Mandarins, oranges, pomelos, citrons, lemons, limes and other citrus were on display - more than 100 different varieties - at the UC Lindcove Research and Extension Center on Dec. 10, reported Calley Cederlof in the Visalia Times-Delta.
“We're trying to expose homeowners to the fact that there are more than five varieties of citrus,” said Elizabeth Grafton-Cardwell, UC Cooperative Extension citrus entomology specialist and director of the Lindcove REC. “We also like to let them know we exist.”
The public came out in droves to taste the fruit and take home some of their favorites. The event came on the heels of a similar citrus tasting for industry representatives and farmers on Dec. 9.
“People are shocked at how many varieties there are,” Grafton-Cardwell said. “Everything related to citrus happens here.”
The Lindcove REC also hosted a mock citrus judging for local FFA students during the tasting event. The students observed citrus with 47 different types of damage and were asked to judge them. The team typically learns about different possible citrus damage through textbooks, one student said.
“To see them in person is actually really helpful,” he added. “It's a good experience.”
Lindcove REC hopes to work more with local schools in the future, Grafton-Cardwell said. She and her team are currently in the early stages of creating a teaching garden where students can learn more about the citrus industry.
A fundraiser is in the works and donations can be made on the research center's website, http://lrec.ucanr.edu.