SHARING THE BOUNTY

  • Thank you Jody

    November is here ya’ll, and we couldn’t be more excited. The 11th month of the year means pecan season is in full swing out here at Pearson Farm. Tractors and Red Wagons are constant sightings. Our phones are ringing, a lot, as folks from all over are preparing for baking and gift giving. Locals are visiting the Farm Store to purchase pecans just arriving from the orchards and Mary’s Kitchen is filling the Farm with incredible smells from all the delicious cakes, pies, cookies, and flavored pecans they are baking. November also means that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. 2017 has been a crazy year for Pearson Farm with the major loss of our peach crop, tornadoes and hurricanes knocking down many of our pecan trees, yet we have so much to be thankful for. Our biggest blessing is our Pearson Farm “FAMILY”, so we thought it might be fun to see what some of the “FAMILY” members are most thankful for this year. We enlisted the help of a very special Pearson to conduct some interviews out here on the Farm. Thankful moments are important to share, and we hope that you enjoy this one........

    https://www.facebook.com/ThePearsonFarm/videos/10155065378698862/

  • Since we had such a huge response from Mr. Al's videos last week, we thought we would share a few more pictures and videos of the pecan harvesting process here at Pearson Farm.

    Once the wagons are filled with pecans from the harvesters, they are pulled by tractor over a pit where the nuts, sticks, dirt, and rocks are dumped to begin the pre-cleaning process. After the nuts are separated, they travel through a series of belts and conveyors to continue the cleaning process. They are separated by variety, size and weight. Eventually, the pecans make their way to the grading belt. Here a group of ladies hand grade the nuts to ensure only the best make it into the super sacks. Each super sack holds approximately 1650 lbs. The super sacks are housed in one of our warehouses until they are placed on trucks to be shipped to nut shellers, grocery stores, and other vendors all over the world. We do save some for us to shell and bag for sale in our Farm Store and on our website. Many will find their way into Mary's Kitchen where they will be roasted, toasted, and coated with deliciouness or baked into cookies, cakes and pies.

    We hope you have enjoyed this mini trip through our pecan harvest......
    Please check back with us next week, as we begin to share some special thoughts about Thanksgiving from our Pearson Farm "FAMILY"

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  • Pecan Season is HERE!!

     

    Pecan season has officially arrived at Pearson Farm. The ground is quaking from the vibrations of the pecan shakers, and the orchards are full of dust created by the sweepers, as they sweep the pecans into rows for the harvesters to pick up. Once the harvester's hopper is full, the nuts will be dumped into a red wagon and brought to the cleaning plant where they will be weighed, sorted, sized and graded before they are placed in bags to be shipped, shelled, or turned into delicious treats from Mary's Kitchen. Mr. Al spent some time this week following our tractors, shakers, sweepers and harvesters. He was able to capture these up close and personal videos of our farm equipment in action. We hope you enjoy his videos allowing a little peek into the harvesting process.....

    https://www.facebook.com/ThePearsonFarm/videos/10155017684943862/

     

    https://www.facebook.com/ThePearsonFarm/videos/10155017782558862/

     

    https://www.facebook.com/ThePearsonFarm/videos/10155017814528862/

  • Progress

    PROGRESS is defined as movement toward a goal, growth or development. At Pearson Farm, we are defining it a tad more literally these days. Progress for us looks like expansion, addition and renovation. Suffice it to say that we have been BUSY!!! Most years the weeks between the end of peach season and the beginning of pecan season are filled with vacations and much needed rest and relaxation allowing us to power up for the busy holiday season. Not this year…. Mr. Al and his “construction crew” have been pouring concrete, tearing down walls, purchasing a variety of equipment, as well as adding windows and doors. Mr. Al spent hours drawing up sketches, measuring and measuring again. The "crew" pounded hundreds of nails, sawed at least that many boards and created more noise and dust than we ever imagined possible. But…… the finished product is absolutely incredible!!!! We more than doubled our mail order area, added a shelling plant on site and made many much needed upgrades to Mary’s Kitchen. In a year that we experienced so much worry and loss, Pearson Farm is choosing to celebrate PROGRESS. It has been a daily reminder that life keeps moving and we better keep moving with it. We are excited about this upcoming pecan season and can't wait to use our new facilities to create wonderful flavored pecans, cookies, cakes and pies. We are anxiously waiting to fill the new tables with boxes of pecans and gift tins that will be shipped to homes and businesses all over the country. But more importantly, we look forward to speaking with each of you as you prepare to send holiday gifts to your friends and family. We hope to speak with you soon!!

     

  • from Mr. Al and Annie of Nova Scotia

    Please enjoy this guest post from Mr. Al
    Mary and I just returned from a trip to Nova Scotia, where her grandmother was raised in a convent. We searched libraries, cemeteries and family ties. We really gained an appreciation for Mary’s ancestry, the history of her family, and the land of Nova Scotia. We also missed being involved in the wrath of Hurricane Irma, be we came home to her devastation- many downed trees and broken limbs. It will be a big job cleaning the orchards before Harvest.

    While in Nova Scotia, we visited a few wineries and at Blomidon Estate Winery I mentioned to Annie, the host, that I grew peaches and pecans. She exploded with a recipe that I want to share with you. Annie was a delight and with some coaxing agreed to give the recipe again for the camera in English with her French accent and bubbly enthusiasm. Since I haven’t tried the recipe myself, I can only enjoy it in theory but I recommend you try it and try Nova Scotia in September and Blomidon Estate Winery, and ask for Annie!

  • Dog Days of Summer

    The Dog Days of Summer are upon us here at the Farm. Zenithland is always HOT n the summer but late August can be absolutely stifling with all the heat and humidity that only middle Georgia can provide. These final summer days on the Farm are filled with tractors slowly mowing rows and rows in pecan orchards, hammers and saws working on building renovations and vehicle repairs as well as farmers spending time in pecan orchards with their eyes pointed skyward checking on the progress of the new crop. Right now the pecans are still in the shucks but their shells are completely developed. Inside those shucks, the shells are full of water which is turning into oil that will eventually become a delicious pecan. The trees at Pearson Farm are looking full which means we are anticipating a good crop.

    You might be asking yourself, "Why post pictures of orchards with limbs on the ground if the season is looking so good?" Here's the answer..... A good crop can be a blessing and a curse. When the pecan shells have reached maturity and are full of water like they are now, the limbs are super heavy. In fact, they are the heaviest they will be all season. You take trees with a good crop of nuts, plus all their leaves, add in some rain and a little wind, you end up with orchards that have limbs on the ground like these pictured. We must do our best to prune the trees when they are younger to make them less susceptible to breakage, and we need to cut the limbs off the trees as quickly as we see them down so the limbs won't tear and cause damage to the tree. The nuts that were growing on these limbs are lost since they will never reach maturity. However, as crazy as it looks and sounds, scenes like this are a good sign that the 2017 Pecan Crop will be a good one.

    We are still several weeks away from this crop reaching full maturity. Until then, we will keep looking up in those magnificent branches. We will pray for good weather, and maybe even sit back and enjoy some of the sights and sounds of the Farm, as it is preparing for harvest.........

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  • I Spy with My Little Eye...

    When my children were younger, one of our favorite games was, “I Spy…….” We would sit all snuggled up in a chair on rainy afternoons and on more road trips than I could begin to count. We would take turns spying, giving hints, and guessing. We’ve used car windows while sitting in traffic, our favorite story books, the doctor’s office waiting rooms, and even public restrooms!! This minor amusement afforded us hours of entertainment in environments where merrymaking is usually discouraged. Using hints like letters of the alphabet, “sounds like” clues, and descriptive words also allowed opportunity for just a little education as well. My children are grown up now (or think they are) and games like this are a thing of the past. In fact, I haven’t even thought about that beloved game in a long time. However, as I was driving to work this morning, I looked up at the big, majestic pecan trees that line the road to our Farm, and that sweet little game we played all those years ago came to mind……. so, let’s play, “I Spy with My Little Eye………………….

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  • Buttons

    Mr. Al came by my office early this week and said he’d like for me to write my post about buttons. I’ll be honest with ya’ll, I didn’t know what he was talking about…. They call Lawton’s son Sutton, “button” sometimes, so I thought maybe he had a story he wanted to tell me about that little cutie, but unfortunately, that was not the button he was speaking of. Later that day, he came back in and brought a handful of these little tiny peaches and asked me to take a picture. I knew then this wasn’t going to be a story I could use phrases like “cute as a button” or “you bet your buttons” or my favorite, “don’t touch the button.”

    A peach button happens when growing fruit lacks pollination and in turn, doesn’t mature. In essence, the tree blooms, but sadly, the bloom wasn’t destined to become a peach. During harvest, these buttons are so small there is no reason to pick them, but leaving them on the tree means danger for next year’s crop. If you leave them hanging, they will form brown rot and turn into what is called a “mummy” that stays on the tree. This brown rot is protected inside the mummy during the winter months and once spring arrives, it will start growing and infect the tree. Some peach varieties button more than others, and seasons that experience abnormal growing conditions will produce more buttons than normal. Having to deal with these little boogers is nothing new, but we have our work cut out for us this time. The process is time consuming and expensive but money saving in the end.

    This week we began the laborious job of “de-buttoning” the trees. We believe that a clean orchard will produce clean fruit, so we will spend the next few weeks picking, knocking off and in some instances cutting buttons from MANY of our sweet little peach trees. We will be conducting what Mr. Al likes to call, orchard maintenance, so we can prepare as best we can, these trees for the 2018 season.

    One of my favorite all time movies is FACING THE GIANTS, and the exchange between Coach Taylor and Mr. Bridges is possibly one of my favorite scenes. If you haven’t seen it, Coach Taylor is the football coach for a school whose team is having a difficult season, and Mr. Bridges is a gentleman who has been praying for the school for years. He feels led by God to come and share a word with Coach Taylor and proceeds to tell the following story:

    “There were 2 farmers who desperately needed rain. Both of them prayed for rain but only one of them went out and prepared his fields to receive it. Which one do you think trusted God to send the rain?” Coach Taylor responded with, “Well the one who prepared his fields for it?” Mr. Bridges then said, “Which one are you? God will send the rain when He is ready. It is your job to prepare your field to receive it.”

    Pearson Farm has been blessed beyond measure despite the challenges we faced with this year’s peach crop. We will continue to follow our motto… Dum Spiro Spero- While I breathe I Hope, as we close out this peach season, and just like the farmer in Mr. Bridges story, we are already praying for next year’s crop, and we are preparing our fields for rain.……

    Philemon 22: And one thing more: prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to be restored to you in answer to your prayers. (NIV)

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  • People, Preserves, Progress and Peaches

    People, Preserves, Progress and Peaches are words that have been uttered over and over again this week.

    People have been filling our parking lot and rocking chairs daily. Many of these People are locals who just drop in for an afternoon snack of delicious peach or butter pecan ice cream while others have driven out to purchase our Pearson Farm peaches to put in their freezers to savor throughout the year. The last two weeks we have greeted People from Florida, Alabama, North Carolina, Louisiana, and Minnesota. We have enjoyed meeting each of you and appreciate all the wonderful comments you have left in our guest book. Especially, the family from Davenport, Washington who wrote, “Well worth the looong drive!!”

    Preserves have been on the menu in the kitchen this week. We only make our delicious preserves with fresh peaches and since they are in short supply and going quickly we are working overtime to get enough made to last until next season. Maria and her crew have been peeling, slicing, stirring, and pouring jars and jars of our delightful peach preserves.

    Progress is the word we are using to describe our upcoming expansion plans…. Every pad of concrete poured, steel beam erected, and electrical switch installed brings us closer to moving our mail order and shipping department into a newly renovated and expanded home. We will keep you posted on the continued Progress, so stay tuned…….

    Peaches, obviously, because we are in the final days of the season. “Do you still have Peaches ……? Are you still shipping Peaches .….? How much longer will you have Peaches ……? are questions we have answered many times. We’ve even asked these same questions ourselves and Lawton and Mr. Al have been able to provide us with enough Peaches every day to get us through the week. The final picking will happen on Monday so we hope to have plenty of peaches to get us through next week. We will close out the season with Flame Prince. And let me just say….. they are DELICIOUS!!! We will be sad to see them go but go they will, so make plans to come see us next week to get the last of the 2017 sweet, juicy, Pearson Farm Peaches!!!

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  • Thank You!!

    For years, we have been filling bins, hauling wagons and dumping peaches onto the belts of the packing house here at Pearson Farm. The days start with the rising sun in dew covered orchards and don’t end until well after the sun has set. These long days are full of fuzzy, sweet peaches that are picked for our customers and shipped all over the great US of A. We start harvesting the first few weeks in May and run full steam right on into August, but not this year…….. next week, we will dump the final bin of peaches for the 2017 season. The last days for running peaches are always filled with a variety of emotions. For the workers who spend hours picking, grading, box making, and loading trucks, it’s Excitement. Many of these folks have been away from their families since the beginning of the year and will finally make that trek back home. For Will and his crew at Genuine Georgia (they’re the folks who work so hard to sell our peaches), Accomplishment is the name of the game as that last bin is dropped. The coordination needed to grow a crop of peaches, nurture them to maturity, then pick, pack, and ship them to our customers is amazing. When that last peach rolls off the belt into a box, it is that sense of accomplishment that allows them to say, “We did it!” For Mr. Al and Lawton, it’s Relief…… Relief that nothing else can happen to the crop. They won’t have to worry about hail, bugs, disease, rain, etc (for a few weeks at least). Relief that all these wonderful people we have been hosting here on the Farm, will now be able to return home to their families. As that last bin is dropped, they will both draw a long, deep breath…… As great as all these emotions are, I believe there is another that is felt more strongly and experienced by everyone here at the Farm this year and that is Gratitude. We are so thankful to have been able to harvest 18% of a crop! There were a couple weeks in early spring, we thought we might not have a single peach. We were blessed with good quality fruit and have been intrigued and entertained with the different sizes and shapes. We are appreciative that the circumstances of this year’s crop allowed us to have wonderful conversations with our customers who called or visited us here at Farm. We are thankful for John Short @georgiaproudprovisions and your crew that tirelessly staff the Farmers Markets in Atlanta with our Pearson Farm peaches and pecans. Thank you also to The Peach Truck and Tree-Ripe Citrus Co. for your annual tours to carry Pearson Farm peaches and pecans to customers who otherwise might not get to taste our sweet Georgia peaches. We are very grateful for your dedication and love for Pearson Farm. And finally, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to all our customers!!! We appreciate each and every one of you and hope to see you in the fall for pecans.
    As this season draws to an end, we are reminded of the motto Mr. Al adopted for us back in March, “Dum Spiro Spero…. While I breathe, I HOPE”. We have faithfully trusted that God would guide us through the difficulties of this season and provide….…..and we are grateful that he has done just that!
    “And so, Lord, where do I put my HOPE? My only HOPE is in you….. Psalm 39:7”

    PS….. Mr. Al and Lawton are saving enough bins from this final run to hopefully keep the Farm Store stocked with peaches through the end of the month. Please continue to visit us but make sure you call first.

     

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