‘These poor trees:’ Clermont citrus farm rallies after back-to-back hurricanes, freezes

Showcase of Citrus owners discuss farms future on Talk To Tom

CLERMONT, Fla. – “These poor trees, they have gone through two hurricanes and two nights of freezes in the last few months, they are hanging in there though,” said Tara Boshell with Showcase of Citrus in Clermont.

In late December, as people were preparing for Christmas, Boshell said her family was working to protect this year’s crop.

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She said they sprayed them with water to keep them safe from the cold.

Frozen citrus (Showcase of Citrus)

“We focus on the base of the trunk of the tree, that’s the heart of it... if the top part of the three doesn’t make it, at least we have the trunk,” Boshell said “If it gets to about 25 degrees or lower for a few hours, all the liquid inside the fruit will freeze and then you have a damaged crop. Luckily, we were only at about 27 degrees, and it wasn’t for very long.”

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Aside from a few leaves falling off Boshell said “the crop is great.”

The Showcase of Citrus actually got its start after the big freeze of 1989 and some of those trees are still producing fruit now decades later.

But many of her neighbors have changed over the years.

“This area only used to be citrus, now it’s a lot of houses,” Boshell said.

Despite the obstacles and pressure to sell, Boshell said her family is in it for the long haul.

Boshell family (Showcase of Citrus)

“We want it to continue. We are doing our best. We are not in the business to sell, this is the future for generations. We have our kids, they’re the fourth generation. It’s important in our minds that we keep this going. A lot of groves have gone away to housing. It’s — I want to say — more lucrative right now. There’s a big push for housing and land and working a farm is not an easy job. When we had the freezes the other day, you can sit back and do everything you can to protect what your interest is in it, but that one night you can lose your entire crop.”

Hear more from Boshell about the Showcase of Citrus, how her and her family are working to protect their farm through the winter and more on Talk to Tom. You can watch Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. or anytime on News 6+.

About the Author:

Tiffany produces the News 6+ Takeover at 5:30 p.m., Florida's Fourth Estate and Talk to Tom.