Some of our orchards have been in our family for over five generations. Since my father took them over in 1960, they have rapidly improved with each of his innovations. Two particularly innovative milestones are the first irrigated orchard in Georgia in 1968 and pecan tree hedging that he began in 2008. Hedging is a Western grower practice that conventional wisdom said could not be done in the east until he and his partner successfully increased Georgia production with the practice. Today, most all pecan orchards are irrigated and more growers adopt hedging each year. He now works closely with the University of Georgia Pecan breeding program and they are developing some very exciting and tasty new varieties.
I like to compare growing pecans to growing a vineyard; every orchard and every growing season are different, you always focus on improving over last year and on the five years ahead when new plantings will produce their first crop. It is a fascinating world that involves long and short range planning, plant pathology, soil science and meteorology, among other things. At this point in time I can’t imagine doing anything else and only hope the passion gets a member of my family as it did me at a very young age.
For more information about our orchards, please check out our Nut Tree Pecan, Inc. website.
The Cleaning Plant
Ah, the cleaning plant a noisy, dusty, dirty, hot or freezing frenzied maze of equipment moving pecans from one cleaning mechanism to another, each designed to for a specific task to get them ready for market. It is a place that Willy Wonka would be fascinated with and I love it! My dad literally built the first version of this hot mess with his own hands in 1968.
For more information about our cleaning plant, please check out our Nut Tree Pecan, Inc. website.
This is a process that I am less familiar with but one that has been in the same hands for three generations and they are just as passionate about their business.