Citrus operations are seeing growth across southern Georgia
STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - Citrus farms in south Georgia only started about a decade ago. But now, a handful are really growing.
Crews at Georgia Citrus hustle to get fruit processed and in the boxes for order after order. Outside, the trees hold everything from Satsumas to kisses, lemons to grapefruits.
Owner Joe Franklin planted his first trees in 2010 and started harvesting in 2015. They plant nearly 1,000 new trees each spring and now have 12,000 in different stages of development.
He says this Fall has seen mild weather, but this crop saw delays from chilly weather back in April.
“They did bloom. But they didn’t grow any for about two weeks. So, everything is about 2-3 weeks behind what it was in 2020,” Franklin said.
He contracts with small, locally-owned stores and farmer’s markets from Savannah to Atlanta. At his roadside stand outside Statesboro, he’s sold hundreds of citrus seedlings for the folks who want to plant one or two and grow their own.
Joe says they’ll stay “local” and focus on their customers.
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