We enjoyed our fresh squeezed orange juice so much in Florida last winter. We were expecting thereafter to buy bags of oranges in grocery stores and continue squeezing our own. But the price of whole oranges just doesn’t allow for that. They are just too expensive. So, much to our surprise and delight, we moved down to the Louisville, Kentucky area and what is plentiful and free, lying on the ground in many places in our campground? Oranges! But wait, these don’t seem to be sweet and full of juice. Inside there is an oozy stickiness. For these are Osage Oranges and are somewhat poisonous to eat.
We had researched these things a few years back. We used to find them in Michigan and Indiana. We hadn’t seen any on our travels to date. We used to place them in the corners of the floors in our condo as they are a natural spider and insect repellent. We just read as well that a naturally occurring substance in the Osage Orange is now approved for use as a mosquito repellent and may be as effective as the chemical DEET,
The Osage Orange tree is actually very versatile. The tress are spread around from Texas up through the Plains and into the Midwest as they were used to form hedgerows, marking farm fields, and also in windbreaks. They are very scraggly trees, but the wood in them is extremely dense and pack more BTUs than any other tree making them great for firewood. And even though the wood is very dense, it is quite flexible and hunting bows used to be made from them. Scraggly looking fence posts also were made from this tree as the wood is very rot resistant.
We are camped in Charlestown State Park on the north side of the Ohio River, a great location for exploring Louisville, Kentucky and Madison, Indiana. There are about two hundred campsites here. Our first night here only seven of them were occupied. The park is fairly new having been formed from land donated to the State of Indiana that used to be a part of the Indiana Army Ammunition Plant, the country’s largest smokeless powder plant at one time. It is nice to have a 50 amp full hookup site on an asphalt pad in a State Park setting.