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

PIECES OF THE PAST: Back When Bushel Baskets Were the Next Big Thing

Tacy CalliesPieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette While some things stay the same in citrus, others clearly do not. Today’s growers are experimenting with drones and other technology in the grove, but back in the 1920s, bushel baskets were making waves in the industry. Here’s an interesting excerpt from a March 1921 Citrus Industry article titled “Citrus Fruits in Bushel Baskets” by M.S. … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: ‘Largest Citrus Nurseries in the World’

Tacy Calliesnurseries, Pieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette I recently came across an old 1925–26 catalog for the Glen Saint Mary Nurseries Co., which was founded in 1882 and located in Winter Haven, Florida. The catalog claimed to have the “Largest Citrus Nurseries in the World,” and the company was a longtime advertiser in Citrus Industry magazine. Glen Saint Mary’s president was H. Harold … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Noteworthy 1921 Tangelo Tree

Tacy CalliesPieces of the Past

I came across an article in the March 1921 issue of Citrus Industry that was titled “Tangelo Tree Attracts Attention” by W.B. Powell of Lakeconics. Two things caught my eye: 1) “Lakeconics” — where or what the heck was that!? and 2) the singular use of “Tree.” What was so special about this one tree? So, of course, I had … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Citrus Cultivation a Century Ago

Tacy CalliesPieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette I found the first issue (January 1920) of Citrus Industry, courtesy of Jen Dawson at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, Florida. As I looked through the issue, I came across an article on soil tillage. Unfortunately, the pages had stuck together and only the last part was readable, but I wanted to … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Think Upside Down

Tacy CalliesPieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette The headline of a Wilson & Toomer Fertilizer Company advertisement in a 1949 Citrus Industry magazine read “how to think UPSIDE DOWN — and make more money!” It included the following copy: “If a tree can be said to think at all — it thinks from the bottom up — just opposite to Man. To make … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Citrus 70 Years Ago, as Told by Uncle Bill

Tacy CalliesPieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette Editor’s note: Citrus Industry is pleased to welcome back Pieces of the Past to the pages of the magazine after publishing it on CitrusIndustry.net for the past year. This popular citrus history column returns to the magazine in preparation for Citrus Industry magazine’s 100th anniversary in January 2020. Leading up to the anniversary, each Pieces of … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Like Florida Citrus, Beauty Comes from Inside

Tacy CalliesPieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette In 1937, the Florida Citrus Commission released a booklet titled “How to Get the Most Out of Life,” by etiquette guru Emily Post. It included snippets of wisdom along with numerous plugs for the Florida citrus industry. The first page notes that “Brides Wear Orange Blossoms — because these fragrant, exquisite blossoms, in their flawless purity, symbolize … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: “Orange” We Blessed!

Tacy CalliesPieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette This year, before Halloween was even over I was seeing Christmas decorations. It made me wonder: What happened to Thanksgiving? We used to send Happy Thanksgiving cards and plan big family reunions over Thanksgiving meals with tables loaded with recipes handed down over the years. Now it seems more like an afterthought and “Let’s get our … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Juice Trains Roll On

Tacy CalliesPieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette Anthony T. Rossi, founder of Tropicana, immigrated to New York with the dream of making movies, but ended up in the grocery business for 13 years before heading to Florida in search of warmer weather. Using the skills he’d developed in the grocery business, he began packing gift fruit boxes for Macy’s and Gimbel’s, and jars … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Centennial Celebration

Tacy CalliesHistory

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette Frostproof will celebrate its 100th year beginning at noon on Sept. 1, 2018. The Frostproof Centennial Committee has been posting a number of articles on its Facebook page in honor of the celebration. One of the articles noted how Frostproof was incorporated. On June 18, 1918, at 3:00 p.m., 47 Frostproof men met in the Thompson … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Remembering O.C. Minton

Tacy CalliesHistory

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette I was in Fort Pierce recently doing interviews for an oral history project and ran across some interesting photos and information on O.C. Minton, who was inducted into the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame in 1982. A hard worker who was totally dedicated to the Florida citrus industry, Minton’s defining moments came when fighting for identification … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: A Great Read

Tacy CalliesHistory

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette Summertime is always a good time for reading. I recently received a new book titled “Winter Garden Change Makers,” written by my friend, Jerry Chicone, Jr. He dedicated the book to the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation to “encourage more people to step forward to make positive changes for their hometown.” The book is a tribute to … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: An Industry Acronym You Don’t Hear Every Day

Tacy CalliesCitrus, History

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette I love scouring eBay and antique stores for citrus memorabilia because it’s always interesting to see how we, as an industry, used to do things “back in the day.” With that said, I recently came across an old ad from the Florida Citrus Processors Association for citrus pulp titled “Love at first bite because it’s highest … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: A Sentimental Journey to Winter Park

Tacy CalliesHistory

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette This year’s Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival poster featured a look reminiscent of the old citrus crate labels. The artist, Florida native Don Dewitt, noted the poster was also a “nod” to the Winter Park Farmers’ Market located by the old train depot on New England Avenue. The depot was built in 1926 when Winter Park … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Welcome to Waverly

Tacy CalliesHistory

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette I was driving from Winter Haven to Palm Beach Gardens recently, taking the “back” way on Waverly Road. Once called Kissimmee Road, it was originally used to get from Florida’s west coast to the Kissimmee River. As I drove by the old office, packinghouse and welcome house of Waverly Growers Cooperative, I remembered what a beautiful … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Now Hold On Just a Minute!

Tacy CalliesHistory

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette I recently came across a postcard in my collection that featured the Orlando headquarters of the Minute Maid Corporation, which made me curious about how the company started. The back of the postcard reads: “National Headquarters of Minute Maid Corporation in Orlando, Fla. Located near the heart of Florida’s rolling citrus grove country, at the intersection … Read More

PIECES OF THE PAST: Selling Sunshine

Tacy CalliesHistory

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette The citrus industry drew people to Florida with dreams of wealth and retirement, and their livelihood was widely marketed by not only the citrus packinghouses who sold their fruit, but also by their respective chambers of commerce and tourism partners across the state. Florida State Representative Tom Rooney noted in a recent opinion piece that, “The … Read More

Guest Workers: Past, Present and the Future

Josh McGillLabor

By Gülcan Önel and Derek Farnsworth The U.S. agricultural sector has a long history of dependence on foreign workers, and the Florida citrus industry is no exception. Even though mechanical harvesting systems saw increased usage between 1999 and 2006, the discovery of citrus greening in 2005 and its subsequent spread across Florida virtually eliminated mechanical harvesting efforts by 2015 in … Read More