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home : community : community January 23, 2019

11/18/2018 1:32:00 AM
Orange Season In Alexis
If anyone asks  
If anyone asks  "can you grow oranges
in North Carolina?" tell them about the
'Keener Orchard' on Hipp Road in
southern Lincoln County near Alexis.

(Photos Courtesy of Clara Keener)

...and lemons, too!
...and lemons, too!

+ view more photos
Marvin Keener with his orange trees in
2016; he's added more since.

Wayne Howard
Staff Writer

Thirteen years ago Marvin and Clara Keener's son Mark, who lives in Panama City, Florida, sent Marvin a couple of Matsuma orange trees.  We first saw them in 2010 when Marvin got his first crop of oranges from one of the trees.  We did an article about them in 2016.  By that time, Marvin had added another tree--plus a lemon tree.  

Lemons ripen a bit earlier than oranges.  Normally, oranges bloom in Spring and produce their crop during the Fall and Winter months.  This year, Marvin had a strange experience when one of his orange trees (he's added more since) decided to bloom early--and produced fruit in July; but the big harvest is just now happening.

Marvin got a new fertilizer and put on his trees, and not only did it cause that strange phenomenon of a July crop, it caused a bumper crop this Fall.  His lemon tree also produced a bumper crop.

Of course, Marvin's trees have to be protected from North Carolina's cold weather, so they're in a hothouse, but if anyone asks, "can you grow oranges in North Carolina?" tell them about the 'Keener Orchard' on Hipp Road in Alexis.  

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