Ever wonder where your delicious sweet oranges
came from? Well here in Florida they were brought by the Conquistadors, the Spanish
sailors who originally came to Florida. My name is Richard Skinner. I’m the owner of
Hawkins Nursery. We’ve been in the business for about thirty years and the nursery and
family has been in citrus ever since eighteen fifty five. North America, South America did
not have citrus. The Spanish sailors brought seeds and planted.Why? Because they wanted
fruit to prevent scurvy on their return trip to Spain. So consequently, not finding any
here they brought seeds to plant it for the next sailings that would go along for years.
Well, citrus has been in Florida and North and South America ever since. The tree I’m
standing next to is a, we know is a Florida seedling but actually it originated from those
Spanish sailors. This is the same orange that they brought. The trunk here has quite some
size to it because it’s a hundred and five years old. The citrus industry today, the
different varieties derive mostly off of this in plain oranges now. The history goes back
to actually in southeast Asia most of the scientists think and then was brought by seedlings
and by cuttings all the way over in to the Mediterranean area which still has quite a
citrus industry in places like Sicily and Cypress and Italy and Egypt and all along
the Mediterranean there where we’ve got a semi-tropical climate which is great for citrus.
Some of the tropics like citrus but different variety. You cannot grow citrus commercially
in temperate zones that get in to freezes. So consequently citrus is a winter fruit by
and large and we have many different varieties today. But this one was the old timey one
that is basically where our history began here in Florida. This is Richard Skinner and
this is the history of oranges.