Where Is Fruit (Types) Grown in the United States?
There aren't many better things in this world than fresh fruit. When you bite into something you just purchased from a local farmer or you picked it from the tree or bush yourself it is an experience that cannot be duplicated. But not every place in the US, can enjoy every fruit from local sources. Many have to rely on what they find at the grocery store. So where does this fruit come from? I will profile several different popular fruits and where they grow in this country. You will see that one state by far grows the most fruit.
The majority of the nation's strawberries are grown in California. They begin to appear in February and March. Florida also grows their share. I find in my local supermarkets that most of the strawberries are grown in either Watsonville, CA or Plant City, FL. But what you find in the stores doesn't match the quality of those that you pick yourself and pick directly from the farmer. I was lucky to be in California in February and I can tell you the strawberries I bought from the farm there where ten times better than the ones I bought when I got back home that were also from California.
The Pacific states of California, Oregon, and Washington grow most of the nation's crop. Washington is known for their sweet cherries like the Rainer. Other states like Michigan and Wisconsin grow their own sweet cherries. Traverse City, Michigan and Door County, Wisconsin are seen as big cherry areas. When it comes to sour or pie cherries, Michigan grows almost all of the commercial sour cherries.
California is by far the number 1 grower of grapes in the United States. Other states do grow grapes as well but not on a commercial level.
Melons are grown in a wide variety of places, but only a few places do so on a large scale. It depends on the time of year where the melons will be coming from. Florida serves up the earliest watermelons. In the summer, states like Georgia and Texas provide their fair share of these melons. When it comes to cantaloupes and honeydews, most of those come from California.
Peaches are grown in many states across the country. California still grows more of them (they grow nearly all of the nectarines), but you have to recognize the contributions of the state of Georgia to the peach industry. Also Michigan and Washington offer a lot of peaches. Last year, I saw increase in stores selling peaches from Idaho, a place normally known just for their potatoes.
Another fruit in which California dominates the market. I have seen Michigan grown plums, I am sure a handful of other states grow them, but commercial California is the only important one.
This fruit might be grown in more states than any other. Several states contribute to the nationwide apple market. States like Washington, New York, Michigan, California and Pennsylvania all grow and sell bushels of apples. There are some states that even have their own state apple, one example being the Rhode Island Greening in obviously Rhode Island. The state of Minnesota has been making a lot of headlines in recent years because of the University of Minnesota developing the Honeycrisp apple and more recently the SweeTango apple.
Most of the nation's pears are grown in the Pacific Northwest. Washington has great weather for growing pears. Most of the pears I find on my supermarket shelves are from that region. Many farmers do grow pears in their states, but just for local consumption.
California grows the most lemons with Arizona also chipping in some. There are a very few number of lemons still grown in Florida. In recent years, the Meyer Lemon, a less acidic, sweeter lemon has been gaining popularity in the market place. These lemons can be found seasonally in the wintertime.
Florida use to provide the nation with it's limes. But after Hurricane Andrew in the early 90s and a disease that effected the trees a decade later, Florida is no longer a major lime producer. You can still find people there growing limes in their backyards. Now pretty much all limes found in stores are imported from Mexico.
Florida is known for their orange juice. But California out produces them when it comes to out of hand eating oranges. California also produces a good amount of juice oranges themselves.
When it comes to the orange's cousin, the mandarin it is a close battle between Florida and California. During the winter citrus season, I found many varieties in my stores from both of these states. California is working hard to overcome Florida. The University of California - Riverside has released many new varieties of mandarins that are delicious and extend the season.
Florida is the clear winner when it comes to grapefruit. California still adds to the market as well as Arizona and Texas.