Autumn signals the return of the beloved road-side citrus store at Ferris Groves in Floral City, where people can sample and purchase oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, honeybells and tangelos, along with local honey, sauces, jams and jellies, the famous “Ferris Berry” strawberry and samples of fresh-squeezed orange juice.
The Citrus County treasure opens Oct. 24 and stays open for the season until May.
Ferris Groves dates back to 1931, when L.G. "Doc" Ferris began planting citrus trees in the rich hammock soil of Duval Island in historic Floral City. The trees took root in the fertile ground, and for 75 years, the 24 acres have produced all varieties of Florida's finest citrus: Hamlin and Navel oranges, Dancy and Murcott tangerines, Honeybell tangelos, Flame and Ruby Red grapefruit, and more.
In 1944, Ferris Groves added a packing and shipping plant. The retail store and a gift fruit business followed. The store is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. on Sundays.
Info: Ferris Groves, 7607 South Florida Ave., Floral City, 352-860-0366; http://www.ferrisgroves.com/index.php