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Pick your own citrus and taste the difference!
Imagine waking to another glorious sunny day in Florida, sipping some sweet fresh orange juice on your pool deck, and enjoying some ruby red grapefruit for breakfast that you have picked and chosen yourselves from the trees and groves – what a wonderful way to start your day true Floridian style.
Located on US27 towards Clermont, and only 10 minutes from the junction of Hwy192 and US27 and on the right side of the road you will find ‘The Showcase of Citrus’ or ‘U-Pick’, pick your own citrus groves, open October – May.
As we arrived we were greeted by the owners and offered samples of Valencia Oranges, Ruby Red Grapefruit and Honey Tangerines – the taste is fantasic. The citrus season lasts from October until May, with different varieties available throughout the season including 3 varieties of Navel oranges from October to March, Page from October to December, Ambersweet from October to November, Hamlin from November to January, Temple from December to April, Valencia from March to May, grapefruit from October to May, lemon and limes from October to February, and 3 varieties of tangerines from October to May. Do not be fooled by the look of the fruit and skin, it is not treated with pesticides and grows naturally – it may not look like the fruit you buy in the supermarket (not so orange, waxy and ‘perfect’ looking), but the taste is so much better, even slightly green fruit is ripe, sweet and juicy – delicious!
We were then showed a map and told where the groves were situated for the fruit in season – we were there in April, and were directed to the grapefruits, Valencia oranges and Honey Tangerines were. The groves are vast (over 35 acres), so be sure to find out what is in season before you set off. Trainers or similar footwear is recommended, as well as hats and good sunscreen.
The fruit is sold in ‘bushels’ (net-like strong bags) and you can choose either a half bushel or quarter bushel to collect your fruit in. We chose 2 half bushels (one for each of the children). The bags are very, very heavy as you fill them up, but we discovered after that pull along trolley carts are provided for use! You can fill your bushels with a mixture of fruit i. e. oranges, grapefruit and tangerines, and pay per half/quarter bushel. The price for a half bushel is $14.
Picking complete and bushes full we then returned to the shop to pay, where we were offered a sample of freshly squeezed orange juice. The shop also offers a variety of citrus related goods, including jams, marmalade, and even orange perfume.
We thoroughly enjoyed our trip, and came away with some delicious fruit to enjoy for the duration of our holiday – we will be back!
Author: Dawn and Alan Murray
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