Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Produce With An Identity Crisis

      When the Coastal Carolina Fair comes to town, I get excited because that means Flower Shows and time to demonstrate some garden expertise in a friendly competition. Flower Show is actually not a really good description because there are also design competitions, plants that don’t flower, fruits and vegetables on display. I don’t only enter different things into different categories; I have been assisting in plant identification and placement of the entries as they come in.

     The fair just recently ended, it was a blast as usual. However, this year there came to light an interesting problem. We have produce that has an identity crisis!! Here is the story.
     I was setting up Section S, Vegetables, Fruits, and Nuts (insert your own joke), and we got a watermelon in to be displayed. The owner had it entered in the "any other fruit" category because they thought there was not a specific place for it. As I was moving things around, I realized that there WAS a watermelon category, under the vegetables!
I thought, okay, there was a major boo-boo in the printing in the show schedule. When I asked about it, they told me that botanically, it is a vegetable. I already knew that tomatoes were classified in the fruit section. SO, I had to do some research and find out if I was living in Bizzaro World!!

Photo Courtesy of:

     It’s true that watermelon and other melons like the honeydew and cantaloupe (which are fruits) are in the Cucurbitaceous family, but the watermelon is in the Citrullus genus, which is an important distinction between the two types of produce. I know that is a lot of fancy jargon, let’s break it down a little. The dictionary defines “fruit” as “the ripened ovary (pistil) of a seed plant and its contents, which includes the seeds.” This includes things like apples, oranges, and cherries. These are ripened ovaries that include seeds of the plant that bore them. A broader definition of a fruit is anything that contains seeds.
     Sounds easy, right? Well, under that definition, squash and green beans would be considered fruits, even though most people would consider them vegetables. The dictionary defines a vegetable as “anything made or obtained from plants.” Basically, that means all fruits are also vegetables. To further clarify the vegetable family, most people consider vegetables to be the leaves, stems, stalks, and roots of certain plants, which helps to define why celery, carrots, lettuce, and onions are all, unequivocally, vegetables.
     Okay, now it gets confusing.
     The “rules” over what is or is not a vegetable are not really set in stone and are often open to interpretation. In many cases, the distinction is made based on how the produce is used and how it tastes. This is referred to as a culinary distinction. Using these culinary distinctions, things that are low in sugar and are of a savory taste are considered vegetables, and things that are sweeter are then considered fruits.
     SO, Bell peppers and tomatoes are considered vegetables because they’re savory and low in sugar, even though they have seeds, which technically make them fruits. Pumpkins, cucumbers, and squash are all fruits because they have seeds. However, in a culinary sense, these items are all vegetables. So, basically "fruit" and "vegetable" are defined differently depending on whether you're a gardener or a chef.

Photo Courtesy of: @TheChefsGarden -

      The fruit vs. vegetable debate can sometimes reach such a fervor that the law must step in.  In the 1893 United States Supreme Court case Nix. v. Hedden, the court ruled unanimously that an imported tomato should be taxed as a vegetable, rather than as a (less taxed) fruit. The court acknowledged that a tomato is a botanical fruit, but went with what they called the "ordinary" definitions of fruit and vegetable — the ones used in the kitchen.

Photo Courtesy of:

     Okay, if all of this is not bad enough, we all know that anything with “berry” in its name is basically a fruit, right? WELL, despite its name, the strawberry isn't a true berry. Neither is the raspberry or the blackberry. But the banana, it turns out, is a berry, scientifically speaking, so are eggplants, grapes, and oranges. To be considered a berry, a fruit must have two or more seeds. Thus, a cherry, which has just one seed, doesn't make the berry cut, rather, cherries, like other fleshy fruit with thin skin and a central stone that contains a seed, are called drupes. HOWEVER, you might be inclined to call it a vegetable, thanks to its green hue and savory taste, but the avocado is technically a fruit, and even more specifically, a single-seeded berry.

     Ready to scream yet?
Did you know that apples, pears, and quince actually belong to the rose family?
That my friends is fodder for another day!
If you have any questions about this article, (or need me to untangle the knots in your brains wiring after reading this) or any of my other articles, drop me a line at
If you dare, you can follow me on FACEBOOK too!
Happy Growing!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

2017 Southeastern Citrus Expo

     I would be totally remiss as The Citrus Guy if I did not write about one of the greatest annual events to happen in the world of citrus for us amateur folks. It has been going on since 2003 when Southeastern Palm Society member Stan McKenzie organized the first-ever South Carolina Citrus Expo at Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Columbia, South Carolina. The expo has changed over the years and has become what is now known as the Southeastern Citrus Expo. It gets moved around from year to year and has been in places such as Virginia Beach, Virginia,  Fort Valley, Ga., Tifton, Ga, Florence, SC and Charleston, SC just to name a few.

     This year it will be in Savannah, Georgia!!

     This event is attended by Citruholics from around the country, and sometimes the world. The amount of expertise that will be on hand to answer any and all questions is second to none. A panel of experts will be brought up at the end to answer your questions, should you have any left after the itinerary of speakers is done.

Citrus trees will be for sale, though, due to quarantines, this will only apply to Georgia residents. The trees MUST stay in the state of Georgia. There will also be fruit to sample!

Books will be for sale.

Goodies galore! Raffles, giveaways, and so much more!

Of course, the obligatory fruit contest will be going on too!
 This contest is a friendly competition, though there will always be the ribbing and the poking for the bragging rights!


There is always a lot of fun when we all get together, it is just like a huge family!

     I truly hope that you can attend, you can make a weekend of it! There is always plenty to do in Savannah, I hear there is a Camellia Show the same Friday, not very far away. You can send me an e-mail if you are curious about that.
     All of the information that you should need is below. If you want or need even MORE information, you can contact me at or go to our Facebook Page, there are pictures from many of the previous expos as well as more ways to contact us.
Happy Growing!

Print this page out below to take with you!


The Southeastern Citrus Expo is coming to Savannah, Georgia on November 17 and 18, 2017.
Optional tours on Friday the 17th will include Franklin Farms of Statesboro and a Savannah backyard citrus orchard in the afternoon, as well as self-guided visits to the plantings at Armstrong State University and the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens. Additional tour possibilities will be forthcoming.
Saturday's conference sessions will be held at the beautiful Skidaway Island State Park, which borders Georgia's Intracoastal waterway.
Confirmed speakers include Jamie Burrow of the University of Florida on citrus greening and other citrus growing challenges;
Lindy Savelle of the Georgia Citrus Association on the progress with commercial citrus growing in Georgia;
Billy Renz on the commercial citrus groves of Franklin Farms in Statesboro;
A panel of experts will share experiences and provide advice.
More presenters will be added.
If you grow citrus or want to learn how, mark your calendars and watch for further announcements about the conference schedule, as well as more information about tours and the citruholics banquet on Friday the 17th. If you have program ideas or questions, contact Marj Schneider at

Friday, November 17: Places to Visit

Franklin Farms: 2:00 PM Tour,
200 Bohler Rimes Rd., Statesboro, GA
On I-16 exit onto Hwy. 301 and head north towards Statesboro. Bohler Rimes Rd is a little over 6 miles from the interstate. Turn Right on Bohler Rimes (It's a dirt road with a gate but we will have the gate open). Come about 1 mile down the dirt road and you will see some greenhouses and a packing house on the right. Pull in there and park.

John Trask Citrus Grove: 2:00 PM Tour
275 Orange Grove Rd., St. Helena Island, SC 
Look on map and head to Port Royal, Lady’s Island, St. Helena Island.  Once on St Helena turn onto MLK Drive. Go exactly 2.3 miles to Perry Rd. Turn right at Perry Rd. and continue for about one mile which intersects with Orange Grove Rd. Turn left onto OG Rd and proceed about 1/4 mile. See mailbox #275.  Across from mailbox is a red barn. Turn into the driveway to the red barn and someone will give direction to the citrus orchard.
Or even simpler, use GPS to #275 Orange Grove Rd, St. Helena Island.

In Savannah
Home of Marj & Don, Between 1:00-5:00 PM Tour
212 Oxford Dr., Savannah, GA
Turn east on Eisenhower Dr., turn left (north) on Waters Ave., continue north to Althea Pkwy (at blinking yellow light), turn left into Kensington Park, turn right onto Oxford Dr., continue to 212 Oxford, fifth house on left past Reynolds Ave. House number on the front door. Enter backyard by the gate on the left side when facing the house.

Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens at the Historic Bamboo Farm, Self-Guided Tour
2 Canebrake Road, Savannah, GA
Take exit 94 from I-95 onto *Hwy. 204 towards Savannah. Turn right at first light onto Gateway Blvd., then left onto Canebrake Rd to your destination on left, just before Hwy. 17. *(Note: Hwy. 204 is Abercorn St., the same street as Armstrong State University and the Quality Inn.)

Armstrong State University (To tour campus plantings)
11935 Abercorn St, Savannah, GA
See Map Below
Take exit 94 from I-95 onto Hwy. 204 towards Savannah. Turn right off Abercorn onto campus road Arts Dr. Past the parking lot on the left is the campus police station. Park and obtain a free parking pass from the police station.

To Quality Inn Midtown
7100 Abercorn St. Savannah, Ga [Motel has an entrance on Abercorn and Eisenhower)

From the West: On I-16, follow to Exit 164A, GA-21/Lynes Pkwy, onto I-516 east. Follow to Abercorn St. Turn right onto Abercorn; turn left onto Eisenhower Dr., enter Quality Inn property on your left.
From the south:
On I-95, take exit 94 and make a right turn onto GA-204 (which is Abercorn St.). Drive 11.6 miles, turn right onto Eisenhower Drive, Quality Inn will be on the left side.

Coming from the North: on I-95, take exit 99 to I-16 East. Follow I-16 East to Exit 164A GA-21/Lynes Pkwy/I-516/US 17/US 80. Follow GA-21 S to Abercorn St. Turn right onto Abercorn, continue to Eisenhower Dr. and turn left. Quality Inn will be on the left.

Citruholics Banquet, 6:00 PM, Sweet Potatoes Kitchen
6825 Waters Ave., Savannah
Please arrive close to 6:00 PM. We will be ordering from the regular menu.

From Quality Inn parking lot, turn left onto Eisenhower Dr. and in a little over ½ mile turn left onto Waters Ave. The restaurant is immediately on your left, just past the gas station.

Saturday Morning, November 18: Skidaway Island State Park group Shelter for Citrus Expo: Registration, 8:00-9:30 AM; Sessions begin 9:30 AM

To Expo from quality Inn: Turn left onto Eisenhower Dr.; Drive a little over a ½ mile to Waters Ave. and turn right. Waters Ave. will soon become Whitefield Ave, and then Diamond Causeway. Continue approximately 7 miles. Turn left onto State Park Rd. 1/2 mile to the Park.

To Expo from the west: On I-16, follow to Exit 164A, GA-21/Lynes Pkwy, onto I-516 East, which becomes DeRenne Ave. Continue to Truman Pkwy. Turn right and enter the Pkwy. Exit onto Whitefield Ave. Turn left onto Whitefield Ave. Turn left onto State Park Road. Park is straight ahead ½ mile.

To Expo from the north: on I-95, take exit 99 to I-16 East. Follow I-16 East to Exit 164A GA-21/Lynes Pkwy/I-516/US 17/US 80. Follow and I-516 becomes DeRenne Ave. Continue to Truman Pkwy. Turn right and enter the Pkwy. Exit onto Whitefield Ave. Turn left onto Whitefield Ave. Turn left onto State Park Road. Park is straight ahead ½ mile.

To Expo from the south: Take exit 94 from I-95 onto Hwy. 204 (which is Abercorn St.) towards Savannah. Turn right onto Truman Pkwy. Exit onto Whitefield Ave. Turn right onto Whitefield Ave. Turn left onto State Park Road. Park is straight ahead ½ mile. 

Fruit Competition Rules and Procedures

Fruit Preparation
1. All fruit entered must be grown by the entrant, either in a container or in the ground.
2. Before submission, fruit should be washed and prepared for eating. Judges may have to taste fruit in case of a tie.
3. A minimum of three fruit of a specific cultivar will constitute a single entry. For example, three Satsuma fruit are required to qualify as one entry. One of the fruit must be cut in half “against the grain” (as you would a grapefruit) to show the inside of the fruit.
4. Fruit must contain at least ½ inch of stem attached; one fruit should have a leaf attached to the stem. Submissions from growers in quarantined areas are exempt from this requirement.
5. Check the category sheet to determine best category for each entry.
At the Expo
1. Entering of fruit must be done during the assigned time, 8:00 to 9:15 AM. After this time, entries will not be accepted.
2. At the fruit contest area you will be given an entry number to ensure anonymity. Make sure you keep this number with you until the award ceremony.
3. An entry form must be filled out for each entry. Be sure to put your entry number on each form. Display plates will be provided.
4. Blue, red, and white ribbons will be awarded for each category.
In addition, there will be a “Best in Show,” “Honorable Mention,” and “Most Unique” award.

Citrus Categories for the Contest
Class 1. Satsuma
Class 2. Mandarin
Class 3. Sweet Orange
Class 4. Sour Orange
Class 5. Lemon
Class 6. Lime
Class 7. Grapefruit & Pomelo
Class 8. Kumquat, Calamondin & their Hybrids
Class 9. Trifoliate & its Hybrids
Class 10. Complex Hybrids
Class 11. Ichangensis Hybrids
Any cultivars not listed here will be assigned to a category by the judging coordinator.

Citrus Fruit cultivars
Satsumas: Armstrong, Brown Select, Early St. Ann, Kimbrough, Mijo, Miyagawa, Owari, Silverhill, others.
Mandarin: Changsha, Clementine, Clem-Yuz 2-2, Clem-Yuz 3-3, Dancy, Fallglo, Juanita, Keraji, Minneola Tangelo, Nasnaran, Orlando Tangelo, Page, Ponkan, Robinson, Shekwasha
Sweet Orange: Ambersweet, Cara Cara navel, Hamlin, Navel, Parson Brown
Lemon: Eureka, Harvey, Lisbon, Meyer, Ponderosa, Pink Variegated, Sanbokan, Ujukitsu
Lime: Australian finger, Bearss, Key, Persian
Sour Orange: Abers Narrowleaf, Bergamot, Bigaradier Apepu, Boquet des Fleurs, Chinotto, Citrus neoaurantium, Gou Tou, Nansho Daidai (Citrus taiwanica), Sauvage, Seville, Smooth Flat Seville, Willowleaf, Zhu Luan
Grapefruit & Pummelo: Bloomsweet, Chandler, Croxton, Duncan, Flame, Golden, Hirado Buntan, Marsh, Oroblanco, Pink Marsh, Ray Ruby, Rio Red, Ruby Red, Thompson Pink
Calamondin, Kumquat & Hybrids: Chang Shou, Fukushu, Hong Kong, Lemonquat, Limequat (Eustis, Lakeland, Tavares), Marmaladequat, Meiwa, Nagami, Nippon Orangequat, Procimequat, Sunquat
Trifoliate Orange and Hybrids: Citrange (Morton, Troyer, Carrizo, Benton, Rusk, others), Citrumelo (Dunstan, Swingle, USDA 80-5, others), Citradia, Citrandarin (CiClem #10, Citsuma, Changsha x English Large, others), Dragon Lime, Flying Dragon, Rubidoux, Standard
Complex Hybrids: Citrangequat (Thomasville, Sinton, others), Glen Citrangedin, Razzlequat, SanCitChang, US 119
Ichangensis Hybrids: Ichang Lemon, Ichang Papeda, Sudachi, Taichang lemon, Yuzu, Yuzuquat, Yuzvange

Cut Here To Use This Form

2017 Southeastern citrus Expo Fruit Competition form

Entrant’s Number _______________
(Will be provided by contest volunteer)
Class 1. Satsuma Cultivar_______________________________________________
Class 2. Mandarin Cultivar______________________________________________
Class 3. Sweet Orange Cultivar___________________________________________
Class 4. Sour Orange Cultivar____________________________________________
Class 5. Lemon Cultivar________________________________________________
Class 6. Lime Cultivar: ________________________________________________
Class 7. Grapefruit & Pomelo Cultivar_____________________________________
Class 8. Kumquat, Calamondin & their Hybrids Cultivar_______________________
Class 9. Trifoliate & its Hybrids Cultivar___________________________________
Class 10. Complex Hybrids Cultivar______________________________________
Class 11. Ichangensis Hybrids Cultivar____________________________________
>>>>>>>>>>>>>Fold form here so information below does not show>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

is complete) Please complete the following.
Where grown: ________________________ ______________________ State & County/Parrish USDA Hardiness Zone________
Thank you for your participation. Good luck!

Cut Here

Citrus Trees For Sale At Expo

Here is some good news if you are a Georgia resident.
Citrus trees will be available for attendees to order in advance of this year's Southeastern Citrus Expo, but only on a limited basis. Due to regulations to prevent the spread of citrus greening, trees can only be purchased from inspected nurseries and must stay in Georgia once they leave the expo. If you are a Georgia resident or the tree itself will stay in the state, you can buy any of the trees on offer from Mark Crawford or Lindy Savelle. Read on for the varieties they have for sale and place your orders before the expo on Saturday, November 18. Mark and Lindy will be bringing preordered trees to the expo, and don't count on them having extras, though you could get lucky! Again, these are trees that have to remain in Georgia.
Mark Crawford of Loch Laurel Nursery in Valdosta has the following varieties available. Trees are grafted, two-year-old trees in 4 or 5-gallon pots at $35 each. Contact Mark at 229-460-5922 or <> to order trees in advance of the expo and arrange for payment. If you are in search of more unusual varieties, ask Mark if he has them. Visit Loch Laurel's website for further descriptions.
Satsuma varieties available:
Early Maturing: Oct-Nov.
Late Season: Nov.-Dec.
Frost Owari
Port Neches*
* Unregistered varieties that have good quality fruit.
Other cold-hardy citrus (Zone 8)
Sugar Belle (On Rubidoux rootstock)
Lindy Savelle of 1 Dog Ventures LLC of Mitchell County has the following grafted varieties available. Unless otherwise designated, the trees are offered at a wholesale price of $25. They are one-year-old trees, 12 to 18 inches in height. Contact Lindy at <> or at
850-830-1746 to order in advance of the expo and arrange for payment.
Citrus Tree List
Rootstocks available: Flying Dragon, Rubidoux, Rich 16-6 & Sour Orange.
UGA trees are priced higher, with a royalty for research going back to the university.
Frost Owari
Early St Anne
LA Early
Brown Select
Other Varieties:
Keifer Lime
Persian Lime
Improved Meyer Lemon $40 (3 feet tall)
Thornless Key Lime $40 (3-4 feet tall)
Murcott Mandarin
UGA Sweet Frost Tangerine $50
UGA Pink Frost Grapefruit $50
UGA Grand Frost Lemon $50
Atwood Navel
Lisbon Lemon
Blood Orange
Valencia Orange
Nagami Kumquat