Monday, January 23, 2012


Citrus fruit consumption and production has been steadily increasing over the last few decades. Now, at least 140 countries in the world produce citrus fruits. Oranges are the biggest crop. Main citrus growing countries are Brazil, the Mediterranean countries, the United States and China. Here in California, I grow my own.

Yesterday, with temperatures near freezing, we picked another thirty or so oranges from one of the orange trees I planted in the back yard some Fifteen years ago. We have been eating fresh oranges for weeks every morning, and sharing them with neighbors. My oldest and largest orange tree now seems to have reached peak production. The oranges are not large this year, but they taste incredible. As I ate those fresh oranges, I was thankful for a lot of things.

First, my citrus trees (yet) do not have "citrus greening" or "yellow dragon disease" which is hitting citrus crops in Asia, Brazil and in the U.S. in Texas and Florida. It's incurable..and the bacteria that cause this disease of citrus trees are spread by insects. My relatively mature orange trees are likely to be more resistant if the disease does come to this area.

Secondly, yes, my trees do get black spot almost every year, but I have found organic measures that deal with the fungus reasonably well, without having to resort to toxic fungicides such as carbendazim, which is heavily used by Brazilian orange growers - and was discovered in our U.S. orange juice.

Thirdly, although we have had some totally weird weather in California, with a cold spell following some unseasonably warm weeks, we managed to cover the citrus trees during the worst days, and it seems the blossoms survived on the trees that had them.

Fourthly, I am glad I know what is in those oranges. They not only taste "healthy," but they are healthy.

To your good health,

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