G and S Groves – Citrus from Texas

Goodlifer: G and S Groves - Citrus from Texas

Sometimes, you encounter good food from an unexpected source. I never claimed to know much about Texas; I’ve never even spent any time there. But for most people, Texas is unlikely to be the first state that springs to mind when you’re discussing citrus. My view on that has altered greatly over the past couple of years, though, ever since I discovered G and S Groves. This small business in the southern part of the state is comprised of two family farms growing navel oranges and Rio Red Grapefruit, all certified organic.

From Texas trees to your table.

From Texas trees to your table.

Well, but why bother, you ask? You can probably get organic red grapefruit and oranges in the local upscale grocery store; why do you need to order any? The short answer: supermarket fruit isn’t this good, period. I can guarantee it won’t be as fresh, and it probably won’t be in the flawless condition in which these fruits will arrive at your door. And talk about flavor! Texas navel oranges are noted for their sweetness, and the only way you’ll get supermarket grapefruit to taste this sweet is by putting sugar on it. I’m exceptionally sensitive to bitterness in foods, but the Rio Reds from G and S Groves don’t bother my persnickety little taste buds in the slightest.

Pioneer farmers George and Elizabeth Strohmeyer planted a grove in the early 1930s only to have it wiped out by drought late in that decade. They were never able to recover enough to replant the grove, but in 1994 their dream got a second chance through their son, David, who planted the current grove. David, born in the present farm house, bought the family farm in 1967 but because of active duty commitments with the Air Force hired out the grove care, until late 2006 when David, his wife, Beverly and their son, David II and his wife, Bonnie took over the complete operations. They also purchased another parcel of land with an established grove to add to this operation.

Meyer Lemons.

Meyer Lemons.

If you want to broaden your organic citrus horizons, this company has limited-availability Meyer lemons (milder and sweeter than the usual grocery store offerings), and they can sometimes obtain different varieties of oranges from nearby growers (contact them for details). Of course, citrus grown in the US is only available in season, and, as I write this (the beginning of November, 2009), that season is just about here. In fact, G and S Groves expects to begin shipping citrus at the end of November (online ordering is available). As usual when I recommend someone to you, this is about people who care. There’s no multi-national conglomerate moving tons of product all over the globe here, just a handful of people who have made a commitment to the land and the fruit they raise. Truly fresh citrus makes a great gift for the holidays, and remember you’ve been more than virtuous enough this year to deserve some yourself!

Top photo by Steve Webel, Creative Commons.

About author
Stephanie Zonis was born with a spoon in her mouth — a tasting spoon, that is. She began cooking (especially baking) at a very early age, and for a short time even ran a highly illegal baking business from her long-suffering parents’ house when she was in high school. After acquiring a Master’s Degree in Foods, she eventually discovered the Internet in 1997. She’s been writing about food and developing recipes, especially where chocolate is involved, ever since. During those few moments when she’s not cooking or writing or thinking about food, Stephanie enjoys reading, walking, political discussions, and volunteering at a local no-kill cat sanctuary. She has been a member of a medieval re-creation group for longer than she’ll admit and loves absurdist humor.
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  1. Texas grapefruits are outstanding!

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