We recently went on a field trip to an orange juice factory. Actually, the factory was across the street and we toured a little museum, watched a film and walked around a mini grove. We would have really liked to tour the actual facility, but were not allowed.
If you drink packaged oj in the morning, it probably comes from Florida. The oranges we grow are tasty, but ugly - so we dominate the juice industry. Ninety-five percent of all oranges are headed for juice. If you are eating a beautiful orange, it probably came from California.
I thought I would share a few tidbits about citrus that you might find interesting:
-The spanish brought oranges to Florida from Spain. You can still walk through forests and find wild orange trees with really sour fruit on them. They are a far cry from the cultivars we now grown and consumed.
-Oranges are a handpicked crop. Mostly by migrant workers.
-They need to be picked when they are ripe. Unlike stone fruits, which will ripen after you pick them, oranges will not continue to ripen.
-It takes one year to go from blossom to fruit.
-Oranges are grown on a sturdy root stock (frequently from the sour orange, I believe) and the rest of the tree is grafted on. This allows for the best root system and tastiest fruit combination. When you graft, it only takes 3 years for the tree to bear fruit, where as if you grew the tree from seed, it would take 15 years.
Have you toured a local industry's factory recently?
Feel free to share your link in the comments. We can all virtually see what is growing and being made around America (and further).