Upper Gulf Coast Citrus Show to display locally grown harvest

LA MARQUE — ‘Tis the season for citrus in Texas, and at least some of it will be tagged with blue ribbons at the annual Upper Gulf Coast Citrus show, hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Galveston County.

Home citrus growers are encouraged to enter any type of citrus fruit for judging, according to Dr. William Johnson, AgriLife Extension Galveston County coordinator and horticulturist. The public is invited to view the wide variety of locally grown citrus fruit at the show.

A wide variety of citrus fruit is expected for the annual Upper Gulf Coast Citrus Show in La Marque. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by William Johnson).

The event will be at 7 p.m. Nov. 29 at the AgriLife Extension office, 4102-B Main St. in La Marque.

“Last year’s show had 196 citrus entries grown in Brazoria, Matagorda, Harris and Galveston counties,” Johnson said. “When you think of citrus, images of grapefruits, lemons, limes and oranges are most likely to come to mind. But that represents a very small portion of the citrus that can be grown in Texas. And much of the home-grown citrus is of superior quality to supermarket fruits.”

Each entry must be grown by the exhibitor and should consist of three fruits. Also, each entry must be bagged and clearly tagged with the type of fruit and variety, and the grower’s name, address and telephone number.

“If the variety or even type of fruit is not known, it may be entered and will be identified,” Johnson said.

Entries will be accepted at the AgriLife Extension office for Galveston County from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 27-28. Rosettes and ribbons will be awarded to the best quality entries.

During the event, Monte Nesbitt of College Station, AgriLife Extension horticulture specialist, will talk about “Growing Citrus on the Gulf Coast.”

“In areas with mild winter temperatures, gardeners grow a remarkably wide variety of citrus ranging from grapefruits to kumquats to lemons to oranges,” Johnson said. “The other good news is that this year’s citrus crop has been very productive despite last year’s record drought and temperature conditions.”

He said many types of citrus are easier to grow than “traditional” fruit trees such as peaches.

“Many residents grow citrus not only for the fruit but also for the ornamental value that trees provide to the landscape,” Johnson said. “Citrus trees also make good gifts for the holidays.”

For more information, contact Johnson at 281-534-3413, ext. 12, or visit http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/.

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