Saturday, November 29, 2014

Gotta love freebies!

I have a neighbor who loves to repay me with things. Although I don't like taking anything from her when she asks me for help with something, I generously accept any bounty she will give me. One day it was local veg from the farmer's market for taking a photo of her and her family for their holiday card... another time it was a coffee chain gift card for walking her dog... this time, it was two bags of grapefruit for showing her how to use her computer.

Mind you, the grapefruit weren't store bought. Given that we are in one of the citrus capitals of the United States, Fort Myers thrives in fruit. 

Known as the Sunshine State, Florida creates copious amounts of oranges, grapefruits and lemons. That Tropicana juice you're drinking with your daily breakfast? Grown and packaged up in Bradenton, Florida (a few hours north of me). 

Closer to home, there's a harvest company, oddly enough, called "Sun Harvest Citrus". Not only can you walk in to this facility and smell like you're walking in to various groves, you can watch the workers pack the fruit in crates to be shipped all over the country. Citrus season changes with the months, so one minute we may get bins of grapefruit, when 4 months later we can get oranges. It's one of those places where you just want to go in every day just to sample the fresh juice... which is squeezed on site. They also sell fresh jellies and wines that are made with various Florida citrus. My friend visited me in England this summer, and she went home with almost 100 dollars worth of alcohol, jams, sauces and candies... all provided by naturally grown products. This store is a stop worth visiting when in the area (spring training is coming soon.... why not swing in before a Sox game?).