|Thompson Family Pecan Farm in Hurricane, Utah.|
I was curious, so when I knew I'd be in Southern Utah in March, I called the owner, Tim Thompson, for an interview. I wrote a column about the farm in this week's Standard-Examiner -- http://www.hersutah.com/story/ah-nuts-utah-s-dixie-home-thompson-family-pecan-farm.
Utah isn't well known for raising nuts — at least, not the edible kind. But in pioneer times, the Mormon settlers called the area "Dixie" because of its warm climate. They tried to make a go of typical Southern crops such as cotton, silkworms, grapes and pecans. I think the cotton fields died out a long time ago, but a few pecans trees are still growing in yards in Washington County. Pecans generally thrive in the Southern states because of the warm temperatures and long growing season.
Pecan trees were originally brought to Washington County by Mormon missionaries who had been to the southern United States, Thompson said. “There are pecan trees in the South that are over 400 years old.”
|Pecan trees at the Thompson's farm in Hurricane, Utah.|
The 206 pecan trees on the five-acre farm were already there when Tim and his wife, Lea, bought it 26 years ago. Each tree produces 50-70 pounds of nuts each year.
After planting, Thompson said, it takes about 15 years for the trees to reach their full production level, but you get smaller crops in between.
“They take a lot of maintenance,” he added. “They need a specialized fertilizer program, and a micro-nutrient spray program. We have moisture gauges in the ground that tell us how much water to put on. And there’s pruning to do in the winter. There’s always something to do. But, I enjoy working outside.”
|Tim Thompson sells his pecans at the farm in Hurricane.|
“I don’t advertise, but I always manage to sell out every year,” he said. “We keep them in freezer storage from the time they are shelled, so they’re absolutely more fresh than what you would get in a grocery store. There’s no comparison.”
You can order them by phone, 435-635-4921, or by mail at 2012 S. Flora Tech 79-3, Hurricane, UT 84737.
1 pound light brown sugar