Page 30 - 2018Magazine3
P. 30

Whether it’s through family, other local growers or regional contacts,

                   networking has been essential to the growth of Georgia’s nascent

                                          citrus industry, says Savelle.

        Growing Season Satsuma acreage has grown from
        30 acres in 2013 to more than 250 acres in 2017
          One of the major appeals of growing satsumas
        is that it doesn’t take a lot of land to be a
        commercial grower, Savelle says, so it’s perfect                                                     Photos by Jennifer Stalcup
        for family farms.
          “I’ve had a lot of families come see me about
        trees or how to grow citrus, and they bring their
        families,” she says. “It’s a family project, and I’m
        excited about that.”                               she scrambled to find bigger accommodations as
          It’s a family affair for her, too. When she had a  the RSVPs swelled.
        hard time finding enough trees from disease-          That growth matches the increase in satsuma
        free areas (Florida’s growers have been            acreage since 2013. Price says the number has
        devastated by citrus greening disease, which       gone from about 30 acres the first year to 80 the
        kills trees and is spread by insects), she         next; then 150; now he counts about 250 acres
        partnered with her brother, Clay, to start a       devoted to the fruit. The trees take several years
        nursery, 1Dog Ventures. It offers satsumas and     to start producing and growers have to sacrifice
        seedless lemons, tangerines and grapefruit,        fruit at first to get the trees established, so the
        exclusively licensed from UGA.                     bumper crop is still to come. “Pulling those little
          Savelle also talked to Price about starting the  fruit off is painful,” says Savelle. She says when
        Georgia Citrus Association, which launched in      asked about what it takes to grow citrus, “I say
        October 2016 with 27 members and Savelle as        good soil, good weather, wind protection, good
        president. The association’s first meeting in      water and four years of patience,” Savelle says.
        2017 wound up with more than 270 attendees;        “Put your trees in and be patient.”

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