|The Florida Pomegranate|
Our license plates read “Sunshine State” and depict the ever-famous orange. But pomegranates?
According to the July 2011 issue of “Florida Agriculture” magazine, William Castle, professor emeritus at University of Florida whose specialty is horticulture science, is studying the possibility of pomegranate production in the Sunshine State as an alternative to citrus.
Pomegranate trees are a common sight in California. The small trees produce an apple-sized, red fruit with juicy, ruby-like arils with a tart-sweet taste. TheArmenianKitchen.com has praised the health aspects of the pomegranate – full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and shared some recipes using this fruit’s arils and tasty juice. (See our recipes for homemade pomegranate jelly, and shish kebab marinade, too!)
Castle began his study two years ago with Jim Baldwin, a senior biologist at the Citrus Research and Education Center. Together they are examining every aspect associated with pomegranate-growing with the help of over 30 growers around the state.
If the study proves positive, there could be numerous small-scale pomegranate groves popping up in Central Florida. Castle is convinced that pomegranate groves are a real possibility, and interest among growers is on the rise.
Pomegranates are used as a fruit, for their juice, and can be used as an ‘edible ornament for home and business landscapes’.
Castle said that if pomegranate production takes off, consumers will see Florida-grown pomegranates next to California pomegranates in our stores – plus locally produced pomegranate juice and juice blends.
Watch out POM Wonderful!