Wow. The weather’s been so bad lately that up to 70% of the orange crop may be destroyed [LAT], and there are “significant losses in lemons” as well. Avacados and strawberries are also destroyed.
This can also be considered a symbolic occurence to how much the unseasonal cold is affecting SoCal, because the orange is not just a crop, but living history here. To quote Carey McWilliams, writing in the 1940s, “…the orange, as Charles Fletcher Lummis once pointed out, is not only a fruit but a romance. The orange tree is the living symbol of richness, luxury and elegance….it is the millionaire of all the trees of America, the “golden apple” of the fabled Hesperides…To own an orange grove in Southern California is to live on the real gold coast.” McWilliams goes on to mention that, since 1903, the orange crop values have exceeded that of gold produced. Sixty years after “Southern California: An Island on the Land” was published, we have the worst freeze since 1990 to remind us, just how much the orange crop, a symbol of prosperity over a hundred years old, still means to California. Expect higher prices at the grocery store on your citrus fruit, and for Florida to laugh at us.