The History of Indian River Grapefruit

By : | On : February 11, 2012 | Category : Fruit Facts

Indian River grapefruit and oranges are the most popular types of citrus fruit sold. That’s because people know that Indian River citrus fruit is the best tasting citrus fruit that is grown in the US. The Indian River citrus district isn’t large but the fruit that comes from it is remarkably tasty. One of the reasons for this is that the land and fruit groves have been relatively unchanged since the 1800s when the area was first cultivated. Many of the fruit groves are still family owned and operated and all of them take great pride in producing the best fruit in America.

The history of producing grapefruit and oranges in the Indian River citrus district goes back to 1807. Captain Douglas Dummitt, an explorer and homesteader, was sailing the coast of Florida when the sweet scent of the citrus trees along the Indian River lured him into the heart of what would become the Indian River citrus district. He was so enamored of the smell of the trees that he uprooted several to plant on his homestead even before he knew where his homestead was going to be. He slowly started cultivating the trees and growing grapefruit as well as oranges. Other cultivated groves started to appear over time and by the early 1900s Indian River citrus fruit was famous for being delicious and sweet.

In fact, because the Indian River citrus fruit had such a great reputation, other farmers who were not located in the Indian River citrus district area were lying to customers and claiming their fruit was Indian River fruit just so they would sell more of it. In 1921 the farmers who owned and operated the citrus groves along the Indian River banded together and lobbied the government to have legislation passed protecting the name of Indian River citrus fruit. The legislation was passed and the Indian River citrus district was created. Now only fruit that comes from a handful of groves within that district can be called Indian River fruit.

Indian River grapefruit and oranges are special because of the amazing quality of the fruit and the great taste. It’s the unique combination of the weather and the soil in that particular district that creates such wonderful fruit. The groves are just far enough from the ocean to be protected from the cool temperatures that can roll in over the ocean and fed by the nutrients deposited in the soil by the Indian River. The combination of perfect temperatures and a perfect nutrient blend create the best tasting citrus fruit you can buy.

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