April 2020 Newsletter

Welcome to the April Edition of my newsletter. Please feel free to reply with a comment. I am always looking to improve on the content for my subscribers.

Also, visit my website waltbethel.com to view my listings, search for properties, or to enjoy one of my archived newsletters and stories on Florida History.

Thank you,

Do Pine Trees Really Know When it is Easter?
Ever seen a cross on top of a pine tree? No, not the wooden kind. Around Easter each spring, some species in certain regions start to develop shoots with a familiar shape. This sighting has led to a popular legend that pine trees "know" when it's Easter.

"If you look at the tops of the pine trees two weeks before [Easter], you will see the yellow shoots," the blog A Lighthouse recounts. " As the days get closer to Easter Sunday, the tallest shoot will branch off and form a cross. By the time Easter Sunday comes around, you will see that most of the pine trees will have small yellow crosses on all of the tallest shoots."While it's true that these "crosses" appear in late March or early April for most of the country, the inspirational story linking them to the Christian holiday, some believe it just a coincidence.

Amy Enfield, Ph.D., consumer horticulturist at ScottsMiracle-Gro says:

"The yellowish vertical shoots, known as candles, form first and then the side buds which will eventually form branches develop leading to the new growth resembling a cross . The fact that this happens around Easter in parts of the U.S. is a coincidence—in warmer areas of the U.S., the new growth starts well before the Easter holiday. The crosses are more prominent on some species of pines than others, for example, they can be prominently seen on loblolly pines (found in the Southern U.S.) and the ponderosa pine (found in the West.)"

Still, as a believer I enjoy spotting the shoots every season and interpreting them as a sign of the religious celebrations to come.

Florida designated orange juice as the official state beverage on April 20, 1967. Oranges are also Florida's state fruit and the orange blosom is the state flower.

In 1967, the Legislature declared "the juice obtained from mature oranges of the species Citrus sinensis and hybrids is hereby adopted as the official beverage of the State of Florida."

Seldom does the mere mention of a beverage bring to mind a state. However, whenever "orange juice" is seen, written, or spoken, the universal connection is Florida. Technically, the state beverage is "The juice obtained from mature oranges of the species Citrus sinesis and hybrids thereof . . .," but the world knows it as just plain orange juice.

During the Second World War, concentrated juice was developed . . . followed by a frozen concentrate that transformed orange juice production into a multi-billion dollar industry.

Citrus juices contain flavonoids (especially in the pulp) that may have health benefits. Orange juice is also a source of the antioxidant hesperidin. Because of its citric acid content, orange juice is acidic, with a typical pH of around 3.5

• Florida produces the majority of oranges grown in the United States

• 90-95 percent of the Florida orange crop is processed for juice

• Orange blossoms are used in tea and bakery products

• most of Florida's honey is produced from bees that gather orange blossom nectar

The orange blossom was Florida's original state flower and was designated as such in 1909. Because the orange tree is not native to Florida, the Coreopsis was added as the state wildflower in 1991.

Florida's citrus industry developed from 16th century Spanish introductions that grew well and became established in Florida's warm climate. Indians and pioneers transplanted citrus trees throughout the warmer parts of the state. During the 1830s, commercial citrus trees were grafted on sour orange rootstock to improve disease resistance and create a commercial market. Florida quickly became known for its oranges, leading to why orange juice was named the state beverage of Florida.

Source: Ereference.com

As you turn onto Solomon Road in Arcadia, near Solomon's Castle, there is a large field on your right that has 1400 Live Oak trees. They were planted by Howard Solomon's daughter, Alane in 2009 as 6 foot saplings. She said it was the only way she could guarantee #peaceonearth . It took awhile, but now with Google Earth, unless you can fly, This is the aerial shot. PEACE ON EARTH!
Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon, who led the first European expedition to Florida in 1513, named the state in tribute to Spain’s Easter celebration known as “Pascua Florida,” or Feast of Flowers. During the first half of the 1800s, U.S. troops waged war with the region’s Native American population. During the Civil War, Florida was the third state to secede from the Union. Beginning in the late 19th century, residents of Northern states flocked to Florida to escape harsh winters. In the 20th century, tourism became Florida’s leading industry and remains so today, attracting millions of visitors annually. Florida is also known for its oranges and grapefruit, and some 80 percent of America’s citrus is grown there.

Source: Did You Know
6 Parcels SOLD OUT!
SW Co Rd 769 and SW Co Rd 760 Arcadia, FL 34266

   Beautiful wooded properties just off Kings Hwy. Ideal areas to build your dream home with plenty of space for a barn and animals. Located in highly desired Kings Highway (State Road 769) area with quick access to Port Charlotte, Interstate 75, or to the downtown Arcadia area. Sarasota and Gulf Beaches are just an hour away.
SW Peace River St. Arcadia, FL 34269
Over Twenty-Six (26.25) Acres of gorgeous, Florida land located in the Lake Suzy area of DeSoto County, with ¼ Mile of Kings Hwy frontage. Located in an area with good traffic, primed for future development. Just 3 miles to Interstate 75, Shopping Centers, Hotels and Restaurants. Public access to the Peace River at opposite end of Peace River Street. Acreage is currently Zoned A-5. This area has numerous existing and proposed residential developments with a few areas of commercial and light industrial nearby. Easy access to Punta Gorda Airport and Sarasota County.

MLS: C7241812 
Total Acres: 26.25 Acres
Listing Price: $1,200,ooo

Gorgeous 5 Acre Tracts with Golf Course Views
SW Cypress Bend Ave. Arcadia, FL 34266
Three gorgeous 5+ Acre properties with golf course views in Desoto County. Parcels have privacy with ample space to build your dream home.
You will have convenient access to the newly upgraded public boat ramp with entry onto the Peace River and be just a short drive to Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, Arcadia or I-75. 
Come bring your animals and build on these beautiful pieces of land! 

*Parcels pending DeSoto County approval* 

Parcel 1:    5.25 Acres   $94,500  PENDING!
Parcel 2:     5.80 Acres   $92,800
Parcel 3:    5.79 Acres   $81,500
Move-In Ready 3/ 2 Waterfront, pool home in the heart of Punta Gorda
310 Caicos Dr. Punta Gorda, FL 33950
Move-In Ready 3 Bedroom 2 Bathroom waterfront, pool home in the heart of Punta Gorda. Great location in Punta Gorda Isles within moments to Fisherman’s Village, the new Library, Hounds on Henry Dog Park, History Park, walking trails and more! You will have quick boating access to Charlotte Harbor with water and electric-ups at dock and a 13,000lb boat lift steps from your back door. Home features over 2,000 sq. ft. with a bright and open floor plan and tile throughout main living area. Gourmet kitchen offers breakfast bar, wood cabinetry, granite counters and an adjoining breakfast nook overlooking the pool. Cathedral ceilings, French doors, decorative built in shelves and arched windows are perfect architectural enhancements. Master Suite has private access to the lanai, a large bath with separate walk-in shower, dual sinks and an oversized walk-in closet. Formal living room, a dining room, separate family room, and two guest rooms complete the home with pool/canal views from almost every room. Plenty of space for outdoor entertaining with 12x12 brick paver decking, a heated pool with waterfall features and solar cover, outdoor shower, raised sun deck, and an enclosed screen pool cage. Lush landscaping leads you down to the water and surrounds the home. Your ideal Florida retreat awaits!

Total Sq Ft: 2,088
Listing price: $549,000

200-1600 ACRES

Call me 863.990.1748 for more info
5.5 Acres Commercial Land
3200 Cooper St. Punta Gorda, FL 33950
5.5 Acres of Commercial Land on Cooper St with visibility of US 41/Tamiami Trail. This property is zoned Industrial General and is located adjacent to a City of Punta Gorda facility. Zoning allows for a multitude of options such as distribution center, boat/trailer sales-storage and more! Great access to downtown Punta Gorda, US41, Interstate 75 and Charlotte County Airport.

MLS: C7427738
Total Acres: 5.5
List price: $475,000
25,000+ SqFt Packing House with Optional Irrigated Farmland
240 Sweetwater Rd. Zolfo Springs, FL 33890
Over 25,000 Square Foot Packing House located in Hardee County. Property is on 14.93 Acres and features a staging cooler, a shipping cooler, 3 pre-chillers, loading docks, and premium of fice space.

Optional Irrigated Farmland also available.
Little Gasparilla Bayfront 3/2 Home
8538 Little Gasparilla Island Placida, FL 33946
By boat or water taxi, arrive at the 100'+ private, newly refinished dock that leads you straight to the front of the house on the oversized lot. The split stairwell welcomes you taking you to the second floor patio that is a perfect place to drink your morning coffee and watch the sunrise. As you enter the home, the spacious living area with a wood-beamed ceiling opens to the kitchen. The large kitchen with walk-in pantry and island are ideal for entertaining. The bedroom windows are adorned with plantation shutters. At the end of the hallway, the master bedroom is complete with its own bathroom. Below the home, features a large lower deck with an enclosed storage area. From there, it's just a short walk down the path to enjoy the amazing sunsets on the beach! There is plenty of the best Florida fishing right from your dock into Placida Harbor and onto the Gulf waters. Just minutes from the back waters of Bull Bay, Whidden creek, Turtle Bay and the world’s greatest Tarpon fishing in Boca Grande Pass.

MLS: C7408868
Total Sq. Ft: 1,360
Listing price: $749,000
About Walt Bethel
Walt Bethel is a fifth generation Floridian, born and raised in Arcadia, with a vast knowledge of all areas of Florida Real Estate and an ardent appreciation for Florida history.  
The purchase and development of his first orange grove when he was just sixteen years old fueled Walt's passion for real estate.  
Since then, he has bought, owned, and sold a wide variety of properties throughout a successful business career. His investments have included acreage, agricultural properties, residential homes, condos, and commercial properties. 
Walt's marketing and sales experience was cultivated over time at his family's business, Bethel Farms, where he marketed, managed, and sold products to "Big Box" retailers across the Southeastern and Midwestern United States.
From an early age, Walt's dad instilled in him the values to work hard and always have a goal, to look for a better way of doing things, and to constantly improve on them.  
The daily implementation of these principles, coupled with his enjoyment of networking with new people and his experience in business, sales, and marketing, have contributed to Walt's success as a Realtor.
 Walt has served on various boards and committees throughout the years. He has coached and actively supports local youth athletic programs and leagues. 
He and his wife Jill, also a fourth generation Floridian, reside in Punta Gorda. They have two children, a daughter Peyton and a son Truman.
Walt Bethel | RE/MAX Harbor Realty| 863.990.1748 | wbethel@waltbethel.com | www.waltbethel.com