Califonia Bountiful

Citrus central

UC research center identifies new and exciting fruit.

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That enticing orange at your supermarket is so much more than a healthy dose of vitamin C.

For more than a century now, oranges have been a big part of the economy and identity of the Golden State. While most people know that Florida has the nickname of being the "Orange State" because of their citrus production (most of which goes into orange juice, by the way), California is actually the leading producer of fresh citrus fruit in the country. And at the Lindcove Research and Extension Center near Visalia, they are working hard to bring consumers the best taste of citrus they can.

Operated by the University of California, the center is home to approximately 200 acres of trees, which represent the more than 200,000 acres of citrus trees planted in California. Staff is able to evaluate everything from pests and diseases affecting the citrus sector to the effects of weather on the trees to how much fruit a tree will produce to soil quality and so much more.

This collection, and the research that goes with it, is vital to the health and well-being of California citrus—not only in keeping groves healthy and keeping supermarkets well stocked, but in identifying new and exciting fruit that shoppers will (hopefully) love.

This brings us to the special event the center hosted the day the California Country TV team visited. Once a year, they open their doors at the center and let folks come in to taste the fruits of their labor. Today, this place is citrus central in California!

"This was Lindcove's annual open house to the public," said Anita Hunt of the Lindcove Research and Citrus Center. "It is open to growers and nurserymen so they can see the research done here and they can experience all the different varieties of citrus available."

Visitors took their pick from 160 varieties of citrus to sample at the open house. And because of events like this, farmers and nurserymen are aided in pinpointing what kinds of fruits might be particularly appealing to consumers down the road and, therefore, what they might end up planting in the future.

For more information about the Lindcove Research Center, visit

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