Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Oranges High 91 Lo 74 Thunder storm and rain lots

 Monday we had to go South to Sebring to the dentist to get some adjusting done on Rog's teeth.  So on the way we stopped at the visitor center for The Natural Florida Orange Juice processing plant.  We learned a lot, and most I forgot, but here is some of what I remember.  This particular operation is a co-op.  The farmers are part of the company.  They grow oranges here because the soil on "the Ridge" is the best. 

Important to note here that the "Ridge" is important to Floridians because it is the highest area in the hold state at 295 ft.  Now I must say that there is another spot found in 1960 when the interstate was being built near the Alabama border that measured out at 310 ft, but they probably leveled it to make the road. 

Back to making orange juice.  They grow their own trees starting with great root stock and grafting the best type of orange tree for the area and for the great juice.  I did not know that oranges do not ripen after picking, so they need to know the correct time to pick.  And from observing the many trucks on the road now they are ripe.

 There are many trees on the "ridge".
 The wonderful sent of orange blossoms
 They are almost ripe
 Picking time
 They are picked by hand, placed in large buckets, the buckets are dumped into a large hauler and hauled to the processing plant.
 We see a constant convoy of trucks hauling truck load after truck load of oranges and grapefruit.  A note, during the news on TV we heard that one of these trailers full of oranges was stolen and the value was stated at $25,000.00.  No wonder when it gets a little chilly they get excited.
 At the plant the oranges are being sorted, washed, squeezed, flashed pasteurized, and packed.  They do not add anything to their juice, no sugar, other juices unless it is a combo type juice, no nothing added.  We sampled 8 types of orange juices and combo juices there and they were all great.
 On the way home we spotted this osprey nest.  Interesting spot to locate. We could not see anyone home today, but other trips we could.
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