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”!!!

New Ecommerce Website For 2012

We would like to welcome you to our newly redesigned 2012 Natchitoches Pecans online ecommerce website.  Our secure website lets you view our products up close, read reviews, and get information about us and pecans.  Please give us feedback for our design team.

After you order our products and enjoy our deliciously fresh Louisiana pecans, please go to that product and write us a review.

We look forward to sending you some of the most delicious pecans in the United States.

Mid July 2011

[Originally posted on July 25, 2011]

Last week we got a couple of showers in the pecan orchard.  Over an inch on one day and then about a half inch the next day.  Pecans are continuing to size up nicely.  As always there are always a few limbs that break so limb picking up is a continuous process.  Crows and squirrels seem to be showing up more and more so we will need to get our plan together as to how to take care of those pesky varmits.

Company News July 2011

[Originally posted on July 1, 2011]

There appears to be a good nut set on the trees this season.  However, even with a good nut set water is so critical for pecan trees .  We have been in a drought cycle this spring with only a few showers.  Last week we finally received some substantial rainfall – a total a four inches over a period of two to three days.  Seems like overnight the grass under the trees turned from brown to green.  The tiny nutlets are increasing in size daily.  With the temperatures in the upper 90′s and low 100′s we will need more rain in the next couple of weeks.  Mark is getting ready to spray for second generation casebearer.  He will also include a fungicide for scab.

We attended the annual Tri-State Pecan Growers meeting in Bossier City mid June.  It was great to catch up with fellow pecan growers and get up to date information on new products for insect and disease control in the pecan orchard.  As always there is still plenty to do at this “NUT FARM”!  That is all for now as it is time to go check on the guys that are picking up limbs.

Little Eva Pecan Store By Charla Jones

[Originally posted December 8, 2010]

They’ve gone completely nuts in Cloutierville, LA!

“We talk nuts, we grow nuts, we crack nuts; we’re just plain nutty.”

That’s Julie Swanson’s joking way of describing her family’s business Natchitoches Pecans, Inc. in the heart of pecan country along old Highway 1 in central Louisiana.

Swanson, her husband, mother, brother and sister and their spouses own and operate the pecan orchard and retail outlet, Little Eva Pecan Store, in Cloutierville, LA., providing locals and visitors a variety of pecans during the fall season, the peak of pecan harvesting.

“We sell pecan products and items with Louisiana flair,” Swanson says. “We also have a cleaning business where people bring their pecans for us to clean.”

In addition to purchasing pecans, visitors can buy many different pecan products such as pecan meal, candied pecans and pecan oil. Also, on the menu at the Little Eva Pecan Store are a variety items unique to the sound and taste of the L-shaped state. Most all items can be purchased online or through mail-order year round.

“I grew up a farm girl. My family was always in farming, but we didn’t know the first thing about a pecan orchard when we bought part of the plantation. But since we’ve been on this journey, we’ve learned a lot,” Swanson says.

Natchitoches Pecans, Inc. began when Swanson and her family bought a portion of the original Little Eva Plantation when it was put up for sale in 1986. Little Eva was owned by Sterling C. Evans and Gus Wortham in the mid-part of the 20th century.

“Evans and Wortham were friends who would buy distressed properties, bring them back to life and sell them,” Swanson says.

According to Swanson, Evans, after completing research of his property which was originally Hidden Hill Plantation, named the property Little Eva after the character Evangeline in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Area folklore states that Stowe visited Hidden Hill Plantation.

“The pecan trees were planted in the 1950s,” Swanson notes. At one time the pecan orchard was one of the largest of its kind at approximately 10,000 acres.

However, the property was put up for sale in the 1970s and eventually broken up for sale again in 1986 when the Swanson’s placed an offer for approximately 450 acres. Swanson said even Elvis Presley was interested in the property in the 1970s, but apparently Evans was not impressed with the king of rock and roll’s plans for the beloved orchard.

“When the Taylor’s owned the property in the 1970s, they tore down the plantation’s original home that had been used as a hospital during the Civil War,” Swanson adds.

Even though their pecan business has been sweet, in 2005, the Swanson’s big warehouse, where they clean and process the pecans, was destroyed by fire; but neither destruction nor tough years have deterred the family from enjoying the nutty fruit of their labor.

“We just keep growing. Our mail-order business continues to grow a little every year,” she says.

“It’s been tough years, but some really good years. It’s funny, but no two years are anyway similar. That’s just the nature of the business.”

Little Eva Pecan store  is located on Highway 1 in the small community of Cloutierville, a once thriving community along the famous Cane River in the plantation area of central Louisiana. During the peak pecan season from October to December, the store is open every day and then on Fridays and Saturdays during the rest of the year.

While visiting Little Eva, make a trip around the historical area of the Cane River to Melrose Plantation, one of the renowned plantation homes. The area is also home to the late American folk artist Clementine Hunter and late American novelist Kate Chopin. Hunter was born on Hidden Hill Plantation.

For more information about Little Eva Pecan Store, visit their website at www.natchitochespecans.com.

By Charla Jones 12/7/2010

2010 Pecan Harvest

[Originally published in October 29, 2010]

The 2010 pecan harvest at Little Eva Plantation has finally begun. The 2010 crop is 3 weeks later maturing than the 2009 pecan crop was. The lack of rain has delayed shuck split. However the few nuts that we have pulled from some of the shucks appear to be plenty full. Our Elliott and Candy variety are coming in with the Elliotts as usual being exceptional. This variety is our favorite for all uses. Some people prefer the larger pecans but once they taste the Elliott they convert to being Elliott lovers! From what we are hearing across the pecan industry it appears that the fancy gift quality pecans will be in tight supply. With China now in the mix of competing for American grown pecans, prices are moving upward. The holiday season is upon us so if you are wondering what to give this year look no further – as PECANS are the perfect gift!! Order early and remember We are Nuts about PECANS!!!