November 17, 2010 – Hunt for Orange Groves Fresh squeezed juice and Beaches – Rolling Shoe Box
The search for orange groves and fresh squeezed orange juice was fruitless today. We drove around Wild Wood, Hernando beach and Crystal lake did no find one U-pick Orange grove, juice stand, or orange tree for that matter. The tree in this picture is an ornamental tree near the shuffle board court in our park. Since the search left us empty handed, we did some inquiry into the problem. Turns out farmers in this portion of the state have switched to more stable products such as blue berry’s and strawberries, and cows which are more tolerant of cold and have fewer legal regulations. We found out the Orange growers are so regulated that they cannot afford to compete in the US market. There are too many consumer food laws. Instead non regulated country’s supply better than 70% of US citrus fruits. Regulation is so bad here in Florida that growers who are still here are no longer allowed to sell oranges in a U-pick setting and also sell oranges commercially due to fear of disease transmission. The last problem being experienced is the new pattern continuous cold weather during the growing season that is wiping out the crops. Locals say we will find more groves and fruit stands in south central Florida, but we are not likely to find a grove we can get near. Quest part two: find the famed Florida beaches. That was more successful, first we drove to Hernando beach, tuned out, Hernando beach has no beach, just a little city park on a marsh. We drove a few mile South to Crystal lake area and found a 200,000 square foot beach boarding the gulf. The beach was nice, the water warm, and sand the consistency of gritty clay. So far, we have concluded the the east coast does not know how to make beaches and oceans, they need to take lessons from Oregon. Though we never found what we were looking for today, we saw species of birds we had never seen before, plants that we have only seen in books, and even an Armadillo who tried to race our car. Needless to say our car is actually faster than a speeding armadillo. At 80 degrees and sunny in November, it would be a travesty for us to have had anything but a nice day.
Have a good evening and good night..