Florida Citrus & Produce on the Treasure Coast
Fresh Florida orange juice… You know the saying, but you probably didn’t know that citrus is not native to Florida. Citrus was brought to Florida by early Spanish explorers in the 1500s and commercially grown in the 1800s. Regardless, Florida’s sandy soil and subtropical climate are perfect for growing citrus, thus Florida’s thriving, $9 billion citrus industry.
The state produces several types of citrus including, of course, oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and tangelos. Oranges are in season from October through June and most abundant from December until May. Grapefruit season is September through June and other types of oranges (tangerines, tangelos, and temple oranges) are available from October until March.
It may surprise you that summer months are not citrus season, but not to fear, Florida businesses produce a plethora of citrus-inspired treats and gifts year-round including orange blossom honey, marmalade, cakes and more. Countryside Citrus is one of our favorite places for in-season citrus and other treats and gifts.
During your visit to the Treasure Coast’s Indian River County, visit Vero Beach’s Heritage Center and Citrus Museum to see artifacts, displays and photographs from Florida’s rich citrus history. And visit their gift shop for some unique souvenirs. Finally, don't miss the Heritage Center's citrus label driving tour.
It’s such a treat to see a citrus grove in season when the lush green trees are dotted with the bright orange fruit!
Florida Grapefruit is also well-known around the world. Florida’s subtropical climate, abundant rainfall, sunshine, and sandy soil help grow the sweetest and juiciest grapefruit in the world. Despite potential exterior blemishes on a thin peel, the flavor of Florida grapefruit is exquisite and enjoyed throughout the world. Much of Florida’s grapefruit is grown in the Indian River region, or the Treasure Coast, and is shipped worldwide during the season, November through May.
Key limes, grown in the Florida Keys (among other places), have a distinctive flavor. They are tart but not acidic, and are your best bet for a real Key Lime Pie; a typical grocery store lime is larger and more acidic. Key limes are smaller and tend to have more seeds. Unlike other limes, key limes yellow as they ripe. While they are more tart, they blend perfectly in the sweetness of desserts.
Unlike other limes, key limes yellow as they ripe.
While some Central and South American countries dominate the mango market, we favor the flavor of our own Florida-grown mangoes. And the good news is that, while citrus season is usually December through May, you can enjoy delicious Florida mangoes during the summer! Enjoy your mangoes on your fresh catch with this easy, tangy tropical slaw recipe.
Plant City Strawberries
Plant City, Florida, is famous as the winter strawberry capital of the world. About 8,000 acres of strawberries are grown in Florida making it the second-largest producing region in the United States.
Each spring visitors from around the state and the world come together to celebrate during the week-long Plant City Strawberry Festival. Of course strawberries, some of the most healthy and favorite fruits, are always cause for celebration!
Plant City, Florida, located a couple of hours northwest of Vero Beach, is well-known as the winter strawberry capital of the world.
For more about the history of citrus on the Treasure Coast and citrus-inspired gifts visit Vero Beach’s Heritage Center and Citrus Museum.
Find in-season citrus and treats at Countryside Citrus.
Celebrate the winter strawberry season at the world-famous Plant City Strawberry Festival each spring.