PIECES OF THE PAST: February Was Eat More Citrus Month

Tacy CalliesPieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette February has always been a big month for the Florida citrus industry — so much so that the Florida Citrus Exposition was created in 1923 to help promote the annual crop. It took place every February and incorporated numerous competitions and events over 11 days. In 1954, the exposition included an opening-day parade; Canners and Allied … Read More

Pieces of the Past: Waverly’s Window

Tacy CalliesPieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette I grew up in Winter Haven and have driven by Waverly Growers Cooperative countless times when traveling around Polk County. But I never knew that at one time there was a formal garden and picnic grounds adjacent to the Waverly Welcome House.  Founded in 1914 by a group of local growers led by Charles Hillery Walker … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Christmas Traditions

Tacy CalliesPieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette The orange became part of Christmastime traditions in the 19th century, along with the custom of hanging stockings near the fire. According to Emily Spivack, who wrote about the origin of the Christmas stocking for Smithsonian.com, the tradition of hanging stockings dates back to around 1823, when it is mentioned in the poem “Account of a … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Thanksgiving Joys

Tacy CalliesPieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette I just found several old Thanksgiving postcards with citrus themes that are quite beautiful. They are from an era when postage was a penny, and people sent postcards to friends and family on holidays. With everything going on in our world today, the postcards reminded me of the importance in reflecting on what’s good in our … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: When Canned Grapefruit Came on the Scene

Tacy CalliesPieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette October has always signaled the first crop forecast, heralding the start of a new Florida citrus season. However, picking often begins in September for some eager to be the first out of the blocks. But, in the early days, with so much of the crop being sold fresh, it was imperative not to ruin the rest … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: How to Manage a New Grove — in 1928

Tacy CalliesPieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette I was looking for inspiration for this month’s column and was trying to tie it in with this issue’s focus, which is grove management. Lo and behold, I came across a 44-page booklet I had tucked away called the “Book of Truth for Planters of New Groves” by Ocklawaha Nurseries, Inc. of Lake Jem, Florida. The … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Great Crate Finds

Tacy CalliesPieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette I recently bought several old citrus crates for the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame collection: Shiloh Fruit Packing Company, with the Indian Chief label Indian River Citrus Sub-Exchange packed by Graves Brothers Company in Wabasso, featuring the Flo brand label On Top Groves from Wetumpka Fruit Co., with the On Top Blue brand label The A. … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Orange Blossoms and Brides

Tacy CalliesPieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette The orange blossom has been part of wedding culture for centuries. Incorporating orange blossoms into the bride’s trousseau originated in ancient China where the white blossoms represented purity, chastity, innocence and fertility. In the article, “To Gather Orange Blossoms – History of Wedding Flowers Bouquets,” Cornelia Powell wrote, “There are few trees so prolific as the … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Selling Citrus on the Honor System

Tacy CalliesPieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette I recently came across a business reply card from Perrin & Thompson Groves of Winter Haven. I had heard of them since I grew up in Winter Haven but had never seen an advertisement like this one! The ad reads: “TRY THESE TREE-RIPENED ORANGES AND GRAPEFRUIT. Let us ship you on APPROVAL and at our expense … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Protecting a Treasured Tree

Tacy CalliesPieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette In the 1960s, 84-year-old Ethel G. Hakes recounted her firsthand experience of how the Temple orange rose to fame. “Have you ever heard of a tree so treasured that its owner sat up all night to watch over it? Yet that’s exactly what one greenhorn grower did one night when a hard freeze headed for our … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Fond Family Memories

Tacy CalliesPieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette I recently went to the funeral of Pate Snively, who was a longtime Winter Haven resident and citrus grower. I attended school with several of his nephews but got to know Snively when I was ending my reign as the Florida Citrus Queen in 1982. I was offered the opportunity to sell ads in our program … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Wind of Change

Tacy CalliesPieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette 2020 is the 93rd anniversary of Flamingo Groves, the forerunner of Flamingo Gardens. The founders, Floyd L. and Jane Wray, moved to Florida in 1925 where he sold real estate. The following year, on Sept. 19, a devastating hurricane decimated the area and changed their lives. D.L. Gregory was staying with the Wrays during the hurricane … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Paying Tribute to Pioneers

Tacy CalliesPieces of the Past

Recently, I came across an old letter A.F. Camp wrote to John T. Lesley in 1979. I thought it was so interesting that I shared it with the members of the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame Selection Committee. I wanted them to think about how hard things were “back in the day” in considering the contributions of some of the … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Twenty-Twenty Vision

Tacy CalliesHistory, Pieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette Here we are in 2020. It’s hard to believe that time is flying by so fast. I’m now in the older generation! This makes me want to preserve as many memories as possible before they’re lost and forgotten. Approximately 30 people showed up at a recent Florida Citrus Hall of Fame Oral History Luncheon at the … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: From Yearling to Centenarian

Tacy CalliesCitrus, Pieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette When Citrus Industry magazine was launched 100 years ago, the founders had many fears as to whether the focus on a single crop was too narrow to be successful. It would be something I clearly remember the Frisbie family discussing with staff at different times over the years. However, at the close of the publication’s first … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Nathan Mayo — A Precocious Agriculture Commissioner

Tacy CalliesPieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette Florida’s agriculture commissioners have always been extremely important to the state’s citrus industry. One of the first Citrus Industry magazine articles I was able to find on a past Florida commissioner of agriculture was about the appointment of Nathan Mayo. It appeared in the November 1923 issue of the magazine. I thought it was extremely interesting … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Young Tree Care of Yesterday

Tacy CalliesHistory, Pieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette In 1921, citrus pomologist D.W. Hadsell wrote a Citrus Industry article titled “The Care of Young Citrus Trees.” Following is information from his article on how things were done “back in the day.”  According to Hadsell, “successful tree planting requires special attention to at least four essentials.” He lists the necessary steps as follows: Keep the … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: A Look Back at the First Citrus Expo

Tacy CalliesCitrus Expo, Pieces of the Past

citrus expo

Industry members attended the 28th annual Citrus Expo this month. Let’s take a look back to the event’s beginnings. Known as the Southwest Florida Citrus Expo at the time, the event took place Aug. 26–27, 1992, shortly after Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida. The first Citrus Expo was held at the Lee Civic Center in North Fort Myers, the same … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: The Founding of Florida Citrus Mutual

Tacy CalliesPieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette On the cover of the April 1949 issue of Citrus Industry magazine, there is a paragraph that references the beginning of Florida Citrus Mutual. It simply states: “Now that Florida Citrus Mutual is definitely and permanently organized, it behooves every citrus grower in Florida to give this super-cooperative organization his loyal and whole-hearted support. With prices … Read More