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.
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.
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.
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.
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.