Hillsborough County farmers grow more than 60 crops. In this monthly feature we discuss a seasonal crop, grown locally and available fresh in area groceries.
When are fresh Hillsborough County oranges available at local groceries and farm stands?
October through May
What varieties of oranges are grown commercially here?
Valencia, Navel, and various types of tangerines, all in many varieties
Where are oranges most commonly grown in Hillsborough County?
South and East County. There also are groves in the Lutz/Odessa area.
How many acres are planted with oranges?
Citrus, including grapefruit, are grown on 5,585 acres in Hillsborough County
How many pounds of oranges are harvested?
About 54 million pounds of oranges were harvested in the 2016-'17 growing season.
The great majority of the United States' orange juice is made from Florida-grown oranges. The orange is Florida's official state fruit; orange juice is the state beverage; the orange blossom is the state flower.
Florida-grown citrus, both fresh fruit and juice, is labeled as such. So, look for Florida-grown and Florida not-from-concentrate labeling.
Dooley Groves is the last grower, packer, processor in Hillsborough County.
Recipe: Warm Cinnamon-Orange Cider