What’s Happening on the Farm
Harvest season has begun! We’ve been shaking trees and working as fast as we can to get the new crop of farm fresh Royalty Pecans ready for you. Right now, we have new Cheyenne, Choctaw and Gracross pecans in the shell and available for sale. Other varieties should be ready soon. Which variety is your favorite?
We start the harvest process by shaking the trees. Last month, while the pecans were getting ready to open up for harvest, we worked to get the orchard floor mowed, raked, and swept as clean as possible. That way, when we shake trees and begin harvesting, there’s very little debris to get in the way. As soon as enough of the pecan shucks have opened up, we send out the tree shaker and harvester.
The arms of the tree shaker hold the trunk and shake for about 3 to 5 seconds, causing the ripe pecans to fall to the ground. A sweeper and harvester are then used to pick up all the fallen pecans from the orchard floor. First, the sweeper, acting much like a hay rake, takes everything on the ground (pecans, sticks, shucks, dirt clods, etc.) and sweeps them into a long pile called a “windrow.” The pecan harvester is a tractor-pulled machine that picks up the windrow, blows out the leaves and dirt, and puts the pecans, sticks, and shucks into a trailer. The harvest trailer then takes the pecans to the cleaning plant where everything is cleaned, sorted, graded, and prepared for sale. We’ll talk more about that process next month.