Florida Citrus

I was in Florida to assist my son who races drones. I didn’t really have much time while there. I managed to make it to an Amish market in Sarasota. I bought oranges, some apples, and honey.

The large oranges are called Honeybells. Rind was thick peeled right off, Fruit was segmented and easily breaks apart. Taste is very good, very sweet. It has one seed in every segment, 1/2 the size of normal seeds, I ate 5 segments before I saw it had a seed.The smaller orange has a thin skin, the fruit is glued to it too. Hard to get off. Talk about sweet, this was the sweetest orange I ever tasted. That one is a Sugarbell. Very good. The green-orange one is called a fall tangerine, it is seeded. Also again very sweet.
The rind is interesting, it tastes a little different, and the inside pulp is a melon orange
in color. It would make a unique zest.


Honeybell is also what some call the Minneola Tangelo.

nice collection of citrus you have there…I guess we take it for granted because you can pretty much stop at any roadside stand in the state and buy citrus year round. I’m not familiar with the fall tangerine, need to give that a try, and I definitely agree about the sugar bells…they’re delicious…honeybells and the minneola are technically the same, but the honeybells are bigger, sweeter and more expensive…at least in my experience.

Yeah here the oranges are seldom labeled, so hard to say what they are? Usually not as sweet but I have seen the Honeybell type before. The fall tangerines are huge, and I never seen nothing like them. They really taste a lot different. It was nice to have all these options. And the taste was good on all three, yet not the same.
The honey I bought was orange blossom. I compared it to local clover honey. I actually like the clover better. But it’s a unique flavor and does taste like citrus, interesting, light, it’s good. Still the dark caramel flavor of the clover honey was more to my liking. They had other types for sale too, and I’ll try them next time I go down there.
I collected seeds from all three, the small one sugarbell, I’m going to grow. it was the best! I doubt it will do well, but I like to grow plants, so I will be growing it just for fun.
Citrus can come true to seed too.

Honeybells are my favorites!

Yes, very good too, all of them were good. I still have some left except for sugarbell. I saved seeds to all, sometimes citrus can come true, but chances are better to use cultivars known to work in containers, like Meyer Lemon or Bearss Lime, and a few others.

My family dragged me down to Disney World this week. Today was “Daddy’s Day.” So I dragged them to a fruit orchard:

Ridge Island Groves in Haines City, Florida.

We took the grand tour. They let my kid pick a Honeybell off the tree. Juicy.

We also tried the new Pineapple orange straight off the tree-- not impressed-- but was told it is way past their season.

We sampled all the goodies at their market. The tangerines were the best. Bought a basket of them to bring home on the plane. The Red Navel oranges were surprisingly good. The red grapefruit did not disappoint.


Dang that looks good!!!

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I need t go back down, this weather is killing me! Looks good, reminds how nice Florida is. It is so different than here.

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My haul:


I’d love to be able to taste less common varieties, but am not unhappy with regular Navels and Valencias.
Our boys went down to Sun City recently, and picked over 8 barrels of citrus. We have a lot of oranges to juice and can, Tangelos, and Grapefruit.
What really sweetens the deal for us is getting paid to pick those trees.

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Too funny…we probably crossed paths…Me and family drove down to Orlando, just a little over two hours, spent the day at Animal Kingdom on Saturday and came home Sunday AM…Can’t stand those crowds, but the weather was absolutely beautiful…never been to Ridge Island, will have to check it out some time. On the way back I was considering stopping at one of those citrus stores that we have along the interstate but decided not to…

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Look at the sultry luscious juice comin’ outta’ these babies!

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The last of the Florida tangerines thrown in with some new tangelos from the grocery. Off-the-charts flavor.