November 2020 Newsletter

Welcome to the November 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 to view my listings, search for properties, or to enjoy one of my archived newsletters and stories on Florida History.

Thank you,

Slide over Pilgrims, Florida was the site of first Thanksgiving, or was it?
"Florida has been the butt of many jokes, but the state has a distinction that makes 49 others jealous and it’s arriving just in time for some comic relief: Thanksgiving. The first one was celebrated on our sandy soil, not near some rock in Plymouth, Mass.

Sure, generations of schoolkids have been taught that English settlers and Wampanoag Indians got together to eat turkey and watch football in 1621.

However some claim, the first Thanksgiving was celebrated in St. Augustine on Sept. 8, 1565. Spanish Admiral Don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés and Father Francisco Lopez came ashore with about 800 colonists.

As Lopez performed a Catholic mass of thanksgiving for their safe arrival, curious Timucuan tribesmen showed. The Spaniards invited them to join them for some stew of salted pork and garbanzo beans

There is just one caveat to that First Thanksgiving story, however. It might not be true.

Oh, the part about the Spanish and Timucuans having a meal is not in dispute. It was first chronicled in the 1965 book “The Cross in the Sand,” by Michael Gannon, a renowned University of Florida history professor.

“It was the first community act of religion and thanksgiving in the first permanent settlement in the land,” he wrote.

Or was it?

The National Park Service is on board with St. Augustine, but notes that other historians believe the first Thanksgiving was celebrated a year earlier near what is now Jacksonville.

French Huguenots, led by explorer Rene Goulaine de Laudonnière, established a colony and were welcomed by Timucuans.

“We sang a song of Thanksgiving unto God,” Laudonnière wrote in his journal, “beseeching Him that it would please His Grace to continue His accustomed goodness toward us.”

The French supposedly didn’t have a lot of food, so the Timucuans brought a load of local fowl, shrimp, corn, beans, pumpkins and … alligator!

“Taste like chicken,” Laudonnière wrote in his journal.

At least there is no doubt this First Thanksgiving entry also took place in the Sunshine State.

The only hitch here is that, again, it might not have been the first time native tribesmen shared a meal and gratitude with people from the New World. A sign near Canyon, Texas, claims that Spanish explorer Coronado celebrated a Thanksgiving feast there in 1541 and Maine also is in the running. The Library of Congress notes that was the site of an English settlement known as the Popham Colony which held a “harvest feast and prayer meeting” with Abenaki tribesmen in 1607.

The fact is that when it comes to First Thanksgiving, you can largely choose your own facts. The holiday was celebrated on different days in different states for the first 100 years or so after America’s founding.

As for why the Plymouth version has become the go-to story, historians say it’s because the winners get to write history. The British colonized America, not the Spanish or the French.

It’s unfortunate Florida doesn’t get its historical due. On the other hand, imagine millions of Americans carving the traditional Thanksgiving alligator and passing garbanzo beans!"

Is the Florida Citrus Market Bouncing Back?
Like the rest of the world, Florida’s citrus growers are ready to turn the page on 2020. The past several months will obviously be remembered for world-shaking events like the pandemic. But for citrus producers, the impacts of coronavirus only exacerbated already challenging business conditions, including a season marked by low prices for processing fruit.

As the 2020-2021 season gets under­way, Florida citrus growers hope to see prices return to more normal, sus­tainable levels.

In 2018-2019, the crop bounced back after Irma — greater than anticipated — at nearly 72 million boxes. Processors were locked into long-term contracts with Mexico and Brazil because they didn’t expect the rebound. What followed early in the 2019-2020 season were high inventories of juice and processors not offering contracts for the season, or offering them at reduced pricing. Meanwhile, retail OJ sales continued a downward trend. It was the perfect storm for a terrible market.

While many Florida growers had multi-year contracts with juice processors that helped shield them from the market upheaval, some producers were hung out in a bad market scenario — among them were a number of larger players. And even some growers with long-term deals left a portion of their crop uncommitted to take advantage of price upswings.

As a result of low citrus prices, there were reports that some growers were cutting back on their production programs to save money until prices return to break-even or better.

Some speculate that might have shown up in the final USDA crop estimate of 67.65 million boxes for 2019-2020.

However, Coronavirus has helped turn the market in a more positive direction. While food service tanked during the shutdown, retail sales of orange juice soared.

“The lingering effects of COVID-19 continue to provide robust demand for vitamin C-rich oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and lemons. This demand, combined with reduced supply, should help improve pricing this season.”

 Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity's "22nd Annual Virtual Turkey Trot"
Sunday, November 22nd - Sunday, November 29th

Virtual race at the location of your choice and with whom you choose.

Map out a 3.1 mile run on your phone and coordinate it with family and friends!

Wild turkeys see in color and have an excellent daytime vision that is three times better than a human’s eyesight and covers 270 degrees. They have poor vision at night, however, and generally become warier as it grows darker.

Because it is a native bird with a proud demeanor and protective instincts, the wild turkey was Benjamin Franklin’s preference for the national bird. Benjamin Franklin considered the bald eagle less honorable because it can be a scavenger and will rob other birds and animals for prey.

The average American eats 18 pounds of turkey every year, and more turkeys are consumed on Thanksgiving than on Christmas and Easter combined.

The first unofficial presidential pardons were granted to domestic turkeys in 1947. Since then every president has “pardoned” two birds (a presidential turkey and a vice-presidential turkey) before Thanksgiving. The pardoned birds live out their days on different farms and are often put on display temporarily for the American public to greet.

Source: The Spruce
21 Acres Prime Corner Lot-Lake Suzy/Kings Hwy area
SW Peace River St. #A Arcadia, FL 34269
21+ Acre prime corner located in the Lake Suzy/Kings Highway area of DeSoto County. This property is in the pathway for future development and has a designated future land use for commercial. Located Just 3 miles to Interstate 75 and only minutes away from North Port, Punta Gorda and Fort Myers. Housing developments have already been approved and broken ground nearby. This is a great opportunity for a commercial development.

Total Acres: 21.25 Acres
Listing Price: $1,052,000

272+ Acres Recreational and Hunting Property w/Home
2333 County Rd 731 Venus, FL 33960
GET AWAY FROM IT ALL!!! BRING THE ATV’S….Recreational and Hunting Property. Approximately 267 acres in Highlands County PLUS a spacious 4 bedroom/3 bath single family home on 5 Acres. This land is full of beautiful Oaks, Cabbage Palm Trees, and improved pasture with plenty of deer, turkeys, wild hogs and other wildlife. The home offers over 3,300 sq ft of space. This is a beautiful “old Florida” landscape. Get out of the city and enter your PRIVATE getaway!!! Located less than 90 MINUTES from the east or west coast of Florida.

MLS: C7432000
Total Acres: 272
Listing price: $1,500,000
30+ Acres Kings Hwy Corridor
SW Hwy 760 #D Arcadia, FL 34266
Secluded 30 + Acre wooded property just off Kings Hwy in Desoto County.. A perfect place for a private getaway cabin or your next home. Located in the much sought after 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. CALL TODAY!

Total Acres: 30.90

MLS: C7431376

Listing Price: $415,000
1,045+ Acre Prime Hunting and Pristine Ranch
26005 Harrison Rd. Myakka City, FL 34251
Located only 20 minutes from Sarasota and I-75 sits this pristine ranch property on the Sarasota/Manatee County line. This ranch offers over 1,045+ acres of beautiful “old Florida” landscape and pastureland. There are endless opportunities for the hunter, rancher and farmer. Its one-of-a-kind lodge boasts 5 bedrooms, a spacious living and dining area, and a beautifully appointed kitchen. This incredible property is encompassed by Oak hammocks, sloughs, and pastureland and is currently used for cattle grazing and bahia sod production. Also included on the property is a large barn with an office/apartment, equipment storage and workshop along with an exceptional set of covered cowpens. The entire property is abundant with deer, Osceola turkeys, wild hogs and other wildlife. With its close proximity to Tampa and the Sarasota/Bradenton area, this ranch is ideal for your rural getaway. Call today for a showing!

MLS: C7433962
Total Acres: 1,045
Listing price: $5,691,000
Income Opportunity Triplex
2388 SW Lois Ave. Arcadia, FL 34266
INCOME OPPORTUNITY TRI-PLEX in Arcadia. Two-2 bedroom/1 bath units and One-1 bedroom/1 bath unit. Great potential for an Investor or a homeowner to live in one unit and rent others. Here you are just a short distance to downtown Arcadia and Hwy 17. Property being sold AS-IS.

MLS: C7433115
Total Acres: .51
Sold Price: $170,000
250+ Acres Hwy 31
SE Hwy 31 Arcadia, FL 34266
250+ Acres on Hwy 31 with LOADS OF POTENTIAL and over 3,000ft of Hwy 31 frontage. Possible residential development opportunity with public water and sewer connections already in place nearby. This property is currently zoned PUD with a future land use of Urban Center. ONLY 5 minutes to Publix and Walmart off Hwy 70, 25 minutes to Babcock Ranch, and less than 30 minutes to I-75 or Florida’s West coast.

MLS: C7432151      
Total Acres: 250 Acres   
Listing Price: $1,500,o00  
22+ Acres Pastureland
SW Reynolds St. Arcadia, FL 34266
Beautiful 22+/- Acres of well-maintained pasture land with sprawling oaks. This property would make an incredible homesite with plenty of room for a barn and pond. It is zoned A-5. Bring your cattle, horses, or other livestock and enjoy this peaceful piece of land. Call today for a showing!

MLS: C7429697

Total Acres: 22.06

Listing Price: $278,000

50+ Acres Subdivided 10 Acre Tracts
3100 Martin Lane Arcadia, FL 34266
50 Acres already subdivided into Five-10 Acres tracts. A perfect piece of land for multiple family members to build. This property is located within minutes to Kings Hwy with convenient access to Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte and Arcadia. Don’t miss this opportunity! *Seller financing may be available

Total Acres: 50
MLS: C7430693
Listing Price: $650,000
5 and 10 Acre Parcels in Charlotte Park
8292 Holmes Blvd. Punta Gorda, FL 33982
8264 Duffie Dr. Punta Gorda, FL 33982
5 & 10 Acres Shovel-Ready in growing Charlotte County Airport Park. Bring your business! Infrastructures in place such as city water/sewer and storm water retention. ECAP Zoning (Enterprise Charlotte Airport Park) allows for a multitude of Industrial, Commercial, and Office uses. 10 Acre property has ~670’ of road frontage on the front and ~670’ of road frontage on back, can be divided. Less than 1 mile to Interstate 75 at Exit 161 and sits adjacent to Punta Gorda Airport.

8292 Holmes Blvd.
Total Acres: 5
MLS: C7427867
List price: $382,000

8264 Duffie Dr.
Total Acres: 10
MLS: C7427835
List Price: $763,000
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 ||