Built in Freeze Protection
Historically, consumers have easily found "Indian River" fruit in the marketplaces of the world, even though the majority of the State of Florida has suffered freezing temperatures. The reason the "River" has not suffered significant damage from any freeze is due to a number of factors.
One of the most important is its proximity to the Gulf Stream. Most people don't realize how far east the heart of Indian River Citrus District is in comparison with the rest of the eastern seaboard of Florida. For example, if you took the exact coordinates of Jacksonville to Vero Beach, you would find that Vero Beach is over 100 miles further east than the city of Jacksonville, placing it within the warm confines of the ocean.
Secondly, a cold front has to travel much further to get to the Indian River Citrus District. As it moves south, it is buffered by all of the rivers, swamps and lakes in the central region of Florida.
Third, the Indian River Citrus District is a very flat region, allowing the growers to flood their groves when a freeze is on the way. This process involves bringing water in and pumping it as high in their groves as they can, to the tree trunks if possible. This warm body of water, which is essentially a temporary lake in most groves, will radiate its heat during the course of the night and will raise the grove temperature two to four degrees which insures another buffer to keep this District's fruit free of any severe damage.
All of these factors combine to assist the grower in keeping his fruit in the marketplace throughout the majority of the year.