For the Monday, November 9th meeting of Seedling Garden Club members took a field trip to Sullivan Citrus Farm in Metter.
Upon arrival owner, Will Sullivan, welcomed the club and invited members into the beautiful old red barn. Mr. Sullivan presented the program on citrus growing. He explained that while visiting a hunting club in Canoochee a friend that was there from Florida starting asking how citrus would grow in South Georgia. Growing up in Florida and working around orange trees, this interested Sullivan. He started with 80 plants, given to him by a friend. After a period of trial and error he has begun to harvest fruit. He explained the root stock depends on the weather, watering with drip system and protection from the cold is the main factor in plants having a chance of growing and producing fruit. He created a tree curtain to cover the plants and used irrigation system to form a green house over the plants. When it is time to harvest the fruit a special clipper is used to cut fruit from plants. The types of oranges he grows now are, Satsuma and Kishu with plans on planting new varieties next year along with grapefruit.. One secret he has learned over the years is how to market your product and he surely has done this. Will Sullivan is a member of Georgia Citrus Growers Association.
After the presentation Sullivan invited members to visit the garden and was told they could pick and eat as much fruit as they would like. The thirteen (13) members and one (1) guest acted like kids in a candy store, picking and eating. The trees were loaded and the fruit was very sweet and juicy.
To end an enjoyable outing, club president, Lucille Braswell thanked Mr. Sullivan for sharing his story of getting into growing citrus, the horticulture tips for growing fruit and for letting members pick and eat the fruit.
Seedling Garden Club is a member of National Garden Clubs, Deep South Region, The Garden Club of Georgia, Inc. and Oleander District.