Harvest Exchange proposal

larry33843August 5, 2012

I would like to propose a Harvest Exchange program. For example, I live in Central Florida and grow quite a bit of citrus, at least tenfold what we use. What I don't use isn't enough for commercial harvest.

I would assume that there are individuals that have excess cherries and/or apples in Washington state, peaches in Georgia, and the same and other fruits in various states.

I have Navel oranges from Thanksgiving to Christmas,a few extra Temple oranges around February and Valencia oranges galore from May-July.

I would be glad to box up ten pounds, or twenty, and ship to you for you to do same with part of your harvest when it comes in. Each sender would assume the shipping charges and the recipient would do same when he/she shipped their return pkg.

I posted this proposal so the "devil's advocates" could tell us why it won't work. Hopefully there will be some who like the idea enough to chime in also. I do think FL has enacted some sort of restriction that home grown fruit can't be shipped out of state - must be packing house fruit before you can ship. Purely big growers trying to corner entire market. Absolutely not a thing wrong with shipping clean oranges to a non-citrus growing state, except the big man didn't get a hand in it.

There's also the possibility of someone not sending fruit after a trade partner has sent theirs. We would have to have a rating system so that deadbeats would be revealed.

That's a start, what about it ? Thanks for your consideration, Larry Frostproof, FL

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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Larry, I'll be your devil's advocate. You are in a VERY restricted citrus state. You will not be allowed to ship your citrus outside of the state of Florida (and possibly even out of your county). And for extremely good reason due to the huge, huge issue your state is facing with Citrus Greening disease (HLB) as well as Citrus Canker. Your state has now lost over a billion dollars of revenue and thousands of jobs due just to HLB:

This is very serious and threatens to completely decimate the entire United States commercial citrus industry. This has nothing at all to do with "Purely big growers trying to corner (the) entire market." In fact, it was this exact attitude by a private citrus hobbiest grower in California that caused HLB to appear here in California, causing an enormous panic wave to run through our entire state:

I have over 65 citrus trees in my yard, alone. A small chunk of change I've invested in my citrus that I may end up losing due to one thoughtless and arrogant person who thought he could do whatever he wanted, and has ended up putting our huge commercial citrus industry and many, many thousands of jobs at stake, not to mention all our hobby backyard trees. You don't know if your oranges are "clean" as you would not be following proper protocol in treating your fruit, and then having it inspected by the Dept. of Ag.

If you try to ship citrus out of your state and the Dept. of Agriculture finds out, you'll get a nasty visit from a Dept. of Ag. agent.

This is how these diseases are spread to other states. This has nothing to do with "the big man". Actions like this affect the "little man". This has to do with being educated and responsible. Your actions might affect many, many others, causing people to lose their jobs and an entire industry shut down. Instead of worrying about one "deadbeat" who might reneg on their deal, why don't you call the Florida Dept. of Agriculture and have a chat with your local ag agent and get educated? Instead of having a cavalier attitude about this, get the facts. This is very serious stuff.

Patty S.

Here is a link that might be useful: Save our Citrus

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 12:44PM
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I think this is bull. Does every piece of fruit that the big guys grow get inspected? I think that are far more likely to infect fruit in other states than small guys.

I would be very interested. I grow mostly apples, but some tart cherries, sweet cherries, paw paws and a few others.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 12:48PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Yes, ribs. EVERY piece of fruit is inspected. You have no idea how incredibly strict the inspections are right now, in all the citrus producing states. Call one of the large commercial growers or packing houses and you'll get an earful. And you're dead wrong about the infection chances. It is far, far more likely that a backyard orchard will be the flashpoint. The large commercial growers have been managing their orchards since 2003 to protect their trees from the Asian Citrus Psyllid, the vector for HLB. And in fact, this is exactly how HLB was spread to California - by an unthinking, selfish and yet very educated and knowing hobbiest. This man was from China. Was involved in propagation in China where HLB has ravaged their citrus industry for 20 years. He very well knew the risk he was taking when he grafted some pummelo scionwood from China to a neighbor's tree. It was infected with HLB. Now California is on it's ear with fears of HLB spreading. Since we hobbiests do not follow a regular spraying regime for the ACP in our backyards, the likelihood of HLB getting a foothold is far, far more likely in my backyard, than in the commercial groves or commercial citrus tree growers around me. This is how rumors spread. Please get educated. Read my links. Find out the truth and don't resort to assumptions. Get the facts. This is hugely serious in our citrus producing states, and millions of dollars are being invested in a race for a cure. Not just here in the US but in Asia and in Central and S. America, especially Brazil.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 1:02PM
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OK Patty,
Understood. Up here in Michigan I really have no idea what is going on with the citrus industry. In general I have a libertarian outlook and always think the government is just trying to take care of the fat cats.

I believe you, I just find it a little hard to believe that every single piece of fruit that I buy at the grocery here in Michigan has been inspected for this disease.
I'll take your word for it though.

This really sucks because I was getting excited about Larry's idea. I would love to trade fruit with someone who grows totally different varieties than I can grow up here.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 3:41PM
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Looks like you can ship citrus fruit to other non citrus producing states if you follow the rules. Here is a list of packing houses that will inspect fruit and ship for you.

Also, as far as I can tell there are no restrictions on sending apples from Michigan to Florida or anywhere else in the country.

It would be interesting to find out how much a packing house will charge to inspect and ship your fruit.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 3:48PM
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Probably more than it's worth.

This isn't limited to citrus states. States like OR and WA have really strict regulation about fruit like apples coming in.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 3:59PM
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Noogy(6 sw mi)

If a family member wanted to send avocados to michigan, there could always be the chance of sending some sort of bug/fungus/virus with it. How about a 5% bleach dip? Kind of like the steam treatments mangoes and others get? No relatives of the avocado up north.
Nothing like getting a case of Haas avocados.
Here in blueberry country there are restrictions as to where you can ship to/ receive plants from, for this reason. Makes sense.
They better inspect all the cherimoyas and guanabanas coming to michigan cause my paw paws, in theory, could be at risk. Not much money in paw paws, though.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 4:27PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

As ltilton and noogy has mentioned, there are a myriad of restrictions for many states, both in shipping in and out of all fruits and vegetables. And all politics aside - diseases can threaten some of our very important commercial orchard industries. These companies aren't all "fat cats". In fact, most of our commercial growers are smaller operations. Many are multi-generation family enterprises. Some have been in their communities for over a hundred years and employ large numbers of that communities' residents.

We have to be very careful not to fall into the political rhetoric and say stuff that sounds right, but in fact, is not anchored in fact. Personally, I'm not for big government either, my politics lean to states' rights and less big government. But, there IS a place for government overseeing, and when it comes to our United States commercial food industry, those restrictions and inspections have actually kept HLB from spreading at pandemic rates. That's what happened in China - not enough government overseeing and inspection and it has decimated their cherished citrus industry. We got caught with our pants down in Florida. The Dept. of Agriculture in conjunction with each citrus states' own depts. of food and agriculture (the CDFA for me here in California) are not going to make that same mistake. We can't stop HLB. But, we can slow it way, way down. And hopefully enough to allow those researchers around the world to either develop resistant cultivars (several have been developed that look promising, but there are over 3,000 different citrus cultivars!), or find a way to treat the disease or better, inoculate existing citrus trees (this research has shown some very, very exciting results).

We're just trying to keep ahead of the floodgates right now. Just to give you an idea of what the state of California is considering for trying to stem the spread of HLB: if they find that it has spread from the original discovery site (border of Los Angeles and Orange County), one of the control methods they are considering and is on the table, is forcing every homeowner who has citrus trees growing in their yard to cut them down. I can't tell you the reaction this news had at my local CRFG meeting. Nearly every single member of my local CRFG has at least one citrus tree in their yard. Most, like myself, have many. Hopefully it will not come to this, that would be the end of an era for us here in S. California, where cities were created on our citrus industry (Riverside, San Bernardino, many cities in Orange County.)

Folks, I don't mean to jump up and down on a soapbox, but we just have to be so very careful what we say, and the rhetoric we espouse on a public forum. I'm glad you've all given me the opportunity to enlighten folks, and not get slammed for it. I am a native-born Californian that literally grew up in a Valencia orange orchard. Many of my family friends grew citrus here for commercial use (mostly navel oranges for in-hand eating, and some juice oranges as well.) I have become good friends with Clausen's Nursery here in Vista, that moved from growing citrus commercially to growing citrus trees for the wholesale market, and kindly open their doors to us retail customers. They're concerned that their three generation family business is in jeopardy. HLB may put their entire family and extended family, as well as all their employees out of business. I look over their beautiful 20 acres of lovely citrus trees and just cried the other day. All that could be lost due to one person's selfish interests. It really put things in perspective for me. They are the nicest people, they don't make a huge profit, and they do it because they love it.

So, better that you "spread the harvest" within your neighborhood. Share your citrus with your close neighbors. Be sure they don't propagate citrus from any of your seeds and just eat the lovely fruit. Hopefully we can find a control method soon. The clock is ticking for us here in California, Arizona, Texas, and all the other citrus belt states. We don't want to end up like Florida.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 5:03PM
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Noogy(6 sw mi)

In the 80's, my father brought 100,000's of disease resistant rootstock seeds to Venezuela from Cali after a disease called "tristeza", literally "sadness" swept through the industry. I believe they were using bitter orange stock previously. We (he) lost 100's of trees from the family's orchard, many of which we planted together. Limes and non grafts made it.
It broke our hearts.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 6:25PM
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I once bought a Meyers Lime on Ebay from a Floridian seller, assuming it must be legal if it was being sold.

A month or so later, I have a knock on my door. Two USDA officers flash their badges, ask me about the purchase and say they have to confisgate the tree. When I asked why, they mentioned the strict quarantine in Calif. I live in WA state, separated from CA with OR.

I'm sure you have the best of intentions but don't think you can do it undetected.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 6:41PM
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megamav(5a - NY)

Crazy story quillfred!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 9:09AM
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Oh well, We're either 40 years late or 100 years early with that idea. No matter whether it's political to keep the big man getting all the shipping or a real threat, you can't fight that kind of Gov. regulation. Especially in these times of terrorism and such, you could end up labeled a "terrorist" and in all kinds of trouble for trying to barter and share (something else GOV. frowns upon)your extra fruit with a Northern or Western likeminded American.
There's still a large faction , at least in FL, that view some of the perceived threats to citrus industry as a way for big chemical co.s to get new and less than desirable products introduced. In some cases, compounds that had been denied by GOV. only later to be OK'd because of this new threat that will decimate the citrus if we can't use this new compound.
Another avenue to approach is to put up (process) our extra fruit and share it on that level. That 'bout rules me out, because there's no good method to preserve citrus in any way that compares to fresh. But I do believe that almost every other type of fruit produced in U.S. can be canned, except avocado.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 10:42AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Larry, again you are espousing inaccurate information about "big chemical co.s (trying) to get new and less than desirable products introduced." I am not aware of this "large faction", which whom you refer to in a nebulous manner. By stating this, it does not make it true. You must back up your claims with facts. This is not the focus at all of the current research being conducted around the world to treat or eliminate HLB. Here is a link for you to review:


The main thrust of the most successful research in controlling or elimnating HLB right now is focused on these three main areas (there are others, but much less of the research monies are being directed at the development of chemicals to kill the ACP)

1. Developing resistant cultivars. Being done at Texas A&M with some very promising results. However, it takes huge numbers of tries and fails to come up with just one very resistant/immune cultivar. And considering there are over 3,000 different cultivars, this has limited application in my mind. The more popular commercial cultivars of course will come first, and all the commercial growers would need to replace all their trees, an extremely expensive alternative, but certainly good for any future plantings.

2. Developing an insect that can kill or disable the ACP. Much like the development of a mutated version of the Med Fruit Fly that mated with the pathogenic strain, thus creating sterile progeny and then dying out.

3. Developing a non-pathogenic virus that can act as a "silver bullet" to inoculate existing citrus trees with, that will actually kill the bacteria responsible for HLB, Candidatus Liberibacter sp. (which is remarkable as the bacteria, by it's name, is one that is not able to be grown in the lab). The woman heading this particular research project has taken the Tristeza virus, removed it pathogenicity, and has injected it with a virus that attacks and kills the Liberibacter, thus permanently inoculating the tree. This is truly cutting edge technology, and can have huge repercussions not only for the commercial citrus industry, but for us citrus hobbiest. Brilliant, brilliant research.

There are several other ancillary and supporting research projects going on as well, like mapping genomes, researching how the bacteria actually affects and then eventually kills the tree (which is unusual, as most infections, by virtue of wanting to continue to survive themselves do not kill their hosts), etc.

Please lets be responsible with what we say on public forums. this isn't a conspiracy, and not a platform for you to disseminate your political views, so let's be accountable and careful, as well as follow the GW rules to keep politicking off our lists. Let's instead, post helpful, accurate and documentable information that will help our forum members become better citrus hobbiests.

I think we need to close this topic. It is not promoting accurate or helpful information for our group. So, let's close this topic please. We can discuss HLB in its own thread, but continuing to sling ungrounded aspersions and accusations of a political nature about some government-wide conspiracy theory to keep people from sharing fruit is not what this forum is about.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 11:30AM
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If I were the administrator of BW, I would delete this thread. It might be seen by the overzealous agents of the state as promoting illegal activity.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 12:47PM
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Pssst Larry, get a still. Seems like a fine way to preserve ;-P Shhhh.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 7:06PM
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