Have you ever smelled orange blossoms when they are blooming? It is quite possibly the best scent you will ever encounter. And what follows is just as pleasant. Orange fruit picked straight off the tree is one of the most luscious fruits one can eat, so the blossoms are just a sign of what is to come.
Find the Mediterranean Sea on a map of the world. How many countries border the Mediterranean? Now find Osmaniye, Turkey, on the map. How far do you think Osmaniye is from the water? It only takes about twenty minutes to drive to the sea, though there is not a lovely beach located within the 20-minute drive. It takes about an hour and a half to get to a nice sandy beach spot.
Throughout the Mediterranean region, in all countries, certain crops grow particularly well. Citrus trees and olive trees are especially abundant. These trees grow all over the land surrounding my town, and all over the region along the Mediterranean in Turkey.
Osmaniye is known for its peanut crops, which are referred to as ground nuts, since they grow in the ground instead of on trees. Down the road about sixty miles east pistachios are the primary nut crop. Pistachios grow on trees, though these trees can look barren and even dead in certain seasons.
Citrus and olive trees are always beautiful. Right now, in early April, the orange trees are covered in white blossoms. The aroma that lingers in the air is one of the most delightful smells I have ever encountered. Driving down the highway the scent wafts through the windows. Even in large cities filled with exhaust from vehicles, one can still smell the orange blossoms.
Olive trees look different from other trees because of the lighter color of their green leaves. Some people can tell whether the tree produces green or black olives. People use olives for many purposes, but mostly for eating and making olive oil. This is a huge industry in all the Mediterranean countries, including here in Turkey.
People can purchase citrus fruit and olives any time of the year in this area. There are different types, because different varieties grow at different times. Personally I think people living in any Mediterranean region seem to enjoy life just a bit more than the average person. Sunshine is important, and makes people feel good. The diet is extra healthy. Even though some things like nuts have fat, it is natural healthy fat, and important in any diet.
Many other things grow in this area, so people can get fresh fruits and vegetables any time of the year from their local farmers, if they don’t grow them themselves. I love fruits and vegetables, so I am especially happy. It is so nice to be able to purchase produce picked fresh that morning. It just tastes better than produce that has sat in on a truck, traveled hundreds of miles, and then sat in the grocery store for many days.
This produce provides an income for the families in this region, whether they own the orchard or they work in it, helping to plant, care for, harvest, deliver or sell the goods.