So, I got to interview Eduardo Pines and ask him (as well as Tropicana) some of the questions y’all asked!
To start, let’s talk about Eduardo Pines and get his answers to YOUR questions!
On his grove, Pines is growing a family as well as oranges. His son, now 11, took his first steps there (and now says he wants to own the place one day). And his New York-bred wife has had to adjust to a more rural existence involving all kinds of wildlife and even the occasional hurricane. “You should have seen her face,” he chuckles when recalling an early run in with a gator. Today, however, she is a major force in the grove, assisting in virtually every important decision concerning its future.
There are parallels, Pines says, between raising oranges and families. “Growing oranges is a lot like raising a kid, because when you see a grove that is healthy, beautiful and clean, you know you are doing everything possible for that bloom to open up. Parenting is the same way.”
Tropicana Grower Eduardo Pines on:
· The Perfect Orange: “The perfect orange is one that is juicy. Really, really juicy. And firm. And once you bite it, you get that juice rolling down your fingertips. And when you cut it open, you get the citrus mist, that burst. And when I give it to my kids, they just smile.”
The best thing about his job: “It’s a healthy business. You see the sunrise, you see the wildlife, and you come home smelling like orange blossoms.”
Q1: Yes….I recently decided I want to try a few fruit trees…Living in South Louisiana I need very specific instructions for them to survive in such humid conditions at times! And when do I know it is time to pick them and eat it. We love oranges!!!!!
Christi B. W.
A1: Christi, The best source for citrus growing advice is University of Florida / IFAS web page (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu) Here you can find all the information for proper caretaking of citrus trees, from choosing the right soil type, rootstock, variety, fertilizer rates, watering and pest control.
Q2: How long does it take to grow an orange on a tree? Rita
A2: With proper caretaking practices, it takes three years to start seeing oranges on the tree. As the tree gets older the fruit crop should get larger and sweeter. The older the citrus tree the better the quality of the fruit and juice.
Q3: I would like to know from the Tropicana growers how their oranges get so sweet. I would also like to know, would they recommend using fresh orange juice for making orange chicken or using a prepackaged 100% juice like theirs? Kim H.
Q3: Part of being a Tropicana grower requires excellent caretaking practices and attention to detail. We harvest our fruit at the correct time, and peak of freshness. We are constantly working with our Tropicana team to determine the correct and precise time to harvest and ship the fruit. Because the best place to store the fruit is on the tree.
NFC (Not From Concentrate) is 100% Orange Juice. I would recommend using the NFC product, as this will eliminate the mess of cutting and clean the oranges.
Q4: What happens when a freeze hits the oranges?? Kelly DeB.
A4: When a freeze is coming, we use our irrigation system to protect the trees, by keeping the tree hydrated. Most importantly, we pray because Mother Nature is in charge.
Q5: …and I want to know if you have any tried and true recipes using the leftover oranges?
A5: I would love to send some recipes but my wife is not around the office! I just come home and eat, whatever is ready.
We had lots more questions, but they were answered by the experts at Tropicana! I will get o those in the next day or two!
You can visit Tropicana’s Facebook page to get an up close and personal look at some of the Florida groves where many of Tropicana Pure Premium’s oranges come from, with photos, stories, grower profiles and fun grove facts.
Don’t Forget: To celebrate its 100% Pure Florida orange juice, Tropicana Pure Premium is giving consumers a behind-the-scenes look at the Florida groves where their oranges are grown, and is sending one lucky family to Florida to experience the groves in person.
From March 19 through April 20, 2012, you can visit Tropicana’s Facebook page to enter to win one of 100 prizes. Prizes include:
99 one-year supplies of orange juice in the form of twelve (12) 59oz Tropicana Pure Premium containers
One trip to a Florida orange grove for a grand-prize winner and three (3) guests, which includes:
- Round-trip airfare for four (4) to Florida
- Three (3) night stay at a hotel in Sarasota
- Behind-the-scenes experience at one of the Florida orange groves with the opportunity to meet growers, tour groves and discover the origins of their favorite OJ
For official rules and regulations, you can visit the “sweeps” tab on Tropicana’s Facebook page.
Disclosure: I have a formal relationship with Tropicana Pure Premium as a “TropiMomma” blogger. I was compensated for this post. All opinions remain 100% my own.