Showcase of Citrus
The most fulfilling destination of our Orlando trip was the Showcase of Citrus pick your own farm. Located about a 45 minutes drive west of our hotel at the Orlando convention center, the farm was nearly empty on Tuesday afternoon when we visited. You can buy bags of already picked fruit, but we chose to pick in the field. Showcase of Citrus provides wagons and bags. The fields are divided by a canal used for irrigation. A nice play area is setup for kids to amuse themselves while adults shop.
Lillian loved running through the fields and climbing in the trees. (Citrus trees do have more branches than apple trees which makes climbing them more difficult.) The farm boasts that they use no chemicals, so I was comfortable letting her explore whereever she wanted.
In season when we went (late February) were Honey Tangelos, Orlando Tangelos (labeled as an heirloom variety), Pink Tangerines, Kumquats and Grapefruits. We picked some of each. Picking oranges is a bit more complicated than apples because oranges require tugging and are harder to tell when they are perfectly ripe. But in less than an hour we had easily picked two 1/4 bushel bags.
Florida recently experienced a few cold days, so some of the rinds were frost damaged, but the interior fruit was still tasty. Really tasty. Everything was amazingly sweet. The pink tangerines are especially delicious with a more delicate flavor than the tangelos.
We paid just $20 for the fun farm experience and a half bushel of fruit. We put it in our checked baggage and the citrus was just fine when we arrived home. Showcase of Citrus also offers shipping services at the farm and online ordering of gift boxes (November - April only).