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On a punishingly hot August morning, Jake Price walked through his rows of citrus trees, tucked in the back corner of a field behind an elementary school. They looked like an image right out of a commercial for Florida orange juice: lush, leafy trees, many of them laden with plump fruit.
Only this wasn’t in Florida, it was in Georgia.
Price is an extension agent for the University of Georgia in Lowndes County, and his trees are in Valdosta, about half an hour from the Florida border. He’s growing several kinds of small citrus fruit, including a type of mandarin known as a tango, one of the easy-to-peel varieties that’s easy to throw in a kid’s school lunch.
“Look how much fruit this tree has,” Price said, approaching one of the tango trees. “There’s probably 25 pounds per tree on these.”... Read more