Grapefruit from Florida

Christmas Citrus
One of the wonderful traditions my family has is that my parents send us some Florida citrus each year. It tastes so good, the fresh oranges and grapefruit, but it also takes me to our family home in Florida, at least for a few minutes.
Our spot is right on the Indian River, in Sebastian, Florida, about half way between Miami and Cape Canaveral on the east coast of the State. Of course, Indian River county is known for its citrus produce – and Pelican Pointe is in the heart of it all.
It used to be that the groves had to be near the river, because they needed constant watering. When our place was built in the mid-1980’s, we were located right next to Hales Groves – a large mail order shipper of fruit that had been in business since the 1940’s. A few years ago, the changes began, as Hales opened a new grove near Interstate 95 in Vero Beach – possible because it is now cheaper to dig water reservoirs and pump water than it is to buy riverfront land! Hales old grove and citrus stand is now an empty warehouse on Highway 1, a reminder of what used to be.
Our fruit now comes from Countryside citrus, which is also here next door in Wabasso, slightly back from the river with dug ponds and a large number of groves and also strawberry plants and other fruits. The change is evident, but I’m glad there are some people still doing this near us. It makes our little spot a tad more rural.
I think I’ll go have another orange!