While the growing and picking season takes place starting in October and runs through June, the green oranges are available in the winter and off-growing season. There are many places in Florida where you can Pick-Your-Own Oranges, but the green orange picking availability can vary in certain orange groves. Some orange groves may not allow for the picking of green oranges.
The traditional orange oranges are known for the sweet taste and vitamin C. When eaten the oranges have high fiber as well as being low in calories. Drinking the juice if quite different as you would not have the high fiber. The green oranges can be useful for different recipes. The most popular recipe is the Orange Marmalade which requires the inner and outer part of the green orange.
Another use for Florida green oranges is to squeeze for orange juice. The green, unripened oranges usually have a high acid content compared to the ripe Florida oranges. The green oranges give the orange juice a tangy flavor that can be for recipes that require a sour acidic taste. Florida green oranges can be used to make a type of vinegar, but not as a replacement for the traditional white vinegar. The green orange vinegar can be used as a condiment, topping, or marinate or as an ingredient in special sauces and unique dressings.
The green Florida oranges have a few health benefits, but not as many as a ripened Florida orange. The green oranges have antioxidants and B-vitamin, but a very tart taste. Some groves may not allow you to pick the green oranges, and may not be open during the off-season to give you grove access. You can still visit the orange stores though.
If you are interested in picking your own oranges in Florida, there are several places where you can spend the day.
Showcase of Citrus in Clermont, FL – This orange grove has a different u-pick experience, because you can pick oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines. Check the shop for other unique Orange-based items such as Christmas ornaments and recipe books, as well as freshly juiced oranges to drink.
Uncle Matt’s Organic in Clermont, Florida – An organic farm that allows you to Pick-Your-Own Florida Oranges and you can tour the organic farm and a visit to the orange store.
Hancock Orange Groves A Pick Your Own Florida orange grove that has a small store with everything you could ever want with an orange theme. Cookbooks, key chains, shirts, ready-picked oranges, so you do not have to actually pick your own. Be ready for the usual Florida insects in the groves. Hancock Groves on the West Coast of Florida is a great little orange grove which sells oranges picked from their own trees.
Mixon’s Orange Groves – Has huge orange-everything store!
Picking your own oranges can be a fun Florida experience – just be ready to make use of all of the oranges you bring home. You can also ship the oranges to friends and family who wish they were in Florida enjoying the great summer outdoor picking.
While seeing ripe oranges on the trees in November and December can be exciting to both visitors and residents, the green oranges are fun to see up-close as well. Stopping by an orange tree in the summertime is a great way to see nature at work in Florida.
Most people have seen ready to eat oranges, but the green ones are a rare sight. This is because the green oranges are not ready to be picked, so the only place you can see them are on the trees in Florida. These can be hard to spot while driving by as they blend into the color of the tree, much like a lime.
A green orange will actually be orange inside, but will not have the best orange taste until they are ripe. Visiting an orange grove in Florida is the best way to get the freshest oranges.
Most residents in Florida who have an orange tree in their yards have them for decorative purposes.
Photographed in August on an orange tree with green oranges in Winter Haven Florida. The harvest season for ripe oranges is in October through June.
Close-up of a Green Orange
Mixon Fruit Farms