If you’re from Florida, then you know how precious citrus is to our state. I can’t remember a time where we didn’t have fresh orange juice or grapefruit available while growing up. I guess that’s also a perk of living in Fort Pierce – one of the founding areas of citrus in Florida.
And if you’re a Floridian, then you’re probably aware of the state our beloved citrus is in – if you’re not, it’s devastating. Due to the greening disease, our citrus is literally dying before our eyes. A cure hasn’t yet been found, but a lot of research is being done to try and stop it. Especially at the University of Florida, it seems like the IFAS center has dedicated a lot of time and hard work to figure out the disease.
The Matheson History Museum recently displayed an exhibit titled “Liquid Gold: The Rise and Fall of Florida Citrus.” Kev and I visited the exhibit to learn more about the beautiful beginning of Florida citrus and unfortunately, it’s hideous decline.
The exhibit displayed the timeline of citrus’ start in Florida along with photographs of packing houses, groves and the men & women who helped start it all. They even have comic books of Captain Citrus with the story line of saving Florida’s citrus.
If you’re ever in the Gainesville area, I definitely recommend stopping by the museum. It seems they always have their exhibit on display – the history of Alachua and it’s role in Florida history. You can even take tours of the historical Matheson House that is behind the museum.