Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Are you NUTS?!?!

Have you ever wondered why pecans are so expensive?   There are several steps throughout the year  to get pecans to a buyer/processor and then to your store. My husband, son and I recently helped  with one part of the process, the "cleaning of the pecans." This is  tedious, back-breaking work, and one that myself, my daughters, son and husband have helped do for several years. It helps us to appreciate the tasty goodies we put in so many recipes.

Pecans aren't really a nut but a drupe, which is a fruit with a single stone or pit surrounded by a husk.
They are a good source of protein and unsaturated fats, they are also rich in omega 6 fatty acids.
It is also said that pecans can help lower cholesterol.
Pecans are native to North America and the United States is the largest pecan producer in the world.
Pecans are grown in the southern states, with Georgia being number one.
Okmulgee, Oklahoma holds a Pecan Festival every June and holds the Guiness Book of World Records for the largest pecan pie ever baked. It was 40 feet in diameter and weighed 35,000 pounds!                                  

Below is a trailer full of pecans ready for us to clean.
The farm where we worked has over 3,000 trees which covers hundreds of acres!    

The pecans are dumped in a pit, it takes several times of filling the pit to empty one trailer.
The pecans take a trip up a conveyor belt. 
The pecans are dropped on a continuously moving table and the cleaning begins. We pick out limbs, rocks, pecans with holes, cracks or husks still attached.                                        
At the end of the table the pecans drop into a bag that holds 1500 pounds. A wholesaler will buy the whole crop. The pecans will be graded and the cleaner the pecans the higher the price for our grower. 
Posted by PicasaAfter approximately 480 man hours of cleaning our grower had 18,000 pounds of pecans!

This covers one part of the process of harvesting pecans. I didn't cover what happens in the groves before, during or after the pecans are harvested. The cleaning of the pecans is a tedious job and helps to explain the cost of pecans.

I will be posting this to Gold Star Wednesday's, Foodie Friday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday,
Full Plate Thursday's, Tuesday's at the Table, Mouthwatering Monday's


  1. Great post! I truly love pecans I'm from Texas and pecan pie is a serious staple there :D...How on earth did a pie that big get baked? There aren't any ovens that big! Have a great day :). Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  2. Just look at all those wonderful Pecans! This is a great post, I really enjoyed it. Thank you so much for sharing it with us here at Full Plate Thursday. You have a great week end and please come back!

  3. I've never heard of a drupe before. According to your definition, walnuts must be drupes too. Cool.


  4. Well I sure love pecans! They are my favorite, nut, I mean drupe! wWhat an interesting post! Joni

  5. What an interesting post! I would say pecans are my favorite drupe (had to use that). I didn't even know they weren't a a true nut!

  6. Great post! I love Pecans!


  7. How interesting! We're all pecan lovers here.

  8. Stopping by from Full Plate Thursday to say hello! Good to know how the pecans in my bar cookies are treated, thanks.