“So, what do you do the rest of the year?”
May 24, 2023
Health Benefits of Pure Pecan Oil
May 19, 2023
What is Regenerative Agriculture?
April 21, 2023
Practicing Sustainable Agriculture
April 14, 2023
Pecan Orchard Update August 2022
August 10, 2022
June Orchard Update
June 20, 2022
In the Pecan Orchard - May 2022
May 26, 2022
What’s Happening on the Pecan Farm
- Pest Control
- Monitoring the trees
Natural Pest Control
Starting in April, we noticed an increasing population of ladybugs in the pecan orchard. As a result, there are virtually no aphids. If you have your own garden or orchard, it would be good to familiarize yourself with ladybug larvae and other beneficial insects. If you see any of these, don’t panic.
Since ladybugs eat aphids and other soft-bodied insects, they can be a natural form of pest control. Some people even buy ladybugs and release them in their environment at home as a way to naturally control aphids.
Lacewings can also be helpful. A lacewing is a green bug with clear wings. A characteristic you might look for is the lacewing eggs: a stalk with a glob on the end. We expect a huge influx of lacewings in our orchard soon.
Why Are Aphids a Problem?
Aphids puncture the leaf tissue and suck out the sap. Not only are they depriving the tree of moisture and all the nutrients that flow with it, they’re also creating a sticky substance on the leaves, called honeydew, which allows sooty mold. That’s bad. Aphids don’t just target pecan leaves, so keep an eye on your other plants, too.
Irrigation & Watering
Our irrigation system is a complex network of buried pipes and lines designed to deliver water and nutrients where the trees need it most. Drip tubing is buried fifteen inches deep placing the water exactly where the trees need it: the root zone. Buried drip is useful because we end up using less water, and there is no unnecessary waste through percolation or evaporation.
In addition to our irrigation, rainfall is still so important to nurturing pecan trees and producing quality pecans. A mature pecan tree, in the peak of summer, uses 150 to 200 gallons of water each day. One inch of rain falling on one acre of land is equivalent to 27,154 gallons. That means one inch of rain will provide a one-week supply of water to a mature pecan tree in the heat of the summer.
Monitoring the Trees
During this time, it's essential we continue to monitor the trees. We're checking to make sure the beneficial insects are able to maintain a checks and balances on the harmful pests, making sure the trees get enough water to mitigate the stress of the Texas summer, and the orchard has everything it needs to continue its growing season. Soon we'll see nutlet form where the pecan flowers used to be, and we'll begin monitoring their growth, too. Check back next month for another update, or join us for the last tour of the summer. Book tickets here.
Popular Texas Pecan Varieties to Plant
May 20, 2022
Orchard Update - April/May
April 29, 2022
The orchard has been in the "Budbreak" phase since about mid-March. During this time, the buds swell and break out of their protective covering, and a short time after tiny leaves begin to unfurl. If you've been following us on Instagram, you've seen the bright green leaves begin to dot the trees and our orchard team spraying nutrients onto the new leaves.
Between budbreak and pollination, catkins (pollen-producing flowers growing on stalks) begin to appear, harbingers of a bountiful crop. If no catkins are seen it is very likely the nut crop will be light. You can see many of our trees are loaded with catkins. Any day now, the catkins will burst open and release pollen into the orchard.
Right now, the orchard floor is thick with ryegrass and wild flowers, and the trees have burst out with new pale green leaves and lots of FLOWERS.
“Flowers?” You may ask. “On a PECAN tree?”
Many people don’t realize that pecan trees flower, but they do. In fact, pecan trees produce two types of flowers. The pollen-producing male flowers that grow in long tight clusters called catkins develop first. The female flowers, or nut-producing flowers, emerge a few days later.
In pecans, both types of flowers are found on the same tree, unlike cottonwood and mulberry which have separate male and female trees. (When you buy a fruitless mulberry or a cottonless cottonwood at the garden center, you are actually buying a male tree.)
But even though both types of flowers are found on the same pecan tree, most varieties are not very efficient at self-pollination. Every variety is classified into one of two categories. Protandrous varieties are those which shed their pollen before the nut-producing flower on the same tree is receptive. Protogynous varieties are just the opposite. The nut-producing flowers are receptive before the pollen on that same tree is shed.
As a result, we at Royalty Pecan Farm have planted both types of varieties in close proximity to each other to ensure adequate pollination. We'll have more orchard updates, including how pecan trees are pollinated over the next week or so as things progress in the orchard. Spoiler: pecan trees are not pollinated by bees.
Follow us on IG @royaltypecans
5 Easy Ways to Make Your Southern Pecan Coffee Taste Even Better
April 26, 2022
5 Easy Ways to Make Your Southern Pecan Coffee Taste Even Better
Coffee is such a staple in our lives, and it’s easy to fall into habits that can indirectly affect the taste of our morning brew. We drink Southern Pecan Coffee pretty exclusively here at the farm, and our biggest coffee fanatics put together the below list to help you get maximum enjoyment from your Southern Pecan Coffee.
- Use cold, filtered water.
- Coffee is 98% water, so it’s important to use filtered water to let the rich taste of your coffee shine through. Starting with cold water allows your drip machine to bring the water up to the correct temperature for the best extraction.
- Avoid distilled water or mineral water. Tap water is fine, filtered water is best.
- Make sure the coffee is ground to the right size…
- Different methods of coffee brewing require different size grounds for the best flavor and profile. For a drip machine, a medium ground is best. This is what we will default to when you order ground coffee from us. We grind the coffee to order, so you always get the freshest coffee.
- For other brewing methods like espresso you’ll want a finer ground, and for a French press you’ll want a coarser ground. If you’re unsure what you need, contact us and we’ll custom grind your coffee.
- …And make sure you use the right amount!
- Coffee is measured in 6oz servings, so a “cup” of coffee is 6oz. Use 1-2 tablespoons (10 grams) of ground coffee per 6oz cup. Your drip machine will have cups marked on the carafe.
- Use 1 tablespoon per 6oz for a lighter brew, and 2 tablespoons for a stronger brew. For a delicately flavored coffee like our Southern Pecan, we use 1 heaping tablespoon per 6oz.
- Let it brew/Trust the process.
- Once your drip machine starts brewing, let it finish before removing the carafe. Removing the carafe before its finished can affect the flavor of the pot making it a little bit more bitter due to over extraction. Your patience will pay off, we promise.
- Use this time to prep your coffee - grab your milk, sweetener, and cup. Slice some Banana Pecan Bread to go with your breakfast. Whatever you do - let the coffee finish brewing first!
- Don’t let it sit.
- Pour your coffee and enjoy it. We like a little bit of cream in the Southern Pecan coffee, but it tastes fantastic black. Whichever way you prefer it, we recommend serving it within 20 minutes or insulating it to keep it warm. Avoid reheating the coffee when possible, and try not to let it sit for too long.
- If you like iced coffee, turn the coffee pot off as soon as it's finished brewing, and remove from the heat if possible. Let the coffee come up to room temperature before putting it in the refrigerator to cool down.
Sustainable Agriculture: Farm to Table
April 18, 2022
Recipe: Toasted Pecan Vinaigrette
March 10, 2022
Try this earthy and rich vinaigrette on your next salad. Be sure to @royaltypecans in your social posts! We love seeing how creative you are with our Always Fresh pecans!
Toasted Pecan Vinaigrette
Prep time: 5 min Cook Time: 10 min Servings: 1.5 cups
- ½ cup Royalty Pecans Pecan Halves
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsp chopped shallots
- ¾ cup Royalty Pecan Pecan Oil
- Vegetable broth or water for thinning around ½ cup
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place Royalty Pecans Pecan Halves on a cookie sheet.
2. Bake the pecans, stirring occasionally, until toasted and fragrant. Around 10 minutes. Cool completely. Coarsely chop the pecans.
3. In a high-powered blender or food processor, add pecans, vinegar, syrup, and shallots. While blending, slowly add in Royalty Pecan Pecan Oil. Blend until completely smooth. Add broth or water as needed to thin.
4. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.
5. Store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks