Pearson Farm FAMILY Friday
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 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.
Posted on April 25, 2018.
Easter coincides with the full moon, and historically there is always a cold snap right before Easter Sunday. For Pearson Farm, Easter brings a sigh of relief, for we have made it through the cold dark winter, and the rising sun brings forth hope that our crop has made it through and now it’s time to get to work tending it. I was reminded this week of one of my favorite hymns, Because He Lives. The words of this beautiful song are a glorious testament to God’s goodness and grace. They declare an endless hope for our future along with a gentle reminder that we are able to face tomorrow with all the uncertainties it brings. Farming is certainly full of unpredictability and concern, but we are able to trust that God is faithful, and He will provide for all our needs. His provision may not always look the way we would like, but we are assured that he will take care of us, Because He Lives!
We hope you will enjoy this Easter weekend like us, gathering with family and friends celebrating the promise that Easter brings. The promise that God sent his only son to die on the cross and then bring Him back from the grave so that we may have eternal life with Him.
“God sent his son, they called him Jesus,
He came to love, heal and forgive.
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!!
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, All fear is gone,
Because I know, He holds the future,
Life is the worth the living, just BECAUSE HE LIVES!”
Posted on April 25, 2018.
If I've heard him say it once, I've heard him say it 100 times, "old men don't grow peaches." After years like 2017 and weeks like the last two, it's easy to understand why Mr. Al says it. Restless days and sleepless nights spent worrying about freezing temps and frost will turn even a young man's hair gray. We have been fortunate to receive plenty of chill hours to make a good crop of peaches but the last 2 week's weather forecasts have put the crop in danger. Lawton and the other peach farmers around here have spent the last 2 weeks combining the science of modern farming, the tried and true techniques of their forefathers, and a lot of time on their knees in prayer.
Peaches are a difficult crop to grow due to many factors out of farmers control, so we do our best to prepare for these events with a long term approach that encompasses everything from carefully selecting sites for new orchards to planting trees in areas of orchards not prone to frost accumulation. At one time, there were over 50 peach farms in or around Peach county. Today, there are only 5, and while the work is hard on body and soul, we know how fortunate we are to have the opportunity to plant trees and grow delicious peaches and pecans. We feel it is our responsibility to continue what our family started all those years ago.
While a few hours of frost and temps that dipped lower than we like have left their mark, we are tickled about the 2018 crop. We ask that you keep Pearson Farm in your prayers as we make our way through the last week of Winter and first few weeks of Spring continuing to farm our sweet Georgia peaches
Posted on April 25, 2018.
I’m not sure what the weather is like in your neck of the woods, but it is definitely starting to feel like spring out on the Farm. The peaches are beginning to bloom in preparation for the new season. We’ll tell you more about that in the coming weeks, but today I wanted to share a story about a different kind of new beginning.
So yesterday Frank called to see if I wanted to come watch him move a pecan tree. I’m always up for a farming lesson especially, if it involves a field trip so I said yes, grabbed my keys and headed up the road. I found Frank with a particularly interesting piece of equipment at the edge of an old orchard. He pointed out the spot he would dig the hole for the tree he was moving. I stood mesmerized as I watched this VERY LARGE machine with what looked like 4 HUGE shovels dig the hole. I’m sure I looked like a nut with my mouth hanging open, but this was the coolest thing I had ever seen, and it took less than 5 minutes to dig this massive hole!! Frank let me ride with him in this giant contraption to another orchard where he dropped the dirt before heading over to the tree he was going to move. As soon as we made our way down the row, I immediately knew which tree was being relocated. You see when you are transplanting trees, it is imperative that you prepare it to the very best of your ability to ensure its survival in its new home. You must crop the top so it only stands about 18-20 feet tall. Then the limbs are cut to make the top balanced with the bottom, and finally the roots are clipped to keep them from tearing when it is lifted out of the ground. This particular tree, despite its straggly appearance, stood tall awaiting Frank and this massive machine coming to uproot it from its current home and take it to a new one. The removal was just as quick and equally as impressive as the hole digging had been earlier. As we drove back to make the transplant, I couldn’t help but be concerned about this tree. Frank assured me that right now the tree is dormant so it will recover quickly from the move. They have prepared it well, and it’s only needs are fresh dirt and water to acclimate to its new environment. However, I know that there will be watchful eyes on this young tree for many weeks to come ensuring that it is adjusting to its new home I am constantly captivated by the parallels I find between these trees and children. They both need preparation for changes that are coming their way, and they both need a nurturing, loving, caring home to thrive and become bountiful …… happy moving day!!
Posted on April 25, 2018.
As I was researching material for this story, I looked up the meaning of LVE. There is TONS of information available on the subject….. page after page on google shares definitions of love, images portraying love, movies and songs about love and even advice on how to find love. However, the one thing I didn’t find was a love story about a 135-year-old peach and pecan farm in Zenith, Georgia. So……. I decided we should write one, and what I found was more love than I could begin to share in one sitting so we pared it down to just a couple pretty cool stories. We hope you enjoy.....
You may remember Maria and Jose’ from a FAMILY Friday we shared late last year. We spoke of their jobs here at the Farm, and how long they have worked for the Pearson’s. What we didn't tell you at that time was that they met because of the Farm and not because they were working here together. Back in the late 90’s, Maria’s sister came to work at Pearson Farm for peach season. That summer she met the man who would become her future husband. At their wedding later that year, Maria met Jose’, who just happened to be the brother of the groom! There was immediate chemistry. They spent as much time together as possible during Jose's brief visit to Mexico and spent hours on the phone once he returned to Pearson Farm. During their phone calls, they discussed Maria coming to the Farm that upcoming peach season. It was such a fun summer. Not only was she getting to spend a lot of time with Jose’, but her whole family was together working in peaches. As the season began to draw to an end, Jose’ told Maria, "I don’t think you need to go back to Mexico. You need to stay here with me.” He then went and spoke with her mother and older brother, asking their permission to marry Maria. Today, 18 years later, they have 2 beautiful children, and continue to be important members of the Pearson Farm FAMILY. Maria manages Mary’s Kitchen and Jose’ is Mr. Al’s right-hand man (when you’ve been here 30+ years what other job would you have? ). It makes our heart smile knowing that our Farm helped bring these 2-wonderful people together and that we continue to be a part of their story.
Kimberly and Fernando met and married in their hometown in Mexico after several months of a sweet courtship. Soon after their wedding, Kimberly' dad left Mexico in search of work in the United States. Before leaving, he started the immigration process for Kimberly and her brothers in hopes that they would be able to come here for work as well. Not long after the birth of their son, Kimberly was offered an opportunity for work in California. She hated leaving Fernando and her baby but knew she must take advantage of this chance to provide a better life for her family. So, with her husband’s blessing she left to work for a season. Someone close to her family later told her about a farm in Georgia that utilized the H2A program for seasonal help. She hoped that this farm still needed workers and possibly she could get her husband a job there. So, the next year she came to Pearson Farm to work in peaches. Following her cousin’s advice, she knew her first task was to find Israel, the Farm manager. When she saw him, she said, “Israel, I need your help! I want my husband Fernando to come here to work so my family can be together. Can you help us?” Israel had a spot for the two of them the very next peach season. Fernando and Kimberly were able to work together and blessed to make enough money to buy a home. Today, they are living and working on the Farm and have just given birth to their second son. Even though the Farm didn't introduce them, it has allowed them to be together and work, providing a bright future for the ones they love.
As these stories and others like them unfolded, I began to realize that the true love story is the Farm.......There's no way Mr. Al and Lawton could work the hours they do, invest the money they do, or take care of all the people they do unless they LOVED this red dirt of Zenithland. Their love for this Farm and the people who work here is truly immeasurable. A love like this isn't born from romance, but does send their heart a flutter. It runs every bit as deep and can elicit the strongest emotions of joy and heart break that any romance can bring. This kind of LOVE is enduring, long suffering, and forever. It fills every orchard, dirt road, and building on this Farm. Their love and respect for this land and these trees is contagious. The Farm has provided a vehicle for young love between local folks and even for those from faraway lands..... It has afforded opportunities for selfless love exemplified by the generations of Pearson’s who own this Farm as well as the local men and women who work here, and those who leave their homes and families coming to the Farm looking for a better life and future for those they love. It is so much more than acres, and trees, and tractors. Pearson Farm is alive and growing and loving on its FAMILY every day! HAPPY VALENTINES DAY from our FAMILY to yours!!
Posted on April 25, 2018.
How much sleep do you need?? That always seems to be the question when it comes to raising children. Adults even keep track of our sleep patterns, as we strive to lead healthier lives. Last year when our peaches didn't get enough cold hours, I heard someone say, “It’s not time for them to wake up yet. They still need more sleep!!” I remember thinking, what an interesting analogy to imagine that these little trees need sleep and rest just like we do. But as I pondered that comparison, the more it made perfect sense. We rest, recover, grow, and refresh during sleep, so why wouldn’t these little trees that grow leaves, buds, and fruit need that kind of downtime as well? Their “night” is the months of November, December, January, and February. We want them to sleep deeply when the temperatures are cold, the days are short, and the nights are drawn out and dark. And just like we need long stretches of good hard sleep, the peach trees need to have undisturbed rest as well. If cold winter days are interrupted with periods of warm weather, the trees get confused and think it's time to wake up. In much the same way that we perform poorly without enough sleep, peach trees are unable to produce good quality fruit if they suffer from lack of rest.
We are very grateful that our little peach trees are being allowed to slumber in the quiet, cool, tranquil moments of winter. We hope they are dreaming sweet thoughts of cobbler, preserves, and ice cream, and that they continue to enjoy their last few weeks of respite.
“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” John Steinbeck