Pecan Harvesting at Green Valley Pecan Company

Pecan Harvesting at Green Valley Pecan Company

Ask locals to identify something special about the region, chances are they’ll say “the pecan orchards.”

Spanning more than 7000 acres in the Sahuarita and Green Valley area, the Green Valley Pecan Company’s farm has become a defining sight in the community, with the trees marking the change in seasons.

Perhaps the most exciting time on the farm is harvest season.

While traveling down South Nogales Highway, motorists and cyclists will see the telltale sign that harvesting is underway: small pockets of dust trailing behind the large harvesters.

Harvesting officially begins some time in December, following a few consecutive nights of freezing temperatures so the pecans more easily drop off the dormant trees.

Once the go-ahead is given, the farm comes alive with workers completing all four stages of harvest.

 

The first step of harvesting—the shaking—is exactly what it sounds like. A special machine called a shaker grabs hold of the tree and shakes the trunk for three to five seconds, knocking pecans and twigs onto the ground.

The objective—getting the pecans off the tree—is achieved quickly, with no damage done to the trees themselves.

Watch a video clip about the shaking process.

A few hours later, the second step begins. A raker comes through the farm, raking up everything on the ground. Consisting of a tractor, front sweepers, and a blower, the raker uses all of these parts to paddle pecans and other debris into the middle of the pathway.

Watch a video clip about the raking process.

The gathered pecans are now ready for the harvester, the third step of the process. The harvester travels along the path of pecans on the ground and expertly picks them up to be transported back to the cleaning barn.

Watch a video clip about the harvesters.

The cleaning stage is the final part of harvesting. Pecans go through a comprehensive cleaning process that includes a quality inspection. Pecans that pass the test are then frozen until processing begins.

Watch a video clip about the cleaning process.

Eventually, of course, the pecans gathered during harvesting become the delicious pecans that are enjoyed around the world! From naturals to candy coated to chocolate covered—Green Valley Pecans are the finest available.

For more information on Green Valley Pecan Company and available pecan products, please visit www.PecanStore.com or www.greenvalleypecan.com. For updates, recipes, and other pecan-related information, follow Green Valley Pecan Company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest.

 

If Your Game Is Golf

If Your Game Is Golf

If you are looking to work on your golf game, there are few better places than Green Valley. It can be argued that the year-round weather in southern Arizona is the best in the country. Most days through the winter will have highs between 60-80 degrees and with the 2500 ft. elevation our summer temperatures are 8-12 degrees cooler than the Phoenix valley, many days having highs in the 90s.

Our community is designed to be golf friendly with “golf cart” lanes on the roadways and cart parking at many of the store fronts.  In a small square mileage area along the Interstate 19 corridor we have ten golf courses, seven that will accept public play—tee times for everyone. Golf in southern Arizona is plentiful and the quality per dollar spent will be hard to match anywhere in the country.

San Ignacio Golf Club is a well-designed Arthur Hills semi-private course with elevation changes and beautiful views of the mountains and our locally famous Elephant Head peak. The course is uniquely laid out to be player friendly with no long-forced carries and yet still challenging for the low handicappers. San Ignacio made the List of Top 25 “Most Improved Courses in America” for 2017, based on GolfAdvisor.com. It has four sets of tees and two combo tees. San Ignacio has a large practice facility with three practice greens and two practice bunkers. The Inn at San Ignacio is one block from the golf shop.

Tubac Golf Resort and Spa has been designated as a “Historic Hotel of America” with an old west rustic feel and boasts 27 holes of championship golf. The Tubac Resort is among the most luxurious, tranquil vacation spots in southern Arizona, and hosts many beautiful wedding ceremonies each year. The resort features 98 Hacienda/Casita suites, a destination spa, manicured gardens and mountain views all around.

Canoa Ranch and Torres Blancas (co-designed by Lee Trevino) are semi-private  sister courses on either side of Interstate 19. Both have wonderful views of the Santa Rita mountains and Elephant Head Peak. The Wyndham Canoa Ranch Resort Hotel overlooks the lake guarding the 9th hole green and is within walking distance of the Canoa Ranch pro shop.

The Haven Golf Club is a pure public golf course with an 18-hole parkland style traditional golf course with six sets of tees and is walking and gender friendly, pull carts are available. Also, on site is a 9-hole pitch and putt course, known as the The Tortuga Course. The Haven provides a quality full golfing experience for the beginner as well as the practiced golfer.

Kino Springs Golf Course is farther south in Nogales and is a semi-private high desert course with elevation changes and beautiful views and fast sloping bent grass greens. Kino Springs was known to be one of the playgrounds of yester year’s Hollywood set with John Wayne and Elizabeth Taylor making frequent stops there.

Rio Rico Golf Club was designed by the renowned architect Robert Trent Jones Sr. and has the unique distinction of being an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary with birding trails and it actually closes for golf to defer to the birding community every Monday Morning. Rio Rico is working to be a community center for the Nogales area and hopes to bring in a First Tee Program. In years past Rio Rico hosted the regional qualifying school for the PGA Tour.

Country Club of Green Valley is a private full-service member owned club (some public play allowed) and boasts a nice practice facility and a variety of membership plans and social activities. The course is tree lined with views of the Santa Rita mountains offers 6 sets of tees making it playable for the novice golfer while challenging the low handicappers.

Desert Hills Country Club is a private golf club dedicated to providing exceptional member focused service, the club takes great pride in maintaining superior playing conditions, while enhancing the value of membership provided to each of its member-owners.

Quail Creek Country Club has beautiful mountain views and is a 27  hole championship course with 5 sets of tees (for residence only from September 16th through May 14th, public welcome in the summer months). This Robson community development uses the golf course as its centerpiece but has many other amenities.

9th Annual Sahuarita Pecan Festival

9th Annual Sahuarita Pecan Festival

Green Valley Pecan Company hosted the 9th Annual Sahuarita Pecan Festival on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 at the Green Valley Pecan farm. Families and friends celebrated Veterans Day at the Festival with horse-drawn wagon rides, pecan cracking contests, tractor pull contests, and Veteran recognition events, including a flyover by the 162nd Wing and a special photo at the Festival of more than 50 local veterans that was featured in the Green Valley News.

The Sahuarita Pecan Festival kicked off in the morning with the 9th Annual Pecan Classic and Family Fun Run that led nearly 350 runners and walkers through the pecan orchard. Student Council members from Walden Grove High School volunteered at the race and received a portion of the funds for student activities on campus.

In addition to the Heritage Area highlighting antique tractors and the tractor pull contests, the Kids Area featured Arabian horse demonstrations presented by the Southern Arizona Arabian Horse Association , the Boy Scouts monkey bridge, and other kid-friendly activities.

One of the most popular activities was the horse-drawn wagon ride into the orchard for pecan harvest demonstrations. All proceeds from this went directly to the Community Food Bank – Green Valley.

The Pecan Store had a special tent at the Festival, selling holiday gift items as well as delicious pecans to be used for holiday baking. Green Valley Pecans would be perfect in making holiday pies, such as the Festival’s Pecan Pie Contest winner’s pie! Morgan Scott’s pie competed against 12 other pies and took home first place! The Pecan Pie Contest was sponsored by Mama’s Hawaiian Barbeque .

Pecan Store gift items—in addition to being sold at the Festival—can be purchased all holiday season online or in-person at the Pecan Store located at 1625 E Sahuarita Rd from 9am to 5pm Monday through Saturday or 10am to 4pm on Sunday.

Favorite holiday gifts include the large party trays and the gift boxes. Both come in a variety of sizes and pecan combinations, such as sweet praline, spicy cinnamon, milk chocolate, honey toasted, butterscotch, and fresh natural pecans, among others.

The Green Valley Pecan Gift Catalog is also available for more holiday shopping ideas. Pick up a copy at the Pecan Store or call the store at 800-327-3226 to request a catalog be mailed to your home.

As a major annual event in the Sahuarita and Green Valley communities, the Sahuarita Pecan Festival not only provides a venue for holiday shopping but it also helps support many local volunteer groups and non-profits. Over the past nine years, the Festival has raised nearly $100,000 for the community!

Mark your calendars! Next year’s Sahuarita Pecan Festival—our 10th Annual—is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 10.

For more information on the Sahuarita Pecan Festival, please visit the official Festival website at www.SahuaritaPecanFestival.com. Additional information can also be found on the Sahuarita Pecan Festival’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

For more information on Green Valley Pecan Company holiday gifts, please visit www.PecanStore.com. For updates, recipes, and other pecan-related information, follow Green Valley Pecan Company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest.

 

Green Valley Among the “Best Places to Retire”

Green Valley Among the “Best Places to Retire”

Cactus Seller in Green Valley, AZ

The folks who live in Green Valley, AZ have known for many years that it is one of the best places to retire. The marvel of this great community, recognized for its healthy environment for active living and successful aging, has typically been promoted by word-of-mouth from friend to friend and neighbor to neighbor. Now it seems as though others are taking notice of Green Valley, AZ and putting this unique community on the map. The US News and World Report started this momentum in 2008 when it showcased Green Valley, AZ as one of the “best healthy places to retire in the US.” The article boasts about the health benefits of living in a warm, dry climate, residents with “bulging calendars” filled with diverse activities, membership and access to resort-style amenities through Green Valley Recreation, beautiful desert golf courses, and access to great health care.

Green Valley Recreation

A mere nine years later, Green Valley, AZ is ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best 25 Places to Retire in 2017.” In a nut shell, this ranking affirms that Green Valley, AZ meets Forbes’ criteria of an attractive and affordable living environment with the best retirement value. This means not only in costs like affordable housing and taxes, but the best retirement value in terms of quality of life indicators (including crime and air quality), recreation, access to medical care, and factors which make for a healthy and fulfilling retirement including opportunities for volunteering, exercise, active living, social and community engagement, and even part-time work. The Forbes ranking is also a good measure to consider when choosing a place to retire because they take into account the Milken Institute’s criteria for the best places for successful aging when they make their rankings.

Playing Pickle Ball

Ideal-Living Magazine recently highlighted Green Valley, AZ as a great place for active adult living. They created a discovery tour to showcase the resort-style amenities of Green Valley Recreation, Inc. showing a range of activities within the community while also giving a taste of the beauty of Southern Arizona.

TopRetirements.com says,

Green Valley offers good value for the money in terms of the housing and amenities offered. It also has a moderate winter climate, although periods of hard freeze can occur.  Because of its size the range of its activities and the range of people to meet is more extensive than most other active adult communities.  The non-profit Green Valley Recreation is quite extraordinary, operating 13 different recreation centers with golf courses, swimming pools, fitness centers, etc. It also provides many opportunities for the arts and entertainment. One of its attractions is that its facilities and programs allow people from different communities to mix.

Casa P

Movoto extolls the virtues of Green Valley’s endless physical, social, academic and creative activity opportunities. Yahoo Finance and Money magazine have both placed Green Valley in position two on their top 10 places to retire in the US.

The official word is out – Green Valley, AZ is a premiere destination for active adult living. Green Valley Recreation, Inc., the numerous clubs, faith communities and volunteer organizations that make up this wonderful community provide a healthy and fulfilling retirement lifestyle.

Green Valley: Birding Basecamp Extraordinaire!

Green Valley: Birding Basecamp Extraordinaire!

Green Kingfisher Green Valley

Just about every birder with a life list in North America knows that Southeast Arizona is birding Disneyland. If they haven’t been, they are probably planning a trip. At the very least they have been subjected to countless enthusiastic “You gotta goooooo!” admonishments from fellow bird nerds.

Lierman Male Trogon

Between the abundant and varied ecosystems of the Madrean Sky Islands and the abundant and varied food sources—well over 300 species of bugs, insects and spiders; native fruits and seeds, and the backyard installations of many a birdwatcher—the array of avian life that is drawn to this region is boggling. More than 500 species have been observed here and Arizona doesn’t even have a coastline! The Sky Islands attract regular visitors from Mexico that are rarely seen anywhere else in the US—elegant trogon, tufted flycatcher, streak-backed oriole, green kingfisher, white-eared hummingbird, berylline hummingbird—it’s no wonder that birders contribute $1.5 billion to Arizona’s economy every year.

Streak-backed Oriole

Winter migrants to the area include large flocks of Sandhill Cranes, feted during the Wings over Willcox festival, 90 minutes east of Green Valley. Professionally-guided photography tours are a feature of this popular annual event celebrating its 25th year in 2018.

Green Valley, Arizona is just about the best “base camp” imaginable for active adults who enjoy birding. The Chiricahua Mountains, Huachuca Mountains, Patagonia, San Rafael Valley, Santa Cruz River and flats—these are only a few of the famous birding destinations within a few hours’ drive. Just twelve miles across the valley is Madera Canyon in the Santa Rita Mountains—an internationally famous birding destination that local birders treat like a great big back yard. Many a friendship has been made among birders who encounter each other on the trails again and again. Green Valley birders meet up and car pool to various nearby destinations every week from October to April. A number of guide services provide both personalized and programmed tours. The Tucson Audubon society offers tours all over Southern Arizona and northern Sonora, Mexico, publishes an outstanding guide to finding the birds, and hosts a number of annual birding events, workshops and surveys.

Bird Watcher Green Valley

Green Valley is affordable, beautiful, quiet, easy, and situated for maximum nature-loving opportunity. Plan a visit! Rent a small villa for a month, or bring friends and fill a house. Between April and September, there is no shortage of long-term lodging. Two summertime birding festivals, Southwest Wings in Sierra Vista (90 minutes away) and the Southeast Arizona Birding Festival attest to the outstanding birding the monsoon season provides. Pick up a copy of Finding Birds in Southeast Arizona and start planning to expand your life list!

Free Yourself in Tucson

Free Yourself in Tucson

UofA Sculpture

Green Valley, Arizona is in a prime location to enjoy all that Tucson has to offer, just 30 minutes away. Residents of Green Valley often take advantage of the easy drive to access unique attractions, arts and culture, cuisine, nightlife, and the vibrancy of Tucson’s revitalized downtown. Tucson is home to the University of Arizona Wildcats, Davis-Monthan Airforce Base, high-tech optics, and manufacturing. Combined with the deep roots of Native American heritage and Mexico’s festival-loving influence, the result is a city brimming with life, innovation, hard work, and charm.

Indie-folk Group Calexico

The official word is that you can “free yourself in Tucson.” It’s an environment that beckons “travelers, free thinkers and the free at heart” to “discover a place where you can explore without boundaries.”

Tucson’s downtown – the city’s “hub of activity” for well over a century – has new shops, microbreweries and brew pubs, and fabulous restaurants. The downtown area is composed of six distinct districts, all connected by the Sun Link Streetcar making it easy to access the bustling “centro” to experience the history and culture of Tucson. Plus it’s a fun ride!

Couple Resting Book Festival

In December 2015, Tucson received the United States’ first UNESCO City of Gastronomy title. Tucson’s rich culinary heritage encompassing distinct Mexican and Native traditions in both food and drink create a Sonoran dining experience that’s magical and unique. Diverse restaurants, options for patio dining, resort, hotel and casino nightlife, as well as farmers’ markets, and diverse food trucks are a proven culinary delight.

Man on a Bench

The landscape and areas surrounding Tucson are breathtaking. Newcomers to the Sonoran Desert can learn about this unique ecosystem by exploring Tohono Chul Botanical Gardens and Galleries the Botanical Gardens and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

Close by sights not to be missed are the cascades of the Seven Falls at Sabino Canyon, the majestic cacti of Saguaro National Park East and West, high pine and aspen forests of Mt. Lemmon in the Catalina Mountains and end with a spectacular view of the night skies at University of Arizona’s Mt. Lemmon Sky Center.

The opportunities in bustling Tucson are endless, and accessing them from Green Valley’s quiet, safe, beautiful neighborhoods just a half hour away is the ideal arrangement.

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