Florida Guide > Places to Visit
Showcase of Citrus
On US-27, four and a half miles North of 192, is Showcase of Citrus. This is a family owned citrus grove and so much more. With over 2, 500 acres of working citrus groves and cattle ranch, it is an amazing place to explore and so much more from what it appears as you drive past.
When you pull into the parking lot, you are immediately surrounded by an amazing array of fresh citrus fruits on display. Several different varieties of oranges, tangerines, limes, lemons and a new one for us, the pomelo. The pomelo looks like a HUGE grapefruit and it is from the same family. Thanks to their tasting samples at the back, though, we now know that the pomelo is much less acidic than the grapefruit and much less sour. It has a very fresh taste and is very juicy and is definitely recommended.
As you wander around the store there is also a great selection of local sauces, honeys, jams and preserves for sale. There are samples for you to try. When we visited they had also been barbequing a boar that was available for sandwiches and also for buying freshly barbequed hams and shoulders from. This was a wild boar that they had caught on their land two days before and had been smoking for 24 hours. The barbequing is the slow smokey style here, not the type over hot coals … that is grilling, apparently, real barbequing is slow food.
The great thing about having the citrus grove here is that you can then go and pick your own fruit and put together a mixed bag of citrus for you to take away. This is a great fun activity and as the season for the fruit is from October through to April, is not done with the concern of the heat of the summer. The groves are clearly marked to show what fruits are in season and also suggestions of where to find the best fruits. Our kids had great fun hunting the best fruits, tasting along the way!
The real fun happened when we returned to the “Old Tyme Farm Store”, though. Having picked our crop, we then decided to go on their swamp buggy tour. This is an hour long tour in a monster truck, correction, it is more than a monster truck, it is an ex-school bus that has been converted … do you get monster school buses? Apparently so.
Our tour guide/driver was one of the owners himself and it was a fascinating trip, made all the better that his son and some of his school friends were also along for the ride. We stopped on the way out to pick up some oranges from one of the groves affected by a recent harsh frost and now destined for juicing. These were to become a sweet treat for the cattle, they really love oranges! We also get to see their various different citrus groves, including traditional varieties, modern varieties and experimental varieties. The real fun, though, is in having a monster truck and swamp area and combining the two!
This is an attraction with a definite family feel to it, perhaps a little seasonal, but definitely worth the visit!
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Page added on: 16 January 2010
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