ordinary. I finally got some fruit off my tangerine and graprfruit trees this winter, and the flavor was so much better than you get with the stuff that's bred to handle transit well.

                                The problem is now going to be what to do with the darn grapefruits in coming years. I don't really like grapefruit too often. Only reason I got the tree was because it looked really healthy and we get some borderline winters here. I figure my parents are good for a couple of bags of it, but once the tree gets bigger, the fruit's going to start getting the full metal northern zucchini treatment.

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: beachmouse

                                  Find someone to trade with. I'm in California (but grew up in Miami area). I get passion fruit, blood oranges, avocados, grapefruit and tomatoes at various times of the year. In return I trade away persimmons, peaches and plums, kaffir lime leaves and valencias (I like valencias better than navel oranges even for eating). I just wish we could grow mangoes, but now I make do with the storebought ones that they call "Champagne Mangos". Nothing will ever be as good as those giant Haydens from neighbor's trees in Miami.

                                  1. re: mlgb

                                    I agree with mlgb -- trade! Everybody with a backyard fruit tree has the same problem: no fruit most of the year, and more than they can use for a couple of months. Just ask your neighbors -- people are usually happy to trade a few plums (that were just going to fall and rot) for the promise of some grapefruits come winter.

                                    A food bank might take some of the fruit, too.

                                  2. re: beachmouse

                                    a little cryptic: "the full metal northern zucchini treatment." giving it away, plus making everything under the sun with grapefruits?

                                    cut in half, sprinkle with brown sugar and broil. just one idea....

                                    1. re: beachmouse

                                      the stuff in the stores as had a hard life since it was picked. It was plucked off a tree, thrown into a bag or hopper in the fields, ran on a conveyer belt to be drowned in water, run thru a dryer, thrown into different crates depending on size, stacked on top of each other, wrapped in cellophane so they cant breathe, put into a freezing cold trailer, shut in the dark and trucked up north to be taken about off truck, shoved into a corner of a warehouse untill a store needs them and then trucked to the store in another cold truck and then thrown on tables at the store for people to grope and then throw down cause they are rotten. Fresh is best.

                                      1. re: beachmouse

                                        The womens shelters & homeless shelters can often use it. The homeless population increases during the winter in Fl., so the extra donations are very much needed.

                                        1. re: meatn3

                                          that is a very good idea. they would sure love all the extra help and you would feel good about it to.