SHARING THE BOUNTY
Posted on February 20, 2019.
Food allergies are a scary reality for many in our society. According to the CDC, over 50 million Americans suffer from them, with nut allergies being the most common. Nut Allergies are also among the most common food allergies related to anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening reaction that impairs your breathing and sends your body into shock.
Over the last few years, we have become aware of these facts and maybe more significantly, we have learned that farms that grow and process nuts that are not cross-contaminated with other nuts are few and far between. It took our customers, reaching out in hopes of finding safe nuts, for us to realize this somber reality.
Pearson Farm is proud to be able to offer pecans that have not been cross contaminated with other nuts so, as calls increased, we saw the need to develop an Allergen Test Kit to offer customers looking for nuts to use in food challenges. The ½ pound of in-shell pecans are a sufficient amount to be used in the testing process, the nut cracker makes getting into the nuts easier and the price point is affordable for our customers at only $7!
Recently we reached out to a number of customers who had purchased the Allergen Test Kit. We wanted to get a follow up on their food challenges, and also see if the kit had been helpful with their test. We honestly were overwhelmed with the response. Pearson Farm is proud to have been growing premium pecans for over 135 years; learning that their value goes beyond quality and taste is the cherry on top. We are blessed knowing that the fruits of our labor are helping others during a frightening process, and honored to provide safe nuts for their consumption once they have been cleared.
We would like to share a few of these product reviews in hopes that these customer’s experiences will be helpful to others who find themselves facing similar situations. If you or someone you know is facing a scary food allergy and getting ready to participate in a food challenge with nuts, we encourage you to give us a call. Our customer service representatives are always happy to talk with you about our pecans and offer reassurance for what we understand can be a very intimidating time.
** Loved the nut allergy package. We used it to successfully do a home pecan challenge with our son (under the advice and direction of his allergist). I didn't want to order a huge quantity in case we weren't able to use them and I needed pecans that weren't processed with other nuts. I also didn't own a nut cracker, so the fact that it came with that, was a bonus. Since my son's successful challenge, we have gone on to order more pecans from Pearson's. The quality of the nuts is great and the flavors are wonderful. Thank you for providing this service! Katie from Minnesota
** We were thrilled to be able to order the Allergy Test Kit for pecans! Talk about convenience! It gave us the reassurance that our child’s pecans would not have cross-contact with any other nuts during his pecan challenge. We are thankful for companies like yours for going the extra step to help customers like us!! He passed the challenge, having overcome his pecan allergy, and he is now enjoying his new food! Paulette from Texas
** The allergy test kit was exactly what we needed for my daughter’s food challenge! There were plenty of nuts for the test. The allergist and nurses were amazed. They have never seen an allergy test kit before! It made things much easier for them and the prep time was cut down. I would definitely recommend this kit! The nuts, themselves, were delicious. We will be purchasing from your farm again in the future! Thank you, Beth from Georgia
** Hello, I am happy to report that thanks to your Allergy Test Kit my son passed the pecan challenge! He is still allergic to peanuts, so your test kit was really the only way we could do a pecan food challenge, as any other pecans I can find in the stores have been processed on shared equipment or may contain peanuts. It was fun for my kids to get to experience cracking open the pecans - something they have never done before! And since he passed the pecan challenge we are happy Pearson Farm customers to order pecans that we can feel safe about him eating. So I am happy to thank you not only for the test kit, but also for having pecans that are peanut free for our enjoyment! You can feel free to share my comments with anyone you would like - it's the least I can do to help spread the word, as finding peanut free pecans isn't easy! Susie from Virginia
Posted on January 25, 2019.
While our pecan trees are getting ready to rest and relax after a bountiful harvest, and the peach trees are snoozing as they prepare for their time to shine, Mary's Kitchen is hard at work testing new ingredients and developing new recipes.... honestly, we're just looking for bigger and better ways to impress you with our peaches and pecans ;)
We do this every year and of course, some years are more successful than others. A few notable test recipes that made the cut over the years are our Signature Champagne Pecans, Peach Pepper Jelly, and after several seasons of testing, we finally perfected the recipe for our Shortbread and Cheese Nutty Fingers last year.
So what will be testing in Mary's Kitchen this year?? We all throw out ideas, but it really comes down to Ms. Mary and Maria brainstorming product ideas, and ingredient items, along with A LOT of input from our taste testers (lucky FARM Family members available when the goodies come out of the oven.) We have some pretty exciting treats being created in our Test Kitchen these days, but there's always room for more. Everything we grow, harvest, and cook is for our customers, so we’d love to hear from you. What would you like to see Pearson Farm add to our delicious peach and pecan menu? Post your comments, and perhaps your idea will make its way to our test kitchen or maybe into next year’s catalog as a new item! We can't wait to hear from you....
Posted on December 14, 2018.
A staggering number of boxes filled with roasted pecans, homemade cakes, decadent chocolates, and sweet jellies have made their way out the doors of Pearson Farm this week. That doesn't happen without long hours, tired backs, fatigued minds, a testy attitude or two, and maybe even a temper tantrum, so.... Just for fun, and because we had nothing better to do (yeah, right!), we had a cookie decorating contest in our Mail Order Department yesterday. We pulled out a couple dozen of our delicious Pecan Snickerdoodle Cookies, brought in icing, sprinkles, candies, and Maple Pecan Crumbles, and transformed the cookies into Holiday masterpieces. We even invited Mr. Al to choose the winning cookie..... here are a few of the entries
What's that saying, "All work and no play make Jack a dull boy"? Here's what we have to say about that....Yesterday, Pearson Farm had a record season shipping day. We fulfilled all our orders and had them on the Brown truck 30 minutes before closing time.... AND found time to decorate cookies...... Nobody can ever call Pearson's a dull Farm!!
Please help us congratulate Ana, who was chosen the Pearson Farm Snickerdoodle Decorating Champion! She piped icing all over her cookie to create the cutest green face, red hat and scarf. She delicately placed the candies for his mouth and hat decorations. Mr. Al was very impressed with her cookie decorating skills, but I really think it was the eyelashes that got him ;)
If cookie decorating happens to make your Holiday to-do list, don't forget to order some of our Pearson Farm Snickerdoodle cookies. They are the perfect size and shape, not to mention, they are DELICIOUS!! We hope you will take our lead and plan a fun activity with your family during the holidays. After all, the best days are always spent with the ones you love....
Posted on December 7, 2018.
Last week, Pearson Farm attended the Taste of Southern event a few miles south of the farm, in Perry. We were privileged to be in the company of many great restaurants and caterers, along with 800 of our closest friends. We served our Buttermilk Pecan Pie and just as expected, the response was overwhelming.
The night was truly festive... all the attendees were dressed in lovely holiday attire, the room was elegantly decorated for Christmas, and each vendor creatively dressed up their booth with twinkle lights, poinsettias, and other holiday adornments.
I was honored to share the booth with 3 of the most amazing women: Maria (Mary's Kitchen's head baker), Carmelita, and Silda (or as we lovingly refer to them, The Sisters). These ladies spend countless hours inside Mary's Kitchen roasting, mixing, stirring, coating, and baking delicious flavored pecans, crunchy pecan cookies, sweet peach preserves, yummy peach and pecan cakes, along with this delicious Buttermilk Pecan Pie. They rarely meet our customers face to face, so it was exciting to have them help greet the attendees and serve this wonderfully delicious pie that they had created.
As delightful as the event was, the real beauty was found in the eyes of these 3 wonderful ladies. Only a handful of our Pearson Farm "FAMILY" have the opportunity to speak with customers, so to witness these ladies interacting with the guests and hearing the compliments and accolades bestowed upon them was truly magical. It was such a blessing to see them having their "Red Carpet" moment and shining like the true stars they are!
Posted on November 2, 2018.
Whether you're preparing a simple meal for a few or a feast for many, we are certain that the Thanksgiving menu is at the top of your To Do list. Recently, we were discussing our Thanksgiving traditions during lunch and it got us to thinking..... how could we use pecans in more ways on our Thanksgiving tables? As you know, we LOVE pecans around here, and we try to use them as much as possible, so we were surprised to find that other than desserts, nuts (especially) pecans are an underused ingredient in most Thanksgiving eats.
We made the decision right then and there that Pearson Farm needed to change that fact. Quickly, this simple idea turned into a challenge for our Mail Order team. We shared family recipes and favorite dishes. We checked out cooking websites and shared special traditions. Our break room turned into a perpetual Thanksgiving test kitchen as we experimented with sweet potatoes, cornbread, and LOTS of green beans. Our goal was to create traditional, Thanksgiving-inspired dishes that contained our crunchy, buttery Pearson Farm pecans.
After 2 months, the menu is finally complete. Along with a few already found on our website, we have created a THANKSGIVING RECIPE Section that highlights 12 of these delicious, inspired, and in some cases, clever holiday recipes that will be savored by all your holiday guests. We have truly enjoyed every minute of searching, inventing, cooking and especially eating these dishes, but our favorite part of the whole experience was spending time together, sharing delicious food, making wonderful memories, and creating new ones to talk about for years to come. Our little challenge turned into an early Thanksgiving celebration at Pearson Farm. We invite you to try these wonderful dishes, and if you do, please make sure to send us a picture and leave us a comment here or on our Facebook page. We hope you and yours have a very Happy Thanksgiving!!
Posted on October 17, 2018.
Pearson Farm is proud of our history and love to share stories of life on the Farm told by Mr. Al and his sisters. Today, we are doing just that with a video from Ms. Peggy Pearson Jerles.
THE NUTTY FINGER
When I was in the second grade 72 years ago at the Zenith School, there was an accident that occurred during recess. The old school house had indoor bathrooms but the access to them was outside. On this particular day, a boy in my class went to the bathroom and upon leaving, slammed his finger in the bathroom door, cutting off the tip-end of his finger. In 1946, the appropriate actions taken were very different from today. The child was hurried off to the doctor but the finger was left behind, coming to rest on a Kleenex in the hand of Miss Lillie Maude Andrews, the first and second grade teacher. Since everyone in the school, grades 1 though 5, heard about the accident and were curious, Miss Andrews held the finger on the Kleenex while all 5 grades filed by and looked at it. After the viewing, all of us trooped out to a big old pecan tree behind the school to bury the finger and say a prayer for the injured student.
And now, just think, Pearson Farm is now selling "Nutty Fingers!"
Peggy Pearson Jerles
Posted on August 10, 2018.
It seems like yesterday, we were praying for our sweet little peach trees and their delicate blooms to make it through the last frost of Spring, yet here we are having picked, packed, and shipped the last box of Pearson Farm peaches for the 2018 season.
Despite only harvesting 50% of a crop, this peach season saw some unprecedented activity.
This crop allowed us to ship more gift pack peaches from our Farm to your door than ever. We made more batches of sweet creamy peach ice cream and greeted more friendly faces in our Retail Store than we could begin to count. We are humbled and ever so grateful to you, our customers for your loyalty and dedication to Pearson Farm.
We offered a special Prince Subscription to our mail order customers. Those who took advantage of this unique opportunity were blessed with seven weeks of Prince Peaches as well as an interesting peach education resulting in many more Peach Fans! We truly enjoyed preparing each weeks special boxes and are already making plans for another special subscription next Peach Season!
This season we continued our partnership with the Plant A Row for the Hungry initiative in Fayette County. Throughout the summer, their mighty band of volunteers picked up and distributed 2506- ½ bushel boxes equaling 62,650 pounds of peaches to over 30 different agencies serving the hungry and needy residents of Fayette and surrounding counties. Of all the partnerships we have at Pearson Farm, this one holds a special place in our hearts.
The highlight of the summer was growing the World’s Largest Peach! Our Early August Prince variety produced a peach weighing 1.8 pounds, breaking the current world record of 1.7 pounds held by a farm in Canada. We are still waiting for the official confirmation from Guinness, but we have enjoyed a fair amount of interesting press coverage for the feat.
As we begin a few days of rest for our weary backs and hands, we are able to pause and reflect on this season. We are so grateful that the good Lord chose to bless us with another bountiful season allowing us to share our bounty with you. It’s not goodbye, just so long till Pecan Season.
Posted on June 15, 2018.
Nothing makes me homesick like smelling peaches in the grocery store. I’ve actually cried in the produce section before. To me, the smell of a peach is heavy with wonderful memories of being a child, riding in my daddy’s truck, or visiting the packing shed. I’m Laurie, the youngest of Al’s 3 children. I’ve lived away now for 20 years but I still miss home and often long to be a little girl again.
For a special Father’s Day blog post, I wanted to write to you about my daddy. You might not know him at all, you might just enjoy the fruit of his labor. Or you might know him as your boss or friend. You don’t know him like I do though. I wish you did. Not many people in this world have a daddy like mine and for that, I am sorry. The two things that stand out to me about my daddy are his hands, and his voice.
He hands are big, strong, and gentle. He uses them to work, to build, to create, to serve, to cook, to clean, to love. He can fix or draw anything with these hands. He can write out scavenger hunts, carve a totem pole, sew a tent, or prepare a fishing pole. He can hold his grand kids like he used to hold us. And he can give the best hugs. He can put you to shame with how he peels a peach-- just set down the knife and let him do it. He is always serving others with his hands, and that is the kind of leader he is. His hands are recognizable and unique partly because they are badly scarred from an accident a long time ago. He actively loves us with his hands in so many ways. His hands and how he uses them remind me of Jesus, who actively loves us with his scarred hands too.
Then there’s his voice. It has a deep southern, resonating tone like none other. He can sing and can make up a song about anything. He is known to just start singing out of the blue no matter who might be listening. I save his voicemails just so I can hear his voice when I want to. It calms me and reminds me that he loves me. If you want to know how to pronounce “Laurie”, ask my daddy, he says it just right. It’s not only how his voice sounds but what he says. My long distance relationship with him is mostly over the phone so I hang onto his words, what he says and how he says it. He can make me laugh or cry in a minute just by being sweet. The words he uses with me remind me again of my heavenly Father. He said just yesterday to me, “That’s not your worry, so you don’t worry about it. I’ll take care of it.” And he also said recently, “Sugar, you got a lot on your plate. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.” So often my earthly father helps me understand my heavenly Father with what he says and how he says it.
Chances are good that you don’t have a daddy like mine. We do have a heavenly Father with capable, gentle, scarred hands and with a voice that calls your name and calls you His own. At the head of Pearson Farm is a father we are proud of and thankful for. If you see him this peach season, shake his strong hand and make sure to have a conversation with him. Tell him Laurie sent you.