Peak Season for Pecan Harvest

Natchitoches Pecans’ crew is working fast and furious harvesting our new crop fresh pecans. We are in peak harvest season. This is the time of year when fresh pecans are in high demand for all the holiday cooking that is just ahead. Pecan pie, pecan pralines, chocolate covered pecans, cinnamon pecans, pecan logs, roasted pecans, divinity…these are just a small sampling of what fresh pecans go in for delicious treats to be shared by all. The pecan crackers run most all day to keep up with our orders coming in via phone, mail or walk in retail customers. There is no rest this time of year and we tell all that come in the NUTHOUSE – “We grow nuts, spray the nuts, pick the nuts, clean the nuts, bag the nuts, crack the nuts, shell the nuts, eat the nuts, cook with the nuts, heck we are all just really nutty!” Pecans make the perfect gift anytime of the year but are especially great for holiday giving. Please get your order in early to assure timely delivery. Visit our website www.natchitochespecans.com and order your fresh pecan gifts today! All for now…gotta go bag some more pecans.

New Crop Pecans

Pecan harvest of new crop pecans is in full swing here at the Natchitoches Pecans orchard.  The days are not near long enough to get everything done that needs to be done!  Early to rise and late to retire is the norm around here this time of year.  Quality this year looks very good.  The nut meats are full and plump.  This will make for very tasty pecan pies and pecan candy.  Our retail store is full of fresh pecans, In Shell or cracked pecans, gourmet flavored pecans, pecan pralines, pecan brittle, glazed pecans, pecan gift tins, shelled pecan halves, pecan pieces, pecan meal, and pecan oil.  Choices of pralines may be either creamy praline or chewy praline.  Not only can our customers get their fresh pecans for their holiday baking, they can also shop our store for one of a kind unique gifts.  We are running a promotion for a $250 pecan shopping spree with the winner to be drawn Nov 1 .  You can go to our Facebook page and like us to be entered for the drawing.  All for now – gotta go to the “Nuthouse”!!!

Proper Harvesting and Storage of Pecans Improves Quality

This article is a reprint from the LSU Ag department website.

Louisiana is fortunate in that it has a good-tasting, healthful treat that literally falls out of trees. Pecans are found in many yards, pastures, fence rows and river bottoms. Louisiana is a major producer of native pecans, and its many commercial orchards produce improved pecan varieties. Many Louisianans have the opportunity to harvest pecans from their own trees.

Pecans should be harvested soon after they fall. A lot of things can happen to pecans on the ground. Loss from wet weather and hurricanes can be a serious problem. Wet pecans can deteriorate rapidly on the ground if the weather remains warm. Hurricanes and floods can wash pecans away. Excessive loss to squirrels and other critters often occurs in years with light crops.

Pecans often contain excessive moisture when they first fall. The nuts should be dried before they are put in storage. Drying can usually be accomplished by placing the pecans in a shallow layer in a warm, dry area for two weeks. Adding fans and heat can speed drying.

Pecans with high moisture content (more than 6 percent) do not store well. An easy method to determine if pecans are dry enough for storage is to shell a representative sample of the pecans. Bend the kernels until they break. If they break with a sharp snap, the pecans are usually dry enough for storage. If you don’t hear a sharp snap, dry the pecans some more.

Proper storage preserves nut quality until the next pecan crop is harvested. Poor storage often leads to darkening of kernels and rancidity of the oils, destroying the natural flavor and aroma of the nuts.

Store pecans under refrigeration. Lowering the temperature extends storage life, ranging from three months at 70 degrees F to eight years at zero degrees. Nuts can be thawed and refrozen without loss of quality.

Refrigerated or frozen pecans should be placed in airtight containers. Pecan kernels readily absorb odors from other foods, resulting in off flavors. Pecans stored at room temperature for an extended period should be held in containers that are adequately ventilated. Avoid storing in plastic bags pecans that have not been dried properly.

Pecans are usually stored shelled since they take up less space and can be conveniently used straight from the freezer. Unshelled pecans can be stored for a longer period than shelled nuts. The unbroken shell protects the kernel from bruising and offers protection against oxidation and rancidity of the kernel.

2012 Pecan Harvest at Little Eva Plantation

It is time to start picking up those tasty pecans that are grown here in the heart of Louisiana! The 2012 pecan crop looks great. Mark had planned to start picking the Candy variety on Monday but when he went to start the pecan shaker it would not make a sound. Further investigation revealed a burned out relay switch. Got the part this am, Mark installed it right after lunch, and off he went in search of Candy trees to shake!! Pecan harvesters will be running tomorrow. Filled pecan wagons should be headed to the cleaning plant sometime Thursday. We should have new crop pecans in the pecan house by the weekend – YES!!!