Florida is known for its abundant citrus industry, and oranges are a major part of that industry. The state has many orange groves, especially in Central Florida. Many of these groves are family-owned and have been passed down through generations. The citrus industry is also important to the economy as oranges are shipped worldwide, providing jobs and income for many Floridians.
Citrus Industry in Florida
Florida’s citrus industry began in the 16th century when Spanish explorers brought citrus trees to the state. Today, Florida produces more than 70% of the oranges grown in the United States and is one of the world’s largest producers of orange juice.
To get the most out of your orange picking experience in Florida, visit between December and May for maximum abundance. However, you can find oranges available during the season that runs from October to June.
Where is citrus grown in Florida?
Most of the citrus fruits grow in the southern part of the state because it is unlikely to freeze there. In the 1980s, when there were a lot of freezes, farmers moved southwards. Polk County is still where most citrus grows. The largest orange groves concentration is in the Indian River region, stretching along the state’s eastern coast from Daytona Beach to West Palm Beach.
When is Florida citrus in season?
Oranges from Florida are plentiful from October to June. The most oranges are available from December to May. Grapefruit is shipped from September to June, with the most in February. Tangerines, tangelos and temple oranges can be found between October and March.
Here are some of the orange variety and citrus products that you will find in Florida!
- Navel oranges
- Hamlin oranges
- Valencia oranges
- Temple oranges
- Pineapple oranges
- Ruby red grapefruit
U-Pick Orange Groves in Florida
Florida U-Pick orange groves provide a memorable experience for families and friends alike, offering an opportunity to learn about the process of harvesting oranges in addition to picking your own delicious fruit. So plan your trip today and come pick some oranges in Florida!
The Showcase of Citrus
Immerse in the delectable experience of orange picking at Showcase of Citrus, Florida’s premier citrus farm with 2500 acres dedicated to various fruits! For a unique adventure, grab a basket from the Old Time Country Store and hand-pick your own oranges.
Or, if you’d prefer something more convenient, take home one of their ready-to-go bags filled with sweet juicy oranges for an easy yet delightful treat.
At Dooley Groves, you can go to the Enchanted Grove and pick your own oranges. Smell the orange blossoms and enjoy the outdoors. Picking your own fruit gets you the freshest oranges and lets you exercise too! It is a great deal.
You can go to a big farm shop when you pick Florida oranges. They have lots of things like candles made from orange blossoms, orange juice, fruit that is already picked for you and presents with a Florida citrus theme. You can also find treats there.
Ridge Island Groves
When you pick oranges in Florida, you get to go on a tour. You’ll learn about how and where the oranges are grown. You can go to the packing plant and watch how they clean, wax and sort the fruit. Then it is sent all over the world. The packing plant is open so you can see everything that happens. They separate fruits by size, and use the not-so-pretty ones for citrus juice.
It costs $8.00 for each person to go on the behind-the-scenes tour and pick one orange. If you want to pick more oranges, it is $1 per pound. When in season, you can also pick fresh peaches and blueberries here!
Don’t leave without having some soft serve ice cream; take a jar of jam home with you too.
The Crump family owns and works on VoLaSalle Farms in DeLeon Springs, Florida. They have been doing this for four generations! At Vo-LaSalle Farms, you can pick your own vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, eggplant, squash and green beans. You can also purchase fresh squeezed orange juice to take home with you.
Lake Mills U-Pick
Visit the small u-pick farm on 1701 Lake Mills Road in Chuluota. It has 5 acres and lots of different kinds of fruit. It makes for a fun and easy outing. The fruit you pick will be weighed, and the store will give you a basket or net bag to put it in. You should bring your own boxes or bags to take the fruit home.
Address: 1701 Lake Mills Road, Chuluota, FL 32766 | Facebook
Graham Farms is in Umatilla, Florida, and the Graham family has owned it for more than 100 years. It’s only one hour away from Orlando and Lake County. You can still see the old Florida there! The farm has lots of peach trees and blackberry plants. It also has big fields with sunflowers and other wild flowers in them.
The Shelfer family has been harvesting luscious oranges in the Sunshine State for more than a century. At Joshua Citrus, you can explore vibrant citrus groves and take in the captivating aroma of orange blossoms. A ride on our farm wagon is like no other – observe branches laden with sweet little fruits bursting with flavor! Experience this remarkable sight first-hand; it’s an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed!
Orange Producers in Florida
If you’re not too interested in picking oranges, you can still support local businesses and orange growers in Florida. These establishments grow their own citrus plants and sell a variety of sweet treats and baked goods.
Al’s Family Farms
This delightful shops has the tastiest orange juice you can have to refreshed during those hot summer days. They also sell ice cream, fudge, honey and jams!
Bob Roth’s New River Groves
On a sunny, autumn day in 1964, Bob Roth established New River Groves in Davie, Florida. This “Grove” quickly became an integral part of the state’s citrus industry located on western Broward County and was warmly welcomed by its community of growers, packers and shippers. Longstanding supporters fondly refer to it as ‘The Grove’.
Today, you can enjoy the most delicious key lime pie, smoothies, and fudge!
Red Hill Groves
In Sanford, there is a store that sells citrus fruit and BBQ. It also has fun decorations, pecans to buy in bulk, delicious orange juice and root beer floats! So if you want to support a local business, stop by Red Hill Groves for some delicious BBQ. Then take some jams and orange juice home with you!
Florida Orange Groves Winery
The Florida Orange Groves Winery definitely deserves a spot on the roll of admired Florida orange groves. They produce a selection of citrus-infused wines, like their signature Orange Sunshine Sweet and Dry varieties. So even though they don’t technically cultivate an orchard, this winery is still worth exploring!
Tips for Picking Oranges in Florida
- Remember to dress appropriately with comfortable clothes and closed-toe shoes.
- Bring containers, like baskets or bags, to collect your oranges in.
- Bring bottled water and snacks if you plan on picking for a few hours.
- Don’t forget the sunscreen; the Florida sun can be harsh!
- Go in the morning before it gets busy and warm