The Citrus Industry

The Indian River environment is ideal for growing citrus fruits due because the soil contains more organic matter and holds nutrients better than other areas of Florida where the soil is sandier. Citrus growers established groves in the center of Florida and the railroads gave easy access to these areas.

All citrus except the grapefruit is native of the Orient. The citrus fruits came to Florida through trade and expansion that was carried westward and eventually ended up in the Americas. Native Americans helped to disperse the seeds inland on their travels around the Peninsula.

The Indian River Citrus industry dates to the 1830 with Douglas Dummitt who planted an orange on Merritt Island. The worst freeze in the state hit on Feb. 8th 1835 and killed almost all citrus in trees in the states. Douglas Dummitt’s groves were one of the only ones to survive. Dummitt’s oranges became prized throughout the world. In December of 1894 and in 1895 Florida suffered two more devastating freezes and Dummit’s groves survived once again.

The Florida Citrus Exchange was formed in 1910 and later became the Florida Citrus Commission. The FCE had advertising campaigns and formed national and international sales organizations along with other tasks.

Objectives: Fifth Grade:

Understand how the freezes of 1835, 1894, & 1895 affected citrus groves in Florida. Use latitude and longitude to locate the Indian River.

Write directions from your hometown to the Indian River. Create a map that matches directions to Indian River.  Use skip counting to identify multiples of 2 to 100.

Science:

SC.5.L.15.1

Describe how, when the environment changes, differences between individuals allow some plants and animals to survive and reproduce while others die or move to new locations.

How did the freezes in February 1835, December 1894, and February 1895 affect most citrus groves in Florida? Why does change in the environment allow some plants to survive and reproduce while others die?

Social Studies:

SS.5.G.1.2

Use latitude and longitude to locate places.

Use latitude and longitude to locate different locations along the Indian River.

Reading and Language Arts:

LA.5.4.2.5

The student will write directions to unfamiliar locations using cardinal and ordinal directions, landmarks, and distances, and create an accompanying map.

Write directions from your hometown to a specific point along the Indian River using cardinal and ordinal directions, landmarks, and distances, and create an accompanying map.

Mathematics:

MA.5.A.6.In.a

Use skip counting to identify multiples of 2, 5, and 10 for numbers to 100. Imagine that there u have 100 oranges, use skip counting to identify multiples of 2 to 100.

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