Nature’s Sweetest Gifts
The unmistakable sweet scent of orange blossoms drifts through the air and invites you to take a moment to inhale the goodness. These crisp, little white blossoms are destined to become some of the sweetest, ripest fruit in the United States. The citrus fruit is grown at Nokomis Groves, which includes three groves, a processing plant and large gift store, all family-owned and operated the old-fashioned way for three generations. The luscious, hand-picked citrus is available in gift baskets that can be shipped to 48 states and portions of Canada.
History runs deep in the roots of the citrus growers, which began in 1935 when the current owners’ grandparents managed Stone Grove on Venice Avenue. After it was sold, the couple purchased their own 45 acres on Albee Farm Road in Nokomis and planted a variety of citrus trees in 1948. As Nokomis Groves started to grow, two additional areas close by were acquired and appropriately named Buzz Tail and Boar’s Head, for the rattlesnakes and wild boar occasionally seen on the properties.
Today, Nokomis Groves is run by the five granddaughters: Linda, Brenda, Sandie, Laura, and Joanna. Brenda’s husband, David, is the grove manager, and Aaron, the fourth generation, is the master ice cream maker.
The three groves comprise 140 acres and have many varieties of citrus trees, which mature at different times from early November through April: Navel and Red Navel Oranges, Falglo Tangerines, Star Ruby Grapefruit, Orlando Tangelos, Honeybell Tangelos, Temple Oranges, Honey Tangerines, and Valencia Oranges.
The Nokomis Groves Gift Shop is a beehive of activity every day during their season. You can purchase one piece of fruit or a bagful and browse through shelves stocked full of beautiful, large jars of marmalades, all types of candy, jewelry, and novelties native to Florida. You’re invited to try a sample of the fresh-squeezed orange juice for sale when you drop a nickel into the family’s cute, vintage piggybank named “Blossom.” The shop is also home to the packinghouse where you can see how the fruit is sorted and packaged for shipping.
Giving a gift of Florida sun-kissed fruit will be enjoyed with each bite of juicy goodness. You may send fruit only or choose from several, fun gift packs, which include fruit along with a bounty of treasures, such as a moist Tortuga cake, marmalade, orange blossom honey, cookies, chocolate coins and candy alligators. The Key Lime Krazy pack even includes a cookbook, and a pretty seashell. Join the Nokomis Club Plan and taste the juicy citrus throughout the growing season.
Ice cream may be the ultimate treat and chances are you’ll be visiting often to enjoy the varieties made from a secret family recipe. Visitors find it irresistible and order cones or cups of the frozen deliciousness: orange, swirled orange and vanilla or a lime and chocolate mix, and fat-free pineapple, which can be swirled with orange ice cream.
Whichever way you choose to enjoy the citrus gifts of nature, you will find them all, and more, at Nokomis Groves. Take home some Florida sun-kissed citrus today!
A Glimpse of the Past
Currently operated by the third generation, family photos are:
Nadine Henderson (left), mother, grew up choosing the ripest fruit.
Gene Henderson, (middle) dad, tended the groves.
Annie Lee Hayes, (right) grandmother, sorts
through the citrus.
Ice cream is enjoyed by Venice High students, Hannah Nicholas, Chelsea Briggs, and Maggie LaFrance.
Picking their grapefruit are Sheila and Phil Ward of Annapolis, Maryland.
Gift store cashiers are Diana (front) and Helene.
For more information about this advertorial, call 941-488-5274 in the area, or 1-800-426-5274. Visit the Nokomis Groves Gift Shop at 111 S. Albee Farm Road, Nokomis, during the hours of 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday. For complete information, log on to www.NokomisGroves.com
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