Jan 18, 2013

Butrico Groves, Mims FL, Great Oranges in Florida

So...... I went on a cruise (more on that later)
and decided to pick up some fresh fruit on our way home.  Somewhere between Jacksonville and Cape Canaveral, we googled "orange grove nearby" and discovered Butrico Groves at our very next exit.  It was just minutes off the highway!  (Stockway off I-95, right on US-1, then follow the signs)

Sure, you can buy fruit at many stands at many gas stations along I-95, but you won't be able to do this:

And you won't find this to help you clean up before you jump back in the car:

Butrico Groves sells out of a shed in a back yard. . .
 surrounded by orange and lemon trees.  As you arrive, Lee or Linda Bird will pop out a pocket knife and immediately slice up a taste of Florida for you.  And another slice.  And another slice.   Fresh fruit, tree ripened with no gas or color added.

As we walked up we told Lee we had just been on a cruise, in fact, we were still all giggly from our fun trip.  Lee called out "Well you probably didn't get enough to eat on the cruise so let me cut up a tangelo for you."

We all leaned in and began slurping.  And moaning.  The honey-bell tangelos were in season and incredibly juicy.

Lee sliced up some tangerine and regular old naval oranges for us, all the while talking about the difference between the fruit, the way they hand pick them and the memories he has of finding an orange in the bottom of his Christmas stocking every year.

We tasted the Ruby Red grapefruit as well and took home several bags of everything.

Then I asked the Big Question:

"Lee, Do you have a Ponderosa Lemon?"

I knew it was Ponderosa Lemon season.  I've been on a decade long quest all over Florida for this lemon.  One of these lemons is enough to make an incredible lemon meringue pie.   I wanted my mama's Ponderosa Lemon Meringue Pie and I wanted it bad.

So I held my breath in anticipation as Lee admitted, "No," he had no Ponderosa lemons.   He dropped his head, lowered his voice and told me to peek around the corner at his Ponderosa lemon tree.  Lee is struggling to keep his Ponderosa lemon tree alive.  I wiped a tear as he encouraged me to go over and sniff the other, healthy, lemon tree blossoms.  So I did and it perked me up a little bit - those blossoms were fragrant!

We snapped one more picture before we left.
Yes, we were still munching on fruit slices.

Check out Butrico's website and follow them on Facebook.
I'll be seeing them again real soon.  

1 comment:

Midge said...

One correction, one of those Ponderosa lemons will make at leas a half dozen pies and THE BEST ones you've ever tasted!