The Brighton Citrus Grove was established in 1984, with 40 acres of land. It was originally intended to be a fresh fruit project for community use only.
The trees originally planted in the grove included Hamlin, Valencia, White Marsh Seedless grapefruit, Naval, tangerine, Tangelo, and Ruby Red grapefruit. However, there wasn't a market for the Naval oranges or the tangerines, so these trees were eliminated from the grove.
The grove acreage has increased to 150 acres, and is now a profit making project for the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Seminole Tribe Groves.
There are currently approximately 18,915 living trees in the grove, with approximately 127 trees per acre.
The grove is presently looking to add an additional 85 acres of land, which would give the grove a total of 235 acres.
Substantial grove size or acreage is recommended to produce a more beneficial and profitable enterprise.
The long-term goals for Brighton Citrus are to continually improve the grove for optimum harvest results.
Meet Florida's true Natives, the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Known as "Unconquered Seminoles." They have a long, rich history in Florida.
While the rest of the world was frantically keeping pace with modernization, the Seminoles maintained a respect for the old way of life. Some still live in the traditional open, palm thatched dwellings called "chickees," wear traditional clothing and celebrate the passing of the seasons just as their ancestors did more than two centuries ago.
Today the Seminole Tribe of Florida continues to preserve its proud heritage and culture. The Tribe has also become self-sufficient through economic development enterprises located on six reservations throughout the State of Florida. Citrus being one of these enterprises, the Tribe stands committed to producing top quality lemons for the fresh fruit market.
Years of working the land have increased their expertise in growing "world class lemons."
Florida summer lemons are of the Bearss variety also known as Sicilian. They are known for their bright yellow color, good texture, and historically higher juice content. The Florida lemons are more round than the Western varieties. These lemons are summer fresh, not from storage.
Fresh Florida lemons are grown in rich, fertile soil on the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation. The lemon grove operates on 1,500 acres and are personally cared for and maintained by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc.
The lemon groves are monitored daily to assure the freshest Florida lemons. Quality Assurance Inspectors will have constant access to assure quality control.
Lemons will be available in promotional volumes mid-July through September.
This year, the lemons have newly designed packaging that will enhance any display. The cartons are rich in color and include the logo of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc.
To better serve your needs, the lemons will be available in the most popular package sizes including 4/5-bushel cartons, 2lb, 3lb, and 5lb bags.
Lemons are packed daily for freshness. The Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc is proud to offer the freshest top quality Florida lemons. For more information contact Seminole Tribe Groves (863) 983-8350, (863) 447-3737.
In 1980, the Seminole tribe of Florida began to look at the citrus industry as a source of economic development. At this time, a general study was commissioned to assess the potential of agriculture development within the Big Cypress and Brighton Reservations. It was no surprise that citrus was identified as a profitable use of suitable agriculture land.
Within the next five years, soil surveys were prepared and specific locations for this "suitable" acreage was pinpointed. A BIA grant offered technical assistance to determine the feasibility of purchasing existing leased citrus groves and developing additional acreage.
Nearly two decades before, the Tribe had leased out some 1500 acres to private interests, who maintained "world class" groves of lemon (Big Cypress Groves, Inc.) and grapefruit (Garden Groves, Inc.). The Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc. purchased the leases on these two operations, in 1990.