“Can I get my winter oranges and grapefruit from the Tree-Ripe truck just like I get my summer peaches?” We get this question a lot!
If you’ve visited our Peach Stops in the summer or if you’ve been a long-time customer of ours, you’ll be familiar with waiting in line for those boxes of delicious fruit straight from the farm. In fact, we started bringing our Florida citrus direct to the Midwest back in 1990! In recent years, we’ve made the switch to all our winter citrus being sold exclusively in our online store. Why?
Quantity and quality. We suspended our winter truck visits after our winter citrus in 2017 due to growing and harvesting conditions in Florida. The citrus industry has taken a hit over the last 20 years due to HLB, aka “greening disease,” which has drastically reduced the quantity and quality of Florida citrus. Some estimates put production down 80%, and the fruit that is harvested can be small, bitter, and discolored (click here for more info on greening disease). This makes it a challenge to find citrus that meets our high standards.
Only the best. Since our mission is to bring you the best fruit you’ve ever tasted, we are very selective about what citrus we bring on our trucks to you. If you’ve ever been in a Tree-Ripe fruit line, you know we need a lot of the highest-quality fruit to fill our customers’ needs. We’ve even had to stop offering certain varieties because of this, such as Florida Navel oranges, since the quality and availability has been a struggle. The good news is this has opened the door for new varieties to be added to the roster, such as the beautiful Satsuma mandarins!
Opportunity. Growers in northern Florida, where the groves have not been affected by HLB, have been busy planting new trees and new varieties. We look forward to being able to re-start our truck visits in years to come! And while you might miss the fun community feel of waiting for that special day when the Tree-Ripe truck will be in your area, planning how much fruit you’ll need to get to share with family and friends, and bundling up for the winter weather, don’t miss the opportunity to try new varieties delivered right to your door!