A winter tradition continues…


By Matt Clevenger

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TROY — A local tradition for over 15 years, Indian River Direct will offer fresh, hand-picked Florida oranges, grapefruit and tangerines during truck sales at the Trojan Village Shopping Center on Saturday, Feb. 3, and Saturday, Feb. 24.

Ruby red grapefruit, temple oranges, naval oranges and Orri tangerines will be available in 2/5-bushel boxes during the sales, which will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the shopping center located at 47 S. Dorset Road.

“This season, our most popular have been the ruby red grapefruit and our tangerines,” Indian River Direct Office Manager Angela Doyle said. “The tangerines are really sweet, it’s not something that you can find at the grocery store.”

“The trees actually come from Isreal,” she said. “We plant them here in Florida and grow them. They are probably one of the sweetest tangerines I’ve ever had.”

A family-owned business with groves located in Fort Pierce, Florida, Indian River Direct has been delivering fresh fruit to the Troy area each winter for the last 15 years, Doyle said, after taking over from a company called H & S that established the delivery route approximately 30 years ago.

“We own the groves,” she said. “We transport the fruit ourselves.”

“They don’t use machinery; it’s all hand-picked,” Doyle said. “We do our best to get it to our customers as quickly as possible.”

The company currently operates two delivery routes in the Indiana/Ohio and Wisconsin areas, including over 500 stops during the winter season.

“They pick it, they pack it here, and people get it within just a couple of days of being picked off the tree,” Doyle said. “I’d say within two to three days of being picked, they’re up to the Ohio area to sell.”

Grocery store produce can be over a month old by the time it reaches customers, she said, and is often gassed to enhance its appearance and ripeness.

“You can taste the difference,” she said. “It just doesn’t have the flavor and sweetness that ours do.”

The truck sales on Feb. 3 and Feb. 24 will be Indian River Direct’s last citrus sales in Troy for the season, Doyle said. More information, and a full route schedule, can be found online at www.indianriverdirect.com.

“Feb. 24 will be the last one for citrus,” she said. “In June and July we partner with a peach grower in South Carolina, so we will be back in June and July with peaches.”

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