Oranges in O’Town

Orange groves around Orlando, Florida now that is a story! Most folks around Orlando today have no idea how it used to be there. When driving around Orlando when the Orange trees were blooming you could smell the Orange Blossoms in the air, and what a great small that was.

If you have never walked through and Orange grove when the Orange Blossoms are in full bloom, you have missed a great experience in life. Here’s a good one for you: On the South East corner of Orange Avenue, and Michigan Street was a large Orange grove. All the old folks, and the younger ones around this area knew better than to pick an Orange off the first row of trees NEXT TO THE ROAD! If you did and you were a new comer, after you take the time to peal it and you are thinking how good it will be when you bite into it you discover it is so bitter your mouth would swivel up and you had to spit it out! The grove owner planted those oranges there on purpose so people would not pick them again. If they would have picked an Orange off the second row it would have been delicious. But when you are holding up traffic, you don’t have much time to do that.

When you were young did you ever go out in an Orange grove, find a good tree you could sit in it, pick the perfect Orange, lean back and peal that nice juicy orange and eat it? Well I have! When sitting in that tree eating the Orange it’s so nice and quite, and nobody is around to bother you.

Let me tell you where all this happened! In the Holden Heights area off of Rio Grande! Back then, there were Orange groves almost everywhere. It was so nice back then. When I, and some of my buddy’s was riding around on our bikes, one of them may say “I’m hungry!”, one of my other buddies would say” I know where a good Naval Orange tree is”! We would jump on our bikes, and we were headed for the Orange grove! I remember picking a box of Oranges and hand squeezing them, or using an Orange squeezing machine. it might have been a lot of work but they “SURE” were good!

We used to get orange juice from the Blue Bird Canning Plant. I knew someone who worked there that was very special to me. She would always bring home the bent cans of juice!

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2 Responses to “Oranges in O’Town”

  1. Patricia Booth Says:

    I was thrilled to read the article Oranges in O’Town. I lived on Michigan Ave. and walked in the orange grove mentioned above. I spend many “great” times there sitting in the “good” trees and experienced the fragrance of the orange blossoms. In addition there were grapefruits, tangerines, kumquats, and many “kinds” of oranges. Nine years (age 6 to 15) I lived what you were speaking of. Saddened when the orange grove was replaced with industrial buildings. I was so happy to share in your memories. Took my bike and my dog “Puff” with me many of those days. Remember the Blue Bird Canning Plant too. I lived on the property when my Dad worked there. The smell of oranges permeated throughout the property. Oh, joy!

  2. Patricia Booth Says:

    I lived on Michigan St., and had many happy days in the same orange grove. I good relate to sitting in the “good” trees just enjoying the taste and fragrance of the trees. I think my dog “Puff” loved it as much as I did. I lived on the property of Blue Bird Canning Plant when my Dad worked there at one time. The wonderful smell of oranges permeated in the air all the way over to Michigan St. Oh, joy! Great memories!

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