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DIY Pecan Gift Ideas


When it comes to gifting pecans, there are endless ways to creatively and beautifully package them. A few tips:

  • We picked up most of these supplies from Target. The dollar bins have very cute mason jars and cute plastic Christmas favor bags.
  • We used this candied bourbon pecan recipe, but there are over 15 simple pecan recipes to choose from so pick one you know your gift recipient would love, whether it’s sweet, savory, or smoky.

4 Easy Homemade Pecan Gifting Ideas

Idea #1: Festive Red Container

pecan-gift-idea-container

Idea #2: Beautiful Tin or Disposable Shallow Aluminum Pan with a Clear Lid

pecan-gift-idea-tin

Idea #3: Clear Jar

pecan-gifts-jar

pecan-jar-with-spoons

Idea #4: Pecans in a Bag

pecan-gifting-bags

 


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Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes


Maybe it’s because I’m an early riser, or maybe it’s just my love of breakfast itself. But when holidays arrive, one of my favorite things to do is cook a special breakfast for my family. Truthfully, the tradition of creating a special holiday breakfast started when my kids were little. Breakfast (and brunch for that matter) has always been the meal my kids seemed to enjoy the most. Furthermore, basic buttermilk pancakes have always topped the list of breakfast menu items they liked the best. But this year, I’ve given the basic pancake a serious Thanksgiving upgrade and created these Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes.

Amazingly fluffy and tender (through the addition of canned pumpkin to the batter), irresistibly seasonally spiced (through the addition of pumpkin pie spice), and satisfyingly nutty (through the addition of Sunnyland Farms pecans), these pancakes taste like a big bite of Thanksgiving inspiration. The first time I served them to my boys, I got universal applause and thumbs up “make these again!”

3 Tips For The Perfect Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes

I’ve found the keys to making these pancakes the tastiest they can be are three-fold:

  1. Don’t use old pumpkin pie spices. Spices lose their “zing” if they’ve been sitting in your cabinet for a while. If it’s been a year since you used your jar of pumpkin pie spice, grab a new bottle at the store. It makes a world of difference.
  2. Let your pancake batter rest. The magic “lift” in pancakes happens in a two-step process – first, when you mix the batter to combine the buttermilk and baking soda, and second, when the batter hits the hot griddle. It’s this first step that resting the batter really helps maximize.
  3. Use high-quality ingredients. Pancakes are a relatively humble invention, when you think about it. A little flour, buttermilk, eggs, and leavening plopped onto a hot griddle always seems to work for basic pancakes. But if you want a “Thanksgiving-morning-worthy” showstopper, it’s the addition of pumpkin and high-quality Sunnyland Farm small pecan pieces that sets these pancakes apart.

Using Sunnyland Farms pecans ensures a yummier plate of pancakes, because their pecans are straight from the orchards of Albany, Georgia – the pecan capital of the world. Sunnyland is unique in that they are both a farm AND manufacturer, ensuring that every product is managed on site with close attention to detail. It’s that level of excellence and quality that ensures your Thanksgiving breakfast this year will be the best it can be.

Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes Recipe

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (from 1 [15-oz.] can)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Sunnyland Farms small pecan pieces
  • Toppings: maple syrup, butter, small pecan pieces
  1. Whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together eggs, buttermilk, water, pumpkin, oil, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Gradually stir buttermilk mixture into flour mixture until just combined; stir in pecan pieces. Let stand 5 minutes.
  3. Heat a nonstick griddle over medium. Working in batches, pour about 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto griddle. Cook until tops have a few bubbles and edges look dry and cooked, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip pancakes; cook until puffed and thoroughly cooked, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate; repeat process with remaining batter. Serve immediately with maple syrup, butter, and additional small pecan pieces.

 


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Pecan Season & State of the Farm Press Release


2022 Update

Dear Sunnyland Friends,

Hopefully you have had a wonderful 2022 and received a little rest and relaxation this past summer. We continue to try to find normalcy with all of the challenging events going on in the world and hope that you are able to do so as well. Sunnyland continues to focus on our employees, their families and our customers and all of their safety is always at the front of our mind.

As always, we’ve spent the past few months preparing for a busy Fall Pecan Harvest and Holiday gifting season. We’re well stocked with all of our delicious ingredients and look forward to making those into the products you enjoy.

The Georgia Pecan crop is looking very good. We started the season with hot dry weather and have received a good amount of rain. If we avoid major hurricanes during this active storm season then we hope for an on-time harvest with what looks like extremely high-quality pecans this year.

We would be remiss if we did not mention the current economic environment and the effects of inflation on all of our lives. As you well know inflation is at its highest in years and we, like you, have definitely felt the impact. We’ve done our best to cushion the impact to our customers and we truly appreciate your loyalty.

When you purchase from Sunnyland Farms you are supporting a small business in the heart of rural America that provides employment for 70-150 employees depending on the time of year. Our mission of providing “Only the Best” not only applies to our products, gifts and service but also our responsibility to our employees.

We would like to end by saying “Thank you!” for purchasing from Sunnyland Farms. We know that you can do business with a number of different companies and we are truly grateful you choose us. As we launch into our 74TH SEASON (can you believe it?!) we wish you and your families a wonderful Fall and Holiday Season. We look forward to hearing from you!

 All the Best,

Larry, Beverly, Alex and Staci

(And all the Sunnyland Farms Family)

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Pecan Harvest Season - Previous "State of the Farm" Updates

Sunnyland Farms Harvest Season is underway and like other Georgia Pecan farmers, an excellent pecan crop is anticipated. 

georgia pecan farm

This past growing season was a good one with adequate rainfall and plenty of good Georgia sunshine, making the quality of the pecan kernel and the amount of yield excellent. Sunnyland’s top pecan varietals are Desirable, Elliot and Pawnee, all of which look great this season and will be headed into our cleaning and shelling plants to fill Holiday and Wholesale orders alike.

 

pecan farm tractor

 

Pecan Harvesting is an in-depth process, but in a nut-shell (no pun intended) the farming process begins with gently shaking a pecan tree with a mechanical shaker making the husks fall gently to the ground. Secondly the pecans are then swept into neat rows for our harvesting tractors to run over and place into large wagon containers. Lastly the container of nuts is then hauled back to our cleaning plant where debris (limbs, leaves, etc.) is separated from the husk and where Sunnyland’s lengthy sorting process begins.

pecan harvesting

 

pecan harvest season

While 2020 has had its challenges, we are proud of our farm team for adjusting to new stringent Co-vid procedures and are very excited about this year’s crop. While sales have increased for our homemade candies, baked goods and other nut mixes, our number one seller’s remain our 3-pound home box of Raw Mammoth Pecan Halves and our 3-pound home box of Pecan Pieces. Only at Sunnyland can you receive true “Tree to Table” pecans from the finest Georgia Pecan Farm around.

eliots pecans sunnyland farms

“Sunnyland Farms is a family-owned Pecan Farm and Specialty Foods business based in Albany, Ga. specializing in Farm-Fresh Georgia Pecans, Gourmet Nut Mixes, Dried Fruits, Chocolates, Handmade Candies & Cakes.”

 


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"Ours vs Theirs" - How to Buy the Best Nuts (Online & In Stores)


Here at Sunnyland Farms, our pecans are definitely our middle name and we are supremely passionate about providing “ONLY the BEST” you can buy. However, did you know we also work diligently to provide many, many other fresh, quality “Only the Best” nuts available? We offer the biggest, brightest Macadamia’s you will ever see, buttery, rich Cashews, crisp California Almonds, and much, much more.

fresh nuts

 

We thought it would be fun to a little cost comparison with our neighborhood Supermarket to see how we measured against their quality and prices, and boy…were we surprised! In some cases, we were only a dollar more than these far inferior nuts, and THAT INCLUDES SHIPPING TO YOUR DOOR! So, we figure… why not buy from Sunnyland? We develop mutual partnership relationships with nut farmers/providers all over the world, when you purchase from us you are supporting a 4th generation small ‘MADE IN THE USA’ business, and well… the nuts are just SO MUCH BETTER. Here is a breakdown on cost and imagery with a bit about where we purchase from.

Fresh Pecans vs "Standard" Pecans

First up of course is our wonderful GEORGIA GROWN mammoth pecans. We will try and spare you industry speak, but our Mammoth Pecan Halves are all shelled here on site with our hands guiding the entire process. The Pecan industry standard to be considered “mammoth” can include junior mammoth. That means smaller… ours are actual Mammoth halves, as you can see in the image below. You won’t find tastier, bigger, better-quality pecans anywhere.

example of fresh vs stale pecan

Fresh Macadamias vs "Standard" Macadamias

Moving on to Macadamias, we source our Macs primarily from wonderful farmers from Kenya and South Africa. We look for light color and sizes Style 1 or Style 0 (this is the biggest on the world market. The supermarket will see you a Style 4, so you can imagine the quality difference between Style O (the best!) all the way to Style 4. The color and size difference in the image is very stark.

fresh macadamias vs stale macadamias

Fresh Cashews vs "Standard" Cashews

Cashews really are a favorite around here, with their buttery rich goodness, who can resist. Our Cashew Butter it is to die for but we will save that discussion for another day. Our cashews are sourced from India and Vietnam, where proper growing conditions produce a light color with minimum breakage. We only buy 210’s which are the biggest and brightest and means 210 cashews per pound only or less. Supermarkets usually sell industry cashew standard, which is 350 per pound, thus the difference in size difference.

fresh cashews vs stale cashews

All in all, we love what we do and will continue to develop new relationships worldwide to continue offering “Only the Best” when it comes to nuts. When quality matters, go with Sunnyland Farms.


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Easy Homemade Pecan Gifts for Valentine’s Day


Ah, it’s that time of year….Valentine’s Day! Where in the world did this wacky, gift-giving love holiday come from?

vday pecans

Many theories exist, one of which suggests the tradition goes all the way back to 1415. Charles the Duke of Orleans wrote a poem for his wife from the Tower of London and sent to her around this time, kickstarting a Valentine card gifting tradition.

In the 17th century flowers became popular with roses being the flower of choice, naturally. The rose represents Venus the goddess of love and was given to evoke strong feelings between lovebirds.

Easy Homemade Pecan Recipe Gifts for Valentine's - In Less Than an Hour!

homemade valentine pecan gifts

While the history of Valentine’s Day is a trip down memory lane, the modern holiday certainly has its own traditions.

Here at Sunnyland, our Candied pecans and Chocolate pecans are our most popular players. But what if you want to give something more homemade and from the heart?

Enter homemade Candied Sunnyland Pecans! Luckily we have 2 extremely easy recipes that you can pull off in less than an hour and will surely impress those you want to show a little love.

Easy Homemade Pecan Gifts - Candied Pecans and Bourbon Pecans

The first recipe is for a traditional candied pecan using Sunnyland’s finest raw mammoth pecan halves. A cinnamon and brown sugar coating keeps this recipe simple but deceptively delicious.

close up pecans

Another simple pecan recipe we suggest features both maple syrup and bourbon; a match made in heaven! With warm vanilla, a bourbon of choice and delicious maple syrup, these are satisfyingly crunchy and full flavor.

bourbon pecan set up

Both of these recipes take very little time to prepare, which gives you extra time to wrap them up in something special.

pecans in oven

We chose little cookie boxes for the candied pecans and Valentine heart cups for the Maple Bourbon pecans, all wrapped and tied with a pretty pink bow. Either recipe is perfect for your sweetie and maybe you can save a few (or many!) for yourself!

sheet pan

Here are the recipe images, but please visit this link on our website for full instructions. Bon appetite and Happy Valentine’s Day!

hugs and kisses

Recipe Images and link to full recipe page here:

https://www.sunnylandfarms.com/Page/what-to-do-with-pecans

homemade bourbon and candied pecans


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Your Holiday Shopping Guide as featured in Victoria, Southern Lady, and Taste of the South Magazines


holiday shopping guide

holiday shopping guide

holiday shopping guide

holiday shopping guide


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Sweet Pecan Summer - Hallmark Movie Review & Analysis from The Pecan Experts


Who doesn't love a good Hallmark movie? Especially with cooler weather and the Holidays coming up. A nice fire, hot chocolate, a nice bowl of pecans.

Wait, is this a movie about a Pecan farm? Why yes, indeed it is. Sweet Pecan Summer is one of Hallmark's newest movies from their Summer Nights Series.

You know those of us at Sunnyland HAD to watch how Hollywood would depict our actual lives. Of course, there were some discrepancies and inaccuracies, but overall, they definitely captured the farm-family feel we all know and love.

sweet pecan summer movie

Image Source: IMDB

Pecan Q&A – What Did the Movie Get Right and Wrong?

We thought it would be fun to play a Q&A game with the movie to see how it relates to reality here at our own Georgia pecan farm. Here goes:

Question: Do farmers pick pecans by hand today?

Answer: Very rarely. Most pecans are harvested by shaking the trees, sweeping the nuts into rows, and then harvesting them mechanically. Occasionally in low lying areas or places too small for a tractor, pecans may still be hand-harvested, but the number of pecans harvested in this manner is a fraction of the total production.

Question: A bunch of pecans ended up on the ground after a storm. Could that happen?

Answer: This is definitely possible, especially during the Gulf of Mexico's hurricane season in the fall. Heavy winds and heavy trees can lead to very bad results for farmers, including Sunnyland Farms. In fact, in 2018, we lost our entire crop after Hurricane Michael came through Albany, GA, over 150 miles inland, still categorized as a Category 2 hurricane.

Question: The family talks about "sorting next" - is that accurate, and then what comes next?

Answer: Yes, this is accurate. Pecans are harvested in the orchard and then run through a Cleaning Plant where they are sized. The cleaning plant removes any debris not removed in the orchard, and then pecans run through a Sizer, which separates them according to size.

Question: The pecans were on the ground in the summer - why is that not accurate?

Answer: This is not accurate because Pecan Harvest typically falls between the months of October-Early December. Summer especially is crucial for pecan sizing and then later husk filling. If pecans are on the ground during the summer, they are off the trees prematurely and inedible.

Question: Is it likely pecans could be picked off the ground with that size orchard?

Answer: Not without what we call in the industry a SWEEPER, which is a large piece of equipment that assists in sweeping pecans into rows.

Question: Utah pecans? Is that a thing?

Answer: There are a few pecan trees in Utah, but they are definitely not grown there commercially. Pecans need lots of rain to fill out properly, and Utah is too arid for most commercial pecan farming.

Question: Why is Georgia the best place for pecans?

Answer: Of course, we are biased, but Georgia's growing conditions are very ideal for pecans, which is why Georgia usually ranks in the top two states for pecan production. The trees might grow just fine elsewhere, but you will not find ideal growing conditions for pecans.

Question: In the movie they celebrated with a "harvest cake." What is a harvest cake?

Answer: Again, we are biased, but if there is a dessert that revolves around pecan harvest, it HAS to be Pecan Pie!! But…yes, there is a cake known as the harvest cake. It's like a pecan pound cake with lots of pecans pieces and has a hint of coffee in the batter as well. Yum! Our Rum Pecan Crunch Cake is similar to this but with rum vs. coffee.

Question: Are there any traditions around harvest?

Answer: I think the biggest tradition around harvest, especially at Sunnyland, is a case of nerves. We prepare all year for this, and everything could literally blow away in the wind. It's our busy, stressful time for sure. Probably better enjoyed by those not in the trenches.

Question: How long do the pecan trees actually take to grow and mature?

Answer: A mature pecan tree that is producing as it should, takes about 10-15 YEARS depending on the variety.

Question: Pecan oil - does it soften hands, and are the benefits of its use in skincare?

Answer: Pecan oil contains vitamin E, which serves as a steroid that makes the skin become toned and maintained. We'd suggest using it in cooking as well because it has a high smoke point.

Now that Q&A is over, you can definitely purchase many, many products from us that were featured in the movie:

  • The Best Pecan Pie: Our is BEST of the BEST and really an old-timey recipe resembling almost a caramel custard pie saturated with Sunnyland Pecan pieces.
  • The Best Pecan Oil: Sunnyland's Pecan oil is Virgin Pecan Oil, a healthier alternative to many traditional cooking oils or butter that contain saturated fats.
  • The Best Pecans: Sunnyland's Raw Georgia Pecans are always a favorite and are known the world over for being the very best in quality and size.

Scenes and Trailer from Sweet Pecan Summer

pecan orchard

Pecan Hill, the "Georgia Pecan Farm" (not a real place)

Image credit/source: Hallmark

pecan harvest cake

The Pecan Harvest Cake

Image credit/source: Hallmark

Check out Sweet Pecan Summer's movie trailer here – what do you think?


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Back To School, Sunnyland Style


As a Pecan Farm and healthy gourmet food business, Sunnyland can make back-to-school snacks a breeze. Think Dried Fruit, Pecan Butter, Georgia Grown Pecans, Best of the Best Nut Mixes, Crunchy Granola, and maybe even some of our delicious baked goods, such as Pumpkin Bread. Whatever you choose, you absolutely cannot go wrong.

Sunnyland SNACKS

sunnyland snacks

Staci Willson (one of our employees) and her daughter Sophie (age 9) thought it would be fun to make a Back-to-School snack mix, chock full of our delicious, HEALTHY Georgia Grown Pecans and Snack Mix. Sunnyland’s traditional snack mix already has plump Flame and Golden Raisins, Cashews, Almonds, and Virginia Peanuts, making the recipe crunchy and delicious.  While this alone would suffice for an amazing snack, Staci and Sophie decided to take it up a notch and include a few kid-friendly favorites such as: goldfish, golden grahams, popcorn, and of course a few sweets such as marshmallow and m&m's.

Back to School Snack Mix RECIPE

back to school snack

homemade trail mix ingredients

Using easy, environmentally friendly containers, this snack mix would be easy to throw in a lunch backpack, or to simply throw in the car for the school pick up line. Whenever you do enjoy, the kiddos will certainly gobble it up and you’ll have to make more! 


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"Nuts" for Charcuterie Boards!


Charcuterie, which literally means ‘cold cooked meats’ or a store that sells cold cooked meats, is definitely all the rage right now. Most people associate the term more with a platter of cold, cured meats that include many different savory and sweet foods. All could include an assortment such as nuts, dried fruit, cheese, jam, honey, olives, crostini, the world really is your oyster!

Here are some of the traditional cured meats best-known in the charcuterie world:

charcuterie-board-nuts

Disposable charcuterie boards have really made an entrance into the specialty food gifting business, with many independent varieties popping up catering to the rage. Here’s a link discussing the trend: Charcuterie Boards Are All The Rage: How to Host the Perfect Party - Schaller & Weber (schallerweber.com)

Best Nuts for Charcuterie Boards? Pecans of Course! 

Here at Sunnyland, we have many products that go perfectly with a charcuterie board, such as:

The list could go on. (Are you having a tough time deciding? You can mix and match in our DIY 1-pound bags here.) Here is an image featuring many of these products:

charcuterie board pecans

How to Put Together a Charcuterie Board

Creating your own Charcuterie boards really is very simple:

1. grab a nice cutting board (we really like the look of wood)

2. select one or two really nice cheese selections such as Asiago or Smoked Gouda

3. choose one or two cured meats to compliment. Proscuitto is always a favorite as well as maybe an herb cured salami.

Once the cheese and meat are chosen, the rest is simple!

Purchase a few of your favorite nuts (Sunnyland of course) dried fruits go particularly well here (dried pears are a favorite around here) and finish it off with a nice honey (gallberry) and maybe a spiced jam. Place crackers or crostini around the board and voila, you’ve created your very own charcuterie board! Enjoy at your next special gathering or a relaxing night in. If you'd like to make your own flavored pecans - sweet, savory, or spicy - make sure to start with Sunnyland's high-quality raw pecans as the base.

Salut!


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What Is Behind the Costs of Pecans and Nuts (Why Many Think Nuts and Pecans Are Expensive)


As we have been fourth-generation pecan farmers for over 80 years, we frequently hear misunderstandings and misconceptions about our favorite tree nut (the pecan of course) as well as other nuts. 

We thought we would share some context and behind-the-scenes information and answers around a few questions we hear frequently: 

    • why are pecans so expensive?
    • why are some tree nuts more expensive than others
    • why are tree nuts more expensive than peanuts?

 

nuts and pecans costs

 

To nut lovers worldwide, the price is a small consideration when weighed with the health benefits and pleasure they get from having high-quality nuts on hand for snacking, baking, cooking, and treating themselves.

At the same time, many people don’t know much about what goes into producing and selling a tree nut, like a pecan, so we thought we’d give you the scoop.

Cheap Nuts vs. Quality Nuts and Pecans: You Get What You Pay For

If you’ve never tried a fresh pecan before, you’ll be blown away by the difference you can find from a pecan fresh-from-the-farm versus one that has been sitting on a grocery store shelf for a long time:

      • Color - the lighter, the fresher. The darker a nut is, the more rancid and tasteless it is.
      • Size - often, with pecans, for example, the bigger, the pricier. Many cheap, low-quality nuts will be small compared to what they would look like straight off a tree. 
      • Odor - older nuts that have gone rancid have a plastic-y smell to them.
      • Taste - you can often tell a nut is stale or old if it tastes “off” or tasteless. A quality nut should never be tasteless.
      • Packaging - low-quality nuts are often reported to have many broken pieces, small pieces, and sometimes even insects inside the package (yuck!).

old vs fresh pecans

Why Purchasing Your Food Directly from a Farm Makes Sense. 

Where you get food matters. For example, there may be a range of difference in pecans purchased:

      • from a physical store like the grocery store
      • from a third-party online retailer
      • directly from a pecan farm

The costs associated with each supplier will be different. Pre-packed nuts on a shelf might have been sitting around for a long time. The price may be lower, but is the quality compromise worth it?

Caring about quality, freshness, and where your food comes from means understanding the costs that come from the process. What factors bring the nuts’ and pecans’ prices up?

      • Made in the USA –in many parts of the world, overseas labor and products are cheaper (and often more cheaply made). If you are comparing US-grown, produced, and sold pecans and nuts, there is really no comparison as there are no shortcuts in quality. Additionally, many countries allow chemicals not allowed in the USA in order to maximize yields.
      • Crop Year Matters – Maximum flavor comes from maximum freshness. If a pecan is super cheap, it may be old or not from the most current crop. When you buy from Sunnyland, we guarantee that you only get the latest crop. Our motto is “Only the Best” which means only the latest and most flavorful pecans you can buy.
      • Harvesting tree nuts requires a great deal of labor. Take pecans, for example. They grow high up in the trees, and after gathering, cleaning, and drying must be sorted (we at Sunnyland only use the biggest, heaviest pecans and remove the rest), cracked, shelled, screened, dried, inspected, graded, and stored. At Sunnyland we still hand grade each nut to ensure its quality, whereas many other producers have completely automated the process. While automation is much cheaper there is still no substitute for the human eye for the final inspection.
      • A premium product with a first-class experience and first-class customer service will mean having happy employees with low turnover. This means paying employees a living wage. Take it from us. Many of our employees have been around for 30+years. Our most tenured employee has been with us for 45 years.
      • Harvest and Storage practices – harvest only happens once a year if you want fresh pecan. How do you know a pecan is fresh? It is light in color. The darker the pecan, the more rancid it is. We at Sunnyland Farms have harvest season, and to keep our harvest fresh, we use freezers set at between negative 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit to store our pecans.
      • Yield - many people don’t realize that when you get a tree nut that is “double shelled” (meaning the nut is inside a husk that grows from the tree, and then inside of the husk is the actual shell), the actual, edible nut kernel represents a small percentage of the entire thing. So up to 50% of the nut is discarded, which means tree nuts are often a low yield product that requires a LOT of raw material (and labor!) see above. Fun fact – did you know here at Sunnyland Farms, our shells don’t go to waste? We incinerate the shells and use the steam created to power our shelling plant.
      • World Demand – demand drives prices up. Then you have extreme weather like wildfires and droughts (such as in California), hurricane winds, tornados, and inclement weather (like we have in Georgia and experienced in 2018 with Hurricane Michael, and extreme cold and freezing lead to fewer products. As pecans have become more popular, the price has increased. Luckily, demand is starting to increase to so hopefully we should see a leveling off in the near future.

sunnyland farms pecan experts

Why Tree Nuts Have a Premium Cost 

Quality tree nuts cannot be manufactured in a factory or lab. They come from the earth, like many other produce products. However, tree nuts cannot be planted just anywhere. This is due to unsuitable soil, weather, and climate conditions. This restriction alone will limit the quantity, which in turn increases prices no matter the product.

Because tree nuts such as almonds and walnuts are only produced once a year and have low yields to crop areas, they can only grow in very specific conditions. Here are a few other things to know about how price is factored by the growing and harvesting process. 

Why Are Pine Nuts Expensive?

That’s because pine nuts take at least 18 months to mature and are a challenge to harvest. It’s labor-intensive to harvest the seeds from their casing.

Why Are Almonds Expensive?

Almonds require a temperate Mediterranean-style climate. Did you know that California produces nearly 80% of the world’s supply and that bees actually pollinate almonds?

Why Are Walnuts Expensive?

Like all nuts, walnut prices have increased because they are more in demand than they used to be. Like pecans, they are grown high in the trees and produce a small yield, making the labor and harvest more of a task. 

Why Are Pecans Expensive?

Pecans are grown in many countries, but like a warmer climate with just the right number of chill hours each winter. Pecan trees take 10 years to really mature and produce a real crop. They require a good deal of water, sun, and chill hours.

Why Are Cashews Expensive?

Cashews are expensive because they are tough to harvest without breaking the nut into cashew splits (a break lengthwise) or butts (a break in half). Additionally, cashew nuts are actually just a small portion of the fruiting part of a cashew tree, as shown in the picture below. 

cashew price harvesting

Why Are Brazil Nuts Expensive?

Brazil nuts require a tropical climate. They need to be wild-harvested from the shrinking Amazon rainforest from extremely tall trees.  

Why Are Macadamia Nuts Expensive?

Macadamia nuts require a temperate climate. The trees take 7-10 years to start producing, and flowering takes 4-6 months, which means macadamia nuts mature at different times during the year. 

Why do Peanuts Traditionally Cost Less?

Peanuts – which are not a “nut” but a legume, are related to peas and beans. The harvesting and cultivation of peanuts are typically automated. Plus, they’re a little less high maintenance than tree nuts as they can grow in more climates. There is a spectrum of peanut pricing: from the small, red-skinned Spanish peanut that costs less to the larger, crunchier more gourmet peanut grown in Virginia, which costs more. 

What Is the Most Expensive Type of Nut in the World?

Drumroll…the most expensive nut in the world is….

The Macadamia nut!

With pine nuts following a close second.

However, even though some nuts are expensive, they are also nutritious, healthy, and good for you (check out our nuts and pecan health guide). Not to mention tasty, which means millions of people who choose to enjoy nuts, buy premium products, and invest in themselves and their health every day.  

What Other Premium Foods Carry a Premium Price?

Many other beloved foods carry a premium price. Here are a few examples:

      • vanilla beans
      • maple syrup
      • parmesan cheese
      • almond butter
      • saffron
      • wild-caught fish like salmon
      • truffles

The price of these items is due to conditions similar to pecans and other tree nuts (world demand, labor required, yield, freshness, and domestic vs. internationally grown, produced and sold, etc.). On top of that, the individual brand and producer’s employment wages and standards, whether or not they allow GMOs, growth hormones, or additives to make food costs cheaper, and quality of customer service factor in as well.  

Many feel the tradeoff of a higher cost with a quality product coupled with better business practices and ethics is well worth it. 

Tips for Buying Pecans and Comparing Prices 

Here are a few tips for getting the best price for quality nut and pecan products: 

      • Buy in bulk – you’ll pay less per pound
      • Know what crop year you are buying. Here at Sunnyland, we only sell you the latest crop. (check out our article here about pecan harvest season and how we got our crop from tree to your door).
      • Look at color and size. If the size doesn’t matter or if you want pieces, then you can often save money!
      • Understanding shipping costs. At Sunnyland Farms, our pricing includes shipping to the continental U.S.

While everyone loves a good bargain, it’s worth paying more for quality. We invite you to try and our high-quality Sunnyland pecans and nuts. We love hearing from customers and pecan enthusiasts – reach out any time, and we invite you to stay in touch and follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest). 


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Valentine’s Day at Sunnyland – Our Gift Guide for Him, Her, and Everyone


 

Valentine’s Day at Sunnyland is of course all about Chocolate and Pecans, Pecans and Chocolate, and Chocolate and Pecans.

We have Choco-Pecans, Chocolate Pecan Clusters, Milk Chocolate Pecan Bark, and Dark Chocolate Pecan Bark, down to our famous Milk Chocolate Toffee. Whatever your sweetie loves, we are sure to have plenty of. See below for our full Sunnyland Valentine’s gift guide.

Gourmet Valentine’s Gifts For HER

We know that sometimes it’s difficult to know what she REALLY wants and we are here to answer…she REALLY wants our Sunnyland Cluster Duet. She can choose between our Milk Chocolate Pecan Cluster and our Dark Chocolate Pecan Cluster gift tin, the best gift for her around.

What Customers Say:   

  • "Bought 4 tins for family and friends, they were all ecstatic! I was bad and bought a couple for myself! You can't keep your hands off them!"
  • "They were deliciously fresh and the chocolate was creamy and of the highest quality! I will be ordering the chocolate covered pecans again"
  • "Chocolate covered pecan Heaven! Love the choco pecans, the packaging is wonderful even though I can sit and eat bag after bag. Each choco is just the right size and has just the right amount of chocolate on each pecan inside so you can’t each just one"

Gourmet Valentine’s Gifts For HIM

It might be even more difficult to shop for HIM on Valentine’s Day, and Sunnyland has the perfect answer. Our Toasted Salted Mammoth Pecan Halves and our Artisan Beef Jerky are just the ticket. Our world-famous pecan halves are the best of the best and hand-selected to be the very best pecans you will find anywhere. Our new Artisan Beef Jerky isn’t the kind you’ll find in the grocery store, this jerky is tender and spicy and hands-down delicious. The perfect way to say “I Love You” in a gentlemanly way.

 

 

 

What Do Our Customers Say?

      • "Bought this jerky for the first time a couple months ago for my husband. He barely got any, I think I ate most of it!! We've found out favorite jerky, and have purchased more so he can actually have some! We won't be buying anything but Sunny land!!"
      • "My husband says your Toasted and Salted Pecans should be outlawed! It's only 24 hours since they arrived and already there's more than a pound missing. Fantastic!"

Delicious Valentine’s Gift for the Family

We also love gifting for the entire family on Valentine’s, where each family member gets something that will suite their fancy. Our Limited Edition Sunnyland Valentine’s Sampler is the perfect shareable treat to share with teachers, family members, and friends alike. 

 

What Our Customers Say…

      • "The pecan pralines are so, so delicious!! The pecans are so fresh and the praline candy is rich and tasty. I would highly recommend these pralines!!"

      • "Wow! I just opened my tin of Honey Kissed roasted pecans and they are FABULOUS! This was my first order from Sunnyland Farms but it certainly won’t be my last! Simply delicious!"

      • "I've ordered several times in the past and have loved everything they sent. I was glad to see they still have my favorites - glacee apricots and cinnamon pecans! My order was delivered exactly as scheduled, the week before Christmas. That alone was a feat this year!"

 

Decadent Valentine’s Gifts for Anyone (and Everyone!)

Above all, if you just can't decide on what delicious candy will please, our ChocoPecans are the perfect gift for anyone. Combining our wonderful Sunnyland Pecans and the best milk chocolate anywhere is the perfect way to say "I love you" this Valentine's Day.

What Customers Say:

  • Bought 4 tins for family and friends, they were all ecstatic! I was bad and bought a couple for myself! You can't keep your hands off them!
  • They were deliciously fresh and the chocolate was creamy and of the highest quality! I will be ordering the chocolate covered pecans again. 
  • Chocolate covered pecan Heaven! Love the choco pecans, the packaging is wonderful even though I can sit and eat bag after bag. Each choco is just the right size and has just the right amount of chocolate on each pecan inside so you can’t each just one


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Product Spotlight: Brazil Nuts


Brazil Nuts are growing in popularity because more people are learning about the great nutrients they provide and benefits to our health.

Whether you’re a longtime fan who keeps Brazil Nuts in your snacking drawer, or you’re newer to this tree nut, we thought we’d give you a “Behind the Scenes” look at this healthy food that is gaining traction from more health-conscious consumers across the country. 

What are Brazil Nuts?

Brazil Nuts are nuts that grow from tall, tropical trees in the Amazon rain forest. They grow in large shells resembling coconuts. Inside the shell, you’ll find 8-12 “in shell” Brazil Nuts. Those individual nuts are shelled, which give us the edible Brazil Nut.

brazil nut fruit

Image source: Britannica.com

 

brazil nut seed coat

Image source: Palomar.edu

As with the case of many other “tree nuts,” they are not nuts, but seeds.

Brazil Nuts are skinless, very light in color, and mild. Brazil nuts tend to be a little more dense, are easy to crunch, and aren’t too hard. These delicious tree nuts are “meaty” and have a different texture than cashews or peanuts.

Where Do Brazil Nuts Come From?

The name, Brazil Nuts, is a bit of a misnomer as these nuts are mostly produced in Bolivia. They are also grown in Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, and Brazil (although not as much as one would think). They require a significant amount of consistent rain and take about 15 months to mature.

Where is the Best Place to Buy Brazil Nuts?

Well, we might be biased, but here at Sunnyland Farms, we think we have the best Brazil Nuts you’ll find anywhere. While some specialty grocery stores carry Brazil Nuts, you can’t beat the convenience of getting them shipped to your door. And you won’t find any as fresh as ours. At Sunnyland Farms, we either sell what we grow on our farm, or we hand-pick other farmers we work with directly.

Our Brazil Nuts come from Bolivia. As always, we have guidelines and specific requirements for Brazil nuts. We ensure ours are the newest crop (which not many others do). We also ensure they are stored properly in a freezer at -10 or in a refrigerator until they are shipped.

Our products are named “Tiny Brazil Nuts” due to the international sizing format for Brazil Nuts. However, as our customers say, “they are not really tiny at all!”

fresh brazil nuts for sale

What Color Should Brazil Nuts be?

Brazil nuts should be creamy in color. With some brands and types of Brazil Nuts that aren’t as fresh, they’ll be darker, with an off-taste or smell. They should be whole and healthy-looking.

Are Brazil Nuts Healthy?

Yes! Nutritionally, they contain dietary fiber and various vitamins and minerals, such as Thiamin, Vitamin E, Magnesium, and Zinc. They are one of the richest sources of Selenium, which is difficult to find and important to add to your diet.

What is Selenium?

Selenium is a trace mineral. Getting more Selenium into your diet in small amounts can be very beneficial. In fact, eating just 2 Brazil Nuts per day is effective for increasing Selenium. Selenium is critical for proper thyroid functioning and plays a role in the immune system. Selenium is also attributed to boosting testosterone levels, and having several advantages for men’s health.

Are Brazil Nuts Gluten-Free?

All of Sunnyland’s raw nuts are naturally gluten-free, with no sugar added. This of course applies to our raw Brazil Nuts.

Brazil Nut Storage: How Do You Keep Them Fresh?

As with our pecans and other nuts, we recommend keeping Brazil Nuts in the refrigerator or freezer in an airtight container. The lower the temperature, the longer nuts like the Brazil Nut will stay fresh.

How Much do Brazil Nuts Cost?

Brazil Nuts are a more exotic nut not as readily available as others nuts, such as peanuts. They aren’t naturally grown here in the US, so they must be imported into the US from vetted suppliers. This, along with the process of harvesting, shelling, and shipping Brazil Nuts, make its cost a little higher. Brazil nuts are mostly sold already shelled, not only for ease of consumption but also due to safety regulations across many countries. At Sunnyland, we sell our Brazil Nuts a few different ways:

Shop our high-quality Brazil Nuts today, and let us know what you think. 


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Mail Order Food 101: What to Know Before Buying Gourmet Foods and Gifts Online


Mail order food businesses have evolved tremendously from when they first began hundreds of years ago. Although the Tiffany’s Blue Book catalog is credited as being the US pioneer for mail orders in the 1840s, the concept goes back further. Even Benjamin Franklin had his hand in selling goods through the mail.  

With the invention of the Internet, mail order shifted from print and phone calls to online orders and doorstep delivery. Unfortunately, not all mail order food companies are created equal. 

Why you should buy mail order food

One great thing about buying mail-order food products, especially as gifts, is that everyone likes to eat. Additionally, a food item is the perfect gift to buy for that hard to buy-for person everyone has on their holiday shopping list. 

Over the last several years, the growing trend of online food shopping has meant more options. There is no shortage of companies providing mail-order food both through conventional catalogs as well as online.

While having multiple options can be a good thing, here are some things to keep in mind when buying food online:

  • Boutique, specialized online food companies are small and extremely focused on quality and customer experience 
  • Online retailers, or superstores, generally sell products they don’t make; these retailers are the last stop in a long food supply chain, which often means less freshness and quality is compromised 

Below you will find a few questions to ask when deciding on a mail-order food and gift company that you, your family, friends, neighbors and all gift recipients will be thrilled with.

How long has the company been in business?

Longevity is important for a number of reasons. Here at Sunnyland Farms for example, we have been shipping mail-order gifts and personal packages since our inception in 1948. We aren’t a company cutting its teeth in the new online consumer marketplace. We’ve been doing this for over 70 years so you can be sure that we’ve run into every issue imaginable. Short crops, limited packaging, delivery union strikes, lost UPS trailers; we’ve seen it all and managed to get our packages to our customers and their gift recipients through all of it.

Our experience lets you purchase with peace of mind. We guarantee “Only the Best” products and we guarantee your satisfaction. If you’re unhappy in any way then we’ll refund or replace with no questions asked. And with over seventy years shipping direct to our customers you can be sure your package will arrive at the right place at the right time. 

Not only should you look for longevity, but you should also check out the reviews of the company over time to make sure customers remain thrilled with their products and gifts. 

How is the product presented?

Presentation is one of the most important aspects of gifting. Nothing is more disappointing than finding out the product looks very different in person than it does online.

Sunnyland Farms offers almost all of its products in some form of gift packaging that is sure to impress. We offer gift tins, gift sets and gift boxes to name a few. We also have several wonderful gifts under $40 when looking to offer quality on a budget. 

In addition to gift presentations, Sunnyland also offers our economical Home Boxes. These basic packaging options contain the highest quality products wrapped with no embellishments. Home Boxes provide the best value; just product in a poly bag inside a shipping box. This no-frills approach allows our customers to get the most bang for their buck!

Is the gift from a unique company?

What makes us unique isn’t the fact that we provide world-class mail-order gifts and food products direct to consumers. What makes Sunnyland Farms exceptional is its heritage and its people.

Sunnyland Farms specializes in pecans and other nuts, candies and confections. We set in the middle of over 1,700 acres of pecan trees so you know our pecans are the freshest around. Additionally, we have our own commercial shelling plant, roasting facility, kitchen, warehouses, packing rooms and shipping floors. We control every part of the process to ensure our quality standards are met.

Just as we’re providing only the best quality, we want to ensure we provide our customers with the best service possible. Our customer service reps (CSRs) go through an intensive training process and are focused to make sure our phone experience is second to none. We’re constantly upgrading and updating our website as well to provide the most seamless experience possible. Have an idea, please don’t hesitate to let us know and if we hear it enough, we’ll make it happen. In fact, some of our best ideas come from our customers.

At Sunnyland, we know mail-order food! 

Sunnyland Farms is one of the most experienced companies around and we guarantee that our quality is second to none. 

Whether looking for high-quality food products for yourself or as a corporate gift, holiday gift or Mother’s Day gift, rest assured that Sunnyland Farms provides the best mail-order pecans and fine foods you can order. The best thing about ordering from Sunnyland is that we only use the best ingredients so you can be sure you’re buying the highest quality food available anywhere.

We have many of the most loved and popular mail-order food types:

Sunnyland Farms catalog has been around since 1948 and each year we feature employee departments. We absolutely could NOT do what we do without our team! Here’s what one customer said about this year’s catalog:

“Just a note to say that your catalog is very impressive. I think it is wonderful that you show pictures of your staff and your year of employment. Thank you for doing that. Very heartwarming in this day and time when it is needed. Thank you.”

We’d love the opportunity to help you with your needs in the future and welcome you to the Sunnyland Family. Shop our fresh, gourmet nuts and foods today. 


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Tree Planting—Our Georgia Pecan Company Recovery Is Underway!


Here at Sunnyland Farms in Albany, Georgia, winter in the pecan orchard is definitely less hectic than the busy fall harvest season, but there are definitely still things happening. 

After everyone takes some much-needed R&R during the holidays post-harvest we come back refreshed and ready to take a fresh look at the orchard and ways to improve production. That can be: 

  • Improving irrigation methods
  • Looking at new tree varietals to plant
  • Or analyzing older trees’ production, among many other things

Pecan Farm Recovery and Growth, Post Hurricane 

Unfortunately, during the fall of 2018 Hurricane Michael passed through Albany, GA as a Category 3 hurricane despite the fact the city sits approximately 160 miles inland from where it made landfall in Mexico Beach, Florida. The pecan industry in South Georgia had major tree loss with our farm losing over 4,100 pecan trees alone making replanting this winter a no-brainer.

We spent the first part of January taking an inventory of all the trees in the orchard, categorizing them by variety and age. We also took a look at where we have “Skips,” or holes in the tree rows where a tree is missing where we could plant a new one. After analyzing the grove, we knew where to plant our new trees. (A quick aside in case you’re interested in planting your own pecan tree; be sure to find a space with good drainage that has access to lots water and sunlight. Ok, back to the blog).

We contracted for 4,000 new trees in January of 2019 to be ready in January 2020. This gave the nursery time to graft the new trees and us time to clean up from the hurricane. 

How to Successfully Plant Pecan Trees in Georgia 

We decided to try some newer varietals this year buying 2,500 Whiddons and 1,500 Ellis pecan trees. These newer tree cultivars produce large, light-colored pecans and are more resistant to scab, a fungus that grows easily in the hot, humid suppers of South Georgia. Taking possession of our first delivery of Whiddons we began the planting process. Here is how we plant our pecan trees: 

1. The first step is to dig the hole for the tree. While one could definitely do this using a shovel its far more expedient to do it using a commercial hole Digger on the back of a utility tractor. This Digger goes out early and digs the holes for trees to be planted that day or week.

2. Once the hole is dug then it is time to plant the young pecan tree. The trees are inserted with the taproot ideally hitting the bottom of the hole and then the hole is filled with soil. We like to leave the bulb of the tree’s root ball an inch or so out of the ground as the first rain or two after planting will cause the soil to compact and thus make the root ball completely flush with the ground.

3. Finally, a protective plastic cover is put around the tree to keep it safe from animals grazing on it.

A pretty simple task, but if not done correctly the tree can die, grow at a poor angle, or not produce pecans effectively. Nurturing the young tree with plenty of water, sunlight and fertilizer are essential as well. 

A pecan crop develops between 4-10 years after a pecan tree is planted, depending on the varietal planted, soil, and water conditions. Learn more interesting pecan tree facts here, and we invite you to browse our selection of delicious, fresh pecans online today. 

 


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Corporate Gifts: How to Impress Customers and Cultivate Strong Business Relationships


For many businesses and organizations, corporate gifting is an important part of cultivating and growing business relationships. According to Forbes, 57% of respondents in a recent business gifts satisfaction survey stated that “gifts can impact their opinion of a business partner both positively and negatively.” Over 80% of C-suite executives believe that business gifts generate measurable positive ROI in addition to intangible benefits.

There are many fantastic benefits of sending a great gift for business purposes:

  • Increased brand awareness
  • Strengthened partnerships and business relationships
  • Staying top of mind with prospects and leads

Unfortunately, there is no shortage of generic, inappropriate, or forgettable gifts on the market. You may be too busy to shop properly, or you may not know enough about the person’s personal interests. 

Corporate gifting can be tricky, for these and many other reasons:

  • Gifts can add to clutter if they’re not enjoyed. And in the days of Marie Kondo and minimalism, you want to give business gifts that the recipient will genuinely appreciate
  • People nowadays are very health conscious (for better or worse!) and not everyone enjoys sweets or sugary treats 
  • Safe” gifts can feel generic and boring, and you want to spice things up
  • Gift cards don’t always feel personal or memorable
  • Wine or alcohol which may be offensive or may be lost on the person who doesn’t drink 
  • You want a gift that will ultimately benefit your business relationship and bring your business top of mind, but you don’t want your logo splashed everywhere. You need a happy medium. 

Because corporate gifting can be so important, it often results in anxiety and frustration as you go through the research, selection, buying, and follow up process. Like many of our corporate clients, you may have the following wish list in mind: 

  • You want your gift to be useful and bring delight to the person who receives it 
  • You want to choose gifts that will be universally appealing 
  • You want a present that brings delight to the person who receives it
  • Quality and presentation matter
  • Shipping should be free, fast and reliable  
  • You’re just plain busy and need to cross gifts off your to-do list 

Introducing Sunnyland Farms Corporate and Business Gift Guide

Business gifts are memorable when they’re personal, customized with a personal message, and the details are paid attention to. You want to give a gift that’s a reflection of your sincere appreciation, gratitude, or joy to have these people in your professional world. Everyone likes to know someone took the time out of the day to send a gesture of thanks, appreciation, and goodwill. 

Sunnyland Farms is your corporate gift partner for:

  • Employees, associates, and colleagues 
  • Vendors, partners, investors, and referral partners 
  • Clients, prospects, leads, and potential customers 
  • Bosses, executives and higher ups 
  • General “Thank you” and “appreciation gifts

Our customers love our free shipping included in the cost, our customization and collaboration to make sure all the details are taken care of, and of course our high-quality nuts, pecans, chocolates, cakes and treats. Check out our latest video where we’ve highlighted some of our happy Sunnnyland corporate customers:

Gifts That Appeal to Everyone On Your List 

Corporate gift-giving does not have to be associated with buying boring, generic gifts (although most one-size-fits-all products you find online are usually a little less than exciting). 

But not at Sunnyland! 

Due to the breadth of our gourmet options, our gifts are perfect for those who fit all the below criteria:

  • love sweets
  • are health-conscious
  • love to bake
  • love to eat
  • love to host parties and soirees
  • are into food trends and social movements, like farm-to-table, and US-made products

The Pitfalls of Buying Online (Not at Sunnyland!)

Shopping online for gifts can be a challenge. You’re worried that what the product looks like in real life will be a big disappointment compared with how it’s presented online. 

At Sunnyland Farms, our gifts look better IRL (in real life) than they do online. This is because most of the time when you buy business gifts online, you’re often going through a third party. At Sunnyland farms, you’re buying direct. We are unique in that we have our farm, manufacturing area, and online business all on-site. In fact, if you’re ever driving through Albany, Georgia (the pecan capital of the world), stop by our farm and visit our chocolate shop. 

Business Gifts You Can Feel Good About 

The peace of mind knowing you’re buying a great gift for someone else is priceless. Our products come directly from our farm, not from a middle man. When you buy your corporate gifts from Sunnyland Farms, you can feel good knowing your purchase and gift is contributing to many important social movements:

  • farm-to-table
  • family-owned business
  • U.S-made products 

And don’t forget, if you need year-round business gifts, we offer those as well: 

  • For the office
  • Employee recognition
  • Employee anniversaries
  • Client thank you and appreciation gifts
  • Incentive and premium gifts 
  • Sales and milestone rewards
  • Job well-done gifts 

Shop With Us Today 

If you’re looking for something unique and stress-free, we hope you’ll consider us at Sunnyland Farms. Remember, shipping is free, and our customer service is unbeatable. Shop today, reach out or call us today.

 


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Artisan Bakery Expo in Las Vegas


Last month we took our Sunnyland Farms team to the Artisan Bakery Expo in Las Vegas. (https://www.artisanbakeryexpo.com/show)  We partner with so many wonderful bakeries, restaurants and other food service operators, joining a food show of this caliber seemed like a no brainer. Introducing our farm fresh wholesale pecans to hundreds of quality vendors was a great opportunity and we enjoyed meeting so many people in the industry. Here is a picture from our booth:

While there were many bakers and chefs at the show, one in particular really stood out. Her name is Chef Stephani Petersen with Panhandle Milling. Her beautiful loaves of bread and baguettes were actually painted with edible food paint or “infused edible embellishments,” making each a beautiful decorative piece of art. So unique and fun! We were delighted to connect with her and happily report she is now a Sunnyland customer. Check out her blog and beautiful creations: https://cheftessbakeresse.com/

One thing is for sure, the “ARTISAN” craze isn’t going anywhere! We are pleased our “Only the Best” Pecans have and always will be considered artisan. Webster defines artisan as “a person or company that produces something (such as cheese or wine) in limited quantities often using traditional methods.” Sounds like Sunnyland pecans to us! For more information on ordering wholesale pecan quantities please email us at lpope@sunnylandfarms.net. 


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Valentine's Day Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls


Red-Velvet_Cinnamon-Rolls

If you are looking for a recipe that will wow your sweetie with homemade goodness, this recipe for Red Velvet Cinnamon rolls is just the ticket. Yes, they take a bit of time but the payoff is well worth the wait. Filled with small pecan pieces, topped with cream cheese frosting, and finished with large Sunnyland pecan halves, this is a recipe the whole household can get behind.

Making-Red-Velvet-Rolls

Two really important things when trying this recipe, the dough is going to take time to rise and the quality of your rolls will benefit greatly by the extra time. If the yeast doesn’t have time to rise, your rolls will be dense. Here is a picture of the dough once brought together, should be sticky when kneaded. Cover and let rise overnight preferably.

Baking-Red-Velvet-Rolls

Once the dough has hopefully double, roll out into a rectangle, fill with brown sugar pecan filling, roll, cut and place in round cake pan next to one another. Let the rolls rest for another hour, then bake at 350 degrees for 20-23 minutes. Finish with cream cheese frosting and Sunnyland Large Pecan Pieces and you have a Valentine’s treat that is sure to please the entire family. Recipe Link:

https://www.wellplated.com/red-velvet-cinnamon-rolls-overnight/

Red-Velvet-Rolls-Finished


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Food Network Mag Features Our.... Fruitcake!


food_network_fruitcake_spread.jpg

Fruitcake... Yes it IS GOOD! Especially Sunnyland's if we do say so.  If you don't believe us, just read our customer reviews.  We offer two kinds of the famous, holiday cake: dark and light. The Food Network Magazine actually wrote an article on this traditional holiday favorite which, among others, featured OUR lighter Southern Style Fruitcake which uses fresh orange juice and lots of our farm fresh pecans. This lighter version tastes much brighter and less dense, although there's just something special about the dark fruitcake as well. Maybe it is all the history that makes us a little nostalgic regarding our Dark Fruitcake. Regardless of your preference, Sunnyland has you covered this Holiday Season in the fruitcake department.

The fruitcake itself dates back to ancient Rome, making it over two thousand years old and one of the oldest cake recipes known. The sugar-soaked fruit (often seeped in sweet alcohol) gave the cake an extended shelf-life which was crucial during times without refrigeration. Who knew all of that history existed in one richly spiced cake? The combination of tradition, culture, history and taste makes the fruitcake not just a cake, but a glimpse into the past.

Learning that made us want to know more about other fruitcakes. The Germans make a version called Stollen which is dusted on the top with a copious amount of powdered sugar. Panettone is an Italian version with a consistency more like a traditional bread. The Caribbean version is probably the cheeriest of them all, not just because of its tropical taste, but also because it is soaked in rum for MONTHS prior to baking. Now that's one happy cake!

Love it or hate it, the fruitcake is here to stay. Cheers to one of the oldest cakes around (especially if you're enjoying the Caribbean fruitcake!) Happy Holidays from our Sunnyland Farms family to yours!


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Hurricane Michael Recovery


Hurricane Michael's Effect on Sunnyland Farms:

Hurricane Michael was devastating to our hometown of Albany, GA and very few were spared damage. At Sunnyland Farms our plant took major damage in several places. We had significant roof damage to both our cleaning plant and shelling plant. Our cold storage facility lost a large section of roofing as well and required us to move all of our product to off-site storage. Thankfully the vast majority of product was saved.

While we are still assessing the damage to our farm we estimate tree loss between 20% - 30% which represents something around 7,000 trees, an impact that will be felt for the next couple of decades. While this loss is painful we are thankful that we still have many trees standing and are able to harvest nuts this year and for years to come as we re-plant for those that were lost. (We recently wrote more about our beautiful pecan trees - check it out!)

We'd also especially like to thank our business partners who helped us salvage our product. Thanks to Southern Ag Carriers. for providing countless refrigerated trailers to empty our big freezer when we lost power. Thanks to Lineage Logistics for taking our product in its freezers. Thanks to Southern Point Staffing for your help in cleanup and bringing us much needed food and water as we cleaned for the past four days. And thanks to LRA Constructors, Inc. for getting our freezer roof repaired and running.

We are truly thankful to be coming out of the devastation and while the full recovery will be long we will be fully operational and shipping in the next two days. We cannot wait to get back to providing "Only the Best" PecansGifts and other Goodies to you, our wonderful customers. Thanks to all of our customers for your calls, emails and messages regarding our status during Hurricane Michael. We truly love and appreciate each and every one of you.

All the Best,

The Sunnyland Farms Family


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Where to Buy Pecans (Online, in Georgia and Beyond!)


How to Select the Best Pecans:

The best raw pecans are found when all parts of the process - from harvesting to shipping - are done on site, where everything is managed top down. Pecans are sold at many different price points, but often, the price reflects the quality. With nuts, you'll get exactly what you pay for. Also, the best Georgia pecan growers go through a certification process every year. 

As we gear up for pecan harvest in the next few weeks, one of the most exciting things is the upcoming crop of fresh pecans right from the tree. One might think that all pecans in the Fall season are fresh but that is definitely not the case. Many pecans you buy are from at least the previous crop year, and some could even be older than that. We recently wrote about the harvest process and our beautiful pecan trees.

Picking out fresh pecans can often be confusing. There are hundreds of different varieties and many different sizes. There is a substantial difference in flavor in a fresh, raw pecan, versus one that came from a can of nuts you get at the store. When looking for the freshest pecans you should look for a light, bright color. If the color is amber or a dark brown then either the pecan is old or it has not been stored correctly and could be rancid. (Check out our top pecan nutrition facts and faqs!) 

Why Georgia Pecans?

Georgia is the leading pecan-producing state in the U.S. In particular, Albany, GA is known as the "pecan capital of the world" due to the number of pecan trees (more than 600,000).  Beyond that, Georgia is the home of the National Nut Growers Association, which was established in Albany in 1901. Georgia pecans are the best you'll find anywhere.

How to Store Raw Pecans:

Pecans have a higher oil content than most other nuts which, while making their flavor profile delicious, makes their shelf life at room temperature limited. When at all possible, pecans should be stored in a cool environment when using immediately and stored in a freezer if not used immediately.

Retail stores often make the error of storing their fresh pecans at room temperature. While the pecans may start "fresh" they often degrade after being stored incorrectly. It is for this reason that many people have never really tasted a truly fresh pecan! When you buy pecans off the grocery store shelf, you don't know how long they have sat there. Freshness is a huge component to keeping your pecans tasting their best. To learn more about how to store nuts, pecans, and dried fruit, check out our storage guide instructions here

Why Buy Pecans From Sunnyland Farms:

Here at Sunnyland Farms in Albany, Ga, we are uniquely focused on producing only the highest quality pecan halves and pecan pieces. Not only do we guarantee that all of our raw pecans are "new crop pecans" from the latest crop year, but we also make sure that they are stored correctly until they ship to you. Unlike many other websites that sell pecans online, we are a farm, manufacturer, toaster and packer: we manage the whole process. That means taking care of our trees, harvesting, cleaning, shelling, and grading, grading, grading. Quality is our #1 concern. 

That's the Sunnyland difference, and it's a difference that you can definitely taste and see. So, if you're a pecan lover like we are then please take a look at all of our raw pecans and be rest assured that they will be the best you have ever tasted!

 


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Corporate Gifts - Sharing is Caring


Corporate Gift Options

Here at Sunnyland Farms, we are smack dab in the middle of Harvest Season, the groves are busy with shakers, our shelling plant is humming with sounds of cracking pecans and our cleaning plant is busy sorting and sizing out “Only the Best” nuts for our catalog and corporate gifts. These beautiful pecan halves then go into our handcrafted treats and ever so popular nut-mixes. All brought to you since 1948 by the Willson family.

 

These gourmet gifts make the perfect office Holiday present for clients and associates alike. We streamline the corporate gifting process, making it easy and efficient for you to order and ship multiple gifts. Just think of us as your personal North Pole station-with shiny holiday gift packages arriving at your doorstep. We can include a Holiday greeting within each gift, or if you like, your company business card. Choose from our Toasted & Salted Pecan Halves, Mixed Nuts, Gourmet Chocolates, Handmade Candies and Cakes, or THE BEST timeless Pecan Pie you will ever taste. Or try a few of our new catalog items: Pecan Butter, Pumpkin Bread or our wholesome Chewy Granola. All wonderful items to treat those on your list.

Corporate Gift Options

The kitchen is summoning us back with its wafting smells, so we are off! Just remember, our customer service is here to help make your office Holiday gifting simple and impressive. Just check out what two of our corporate clients have to say about working with Sunnyland:

We look forward to serving you and your clients this Holiday Season. Please stop in and see us next time you are in the Southwest Georgia area. We might give you a lesson on how to properly crack a pecan, or even give our thoughts on the proper way to say it!

Cheers,

Staci Willson


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Easy Halloween Treats with Your Favorite Sunnyland Products


Halloween is just around the corner so it is time to get your sweet tooth ready. Here at Sunnyland, we cant wait! So we decided to share with you some easy Halloween treats that can be made with your favorite Sunnyland Farms products.

 

Here is everything that you will need.

Easy Halloween Treats Made with Your Favorite Sunnyland Products

 

First we made one of my year round personal favorites…Sunnyland Toffee sugar cookies. And it’s so simple! All you do is take your favorite cookie mix and add chopped up pieces of Sunnyland Toffee to the batter. 

Easy Halloween Treat with Your Favorite Sunnyland Products

 

Then we gave them a little Halloween twist!!

Easy Halloween Treat with Your Favorite Sunnyland Products

With these we added a piece of our Sunnyland Toffee to the top and brought our spiders to life with candy eyes and chocolate frosting legs.

 

Easy Halloween Treats with Your Favorite Sunnyland Products

With our second batch we took our same batter and topped it with our Sunnyland Chocolate Covered Pecans. Then again, we brought our spiders to life with candy eyes and chocolate frosting. 

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A little spooky and a lot cute all at the same time!!

 

You can also make ghoulish Halloween bats with our Sunnyland dark chocolate clusters.

Cluster Bat Collage

Just take our Sunnyland dark chocolate clusters and add chocolate cookie wings and spooky eyes with a dab of chocolate icing. Quick simple and perfect for those that go bump in the night. 

 

Or if you want to go the lighter route this Halloween you can always make a beautiful fruit tray with some of our Sunnyland Dried Fruits.

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This Jack-O-Lantern was made with our Sunnyland Fruit Compote (Dried ApricotsPeaches, Pears, and Prunes) and Flame Raisins

 

Needless to say everyone here thoroughly enjoyed and we hope you do too!

Easy Halloween Treats Made with Your Favorite Sunnyland Products

Easy Halloween Treats Made with Your Favorite Sunnyland Products


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Thoughts on the Past Year and the Upcoming Harvest Season


Harvest Season Visitors
From left to right: Bob and Jo Sullins, Alex Willson, Ruth and Ken Boysworth

As we begin our new pecan harvest season I think it’s a great time to take a look back at the previous year and examine all that has occurred here at Sunnyland Farms. We had a great year and that would not be possible without our wonderful customers and friends, and for that I’d like to personally thank you. You keep us motivated to provide the best pecans, mixed nuts, dried fruits, cakes and candies we can and we are constantly trying to improve in order to exceed your expectations.

This past year was both challenging and rewarding for us at Sunnyland. Mother Nature provided significant challenges, with two tornadoes in Albany, GA in January that devastated large sections of our home town. Many of our employees had significant damage to their homes but thankfully we all came out of the storms safely. 

 

More recently, Hurricane Irma swept through the state of Georgia, dealing a devastating blow to the pecan industry. Thankfully, Albany took a glancing blow compared to other parts of the state; and while we lost over 150 trees and a portion of our crop we are thankful. We recently wrote more about our pecan harvesting and our pecan trees - education is important! We still have nuts to harvest and are looking forward to great season. One positive that came from Irma is we were able to meet some of our wonderful customers who passed through Georgia while seeking refuge from the storm. It is always a pleasure to meet our customers and we would love to see you as well should you find yourself in southwest Georgia.

On a more upbeat note we’ve introduced our new gift boxes of which we are very proud. We think you’ll find the presentation outstanding and look forward to hearing your feedback. Additionally, we updated the look of our catalog and came up with some outstanding new products such as our Pecan Butter, which is delicious and packed with all the health benefits that our whole pecans and pecan pieces provide.

We’ve also made strides to lessen our carbon footprint. Our catalog was printed on recycled paper, saving over 4,000 trees, 500,000 gallons of water and emitting far less pollutions during production. We’ve removed some plastic from our packaging as well. And while we’re not as “green” as we’d like to be we’re making great strides as a company.

We hope you are off to a great harvest season and do hope that you’ll keep Sunnyland in mind for all of your holiday gifting and baking needs. If you are looking for something specifically designed for business clients and colleagues please look at our new Corporate Gifts page.

As always, we’d love to hear from you and appreciate your business. Thanks for making the previous year such a great one and cheers to a wonderful 2017 Harvest and Holiday season.


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Sunnyland Farms visits the James Beard House


James Beard House Dinner

Well it has been a while since we’ve posted an update and I can’t think of a better reason to get back to it than a visit to the James Beard House in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. And we will certainly get to that but I also want to let you know that going forward we are going to be making many more updates to the Pecan Post. We’ll of course keep you up to date with everything going on here at Sunnyland as well as taking an in depth look at some of our employees and their roles. Additionally, we’re going to take a look some industry news, spotlight some products and provide some new recipes. So more to come but for now, back to the James Beard House!

Each year the Georgia Department of Agriculture and its Georgia Grown marketing program puts the spotlight on some of the state’s most well-known agricultural products with an event at the James Beard House. This year Georgia Grown executive chef Holly Chute and a team of fantastic chefs from around the state of Georgia cooked amazing food for New York in an event that was unlike any I’ve ever attended.

The event started with a reception where diners could sample appetizers made with Georgia products and Georgia spirits. Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture, Gary Black, attended the event and was available for questions of which he fielded many. After the passed hors-d’oeurvres dinner followed paired with Georgia wines. Needless to say everything was delicious. The full menu is available here. I will say that I believe the highlight for me was the sweet-corn desert which featured a cake made of sweet-corn with a blueberry sorbet. I’ve never had anything like it and using corn in a cake is something I did not think would work but it totally did!

While the food was delicious there was one glaring omission; pecans! How could it be that the largest pecan producing state in the country did not have a single dish using our favorite nut? Luckily wife Staci, the foodie in our marriage, and I were able to meet the chefs at the event and discuss all things pecan with them. And I have made it my personal mission to ensure that pecans are on the 2018 menu.

Pecan omission aside, the event was truly a memorable one as well as an eye-opener for this pecan farmer and sheller. The state of Georgia has some truly talented chefs and when working with local produce and protein can come up with some unique cuisine.

James Beard House Images:

James Beard House Dinner
Outside the James Beard House, the former home of the famous chef.
James Beard House Cocktail Hour
Georgia Grown Executive Chef Holly Chute and Staci Willson.
James Beard House Chefs
Chefs from various Georgia restaurants after the dinner.
James Beard House - Gary and Alex
Georgia Department of Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black and Alex.

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Congratulations to our Summer Giveaway Winner!!!


YETI winner Lucy Filler

We are thrilled to announce that Lucy Filler of Sacramento, California is the winner of our YETI cooler filled with Sunnyland treats!

When learning that she won she said this was a really nice EARLY 91st birthday surprise. We are happy to be part of her celebration. CONGRATULATIONS from all your friends at Sunnyland Farms!!

Be sure to check in on the blog and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sunnylandfarms for future exciting promotions!  


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A Trip to China With US Pecans


Alex Shanghai
The Bund – Shanghai

I recently traveled to China with US Pecans, an industry effort to market pecans grown in the United States. The trip was broken into two parts, the SIAL Food Show in Shanghai followed by a visit to several pecan roasters in Lin’an in Zhejiang province. The experience was memorable both professionally as well as personally in a number of ways and I thought it would be great to share the highlights. 

Our group arrived in Shanghai a day before the show to make sure the booth was set up to our liking. The booth included two chefs making amazing dishes out of pecans such as pecan-cranberry breakfast bars, pecan flavored smoothies and chicken wraps featuring apples and pecans. The show was from May 5-7 and our team spoke for three days to a number of people about pecans from both agricultural and consumer perspectives. If there was one thing I gleaned from the SIAL show it is that the Chinese really enjoy pecans in a variety of ways!

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Discussing pecans at the SIAL Shanghai show

In the evenings we enjoyed traditional Chinese dinners and did a little sight-seeing. If pressed, I would have to say that my favorite part of Shanghai is The Bund, an area running along the Huangpu River filled with both historical architecture as well as modern skyscrapers. There really is something for everyone in this area! One of my favorite parts of traveling, even when on business, is taking in the local culture.

On the morning of May 8th we woke up early and caught a high-speed train from Shanghai to Hangzhou, a “smaller” city of around nine million people (as a point of reference Shanghai has a population of over 24 million residents). From there we took a two-hour car ride to Lin’an where the majority of Chinese pecan roasters reside. We spent that morning and afternoon visiting different pecan roasters and touring their plants. The “pecan-gwo” as it is called in China is primarily found served as a snack in-shell. Chinese pecan roasters slightly crack the pecans and then roast them to a warm temperature. After heating the nuts, they are then dipped into vats of flavoring such as vanilla or a salty brine before being packaged for sale.

Leifeng Pagoda
Leifeng Pagoda in Hangzhou, China

Perhaps the highlight of the trip occurred on the evening of May 8th when we were invited to attend the wedding of one of the local pecan roasters. It was very interesting to see the events of a traditional Chinese wedding and the food at the reception was second to none! On May 9th we woke up and toured four more roasting facilities before taking the car back to Hangzhou for our last night in China. That afternoon we toured the Leifeng Pagoda in a park by West Lake in Hangzhou which was truly amazing!

May 10th was a long travel day to say the least. We left our hotel in Hangzhou at 7AM and I walked through my back door in Albany, GA USA at 11 PM; a total of 28 hours after adjusting for the time difference. I really enjoyed my time in China but it was great being home with my family again after being away for such a long trip.


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New York Food Service Show


Want to take just a minute to say Thank You to all the nice folks who made our recent stay in New York so special. Alex and I represented Sunnyland at our first trip to the International Restaurant and Food Service Show.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We had a great time sharing our excellent Sunnyland Pecans with visitors to the show, many who were trying Pecans for the first time. An unexpected treat were the folks who stopped by the booth who already knew us. We enjoyed the opportunity to meet some of our customers in person and we always love to educate about all things pecans (nutrition, freshness, and other fun facts!)

We had great weather, great food and great hospitality. I suspect we will visit the Big Apple again…


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How Cool is Hedging!?!


How cool is this machine! This is a Hedger trimming the limbs and tops of some of the older, larger trees in the Willson Farming Co. orchard. The trees you see here were planted in 1984 and have grown virtually untamed since then. While they make for a beautiful canopy they also hog the natural sunlight that other trees need to grow and bear fruit.

“Hedging” has been used by pecan farmers in the western United States for some time and is gaining popularity in the east as well. We at Willson Farming and Sunnyland Farms are embracing this technique for the first time this year for a variety of reasons. Hedging is used to manage the size of the pecan trees which helps manage disease and pests while also increasing light to the orchard. All of these things lead to better growing conditions that improve both the quality of the pecans and the yield of the orchard. Plus, there is the added bonus of using a really cool machine with two saw blades swinging at the end of a rotating arm!


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"I Love Shipping"


Finally a chance to pause for a moment and reflect on this past year. Many of you already know, but if you did not… The holiday season is the busiest time of the year for us; and, this year was no exception. For that we owe our sincere thanks and appreciation to each of you our valued friends/family/customers.I love shipping

Throughout my career here at Sunnyland Farms, I have heard the story numerous times of Mr. Willson holding Mrs. Willson up so that she could squeeze one more package on the UPS trailer before the driver was allowed to pull off. As the Shipping Manager, I understand the significance of that moment. Personally, at the end of the day, there is/was no greater feeling than when you know you have done absolutely everything within your power to get every package on its way. It’s a great feeling when at the end of the day you know the job was well done.

I have a board that is positioned on the wall and it is the last thing that I see as I leave my office. On day five as the new Shipping Manager, I wrote “I Love Shipping!!!” One full year later as I reach to turn off the lights at the end of the day… with a SMILE, I read my board out loud and say “I Love Shipping!!!” Honestly, I love it more today and for that I have to say THANK YOU to each of you!!! You? Yes you… our wonderful Sunnyland friends/family/customers!!!

If you have a moment to spare, please share with us a memory or two of Sunnyland. You have already given us so many wonderful memories and we’re looking forward to many more. Again, thank you from all of us here at Sunnyland Farms and Willson Farming Company.


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Happy Thanksgiving


morning-showI had so much fun today sharing one of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes with viewers of our local affiliate, FOX 31. The recipe is simple, quick and delicious. It will be breakfast at our home on Thanksgiving morning. Watch the video and try the recipe; then, let us know what you think…

From all of us here at Sunnyland, have a safe, happy and blessed Thanksgiving.

Teresa

Source: WFXL FOX 31

 

 
Pecan Pie Muffins
2015-08-26 13:21:49
 
 
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  2. 1 cup light brown sugar
  3. 1/2 cup butter, melted
  4. 2 large eggs, beaten
  5. 1 heaping cup Sunnyland Large Pecan Pieces
Instructions
  1. Combine flour and sugar in a large bowl.
  2. Add melted butter and beaten eggs.
  3. Stir until smooth.
  4. Add pecan pieces and mix well.
  5. Spray muffin tin with Baker's Joy or line with paper muffin cups.
  6. Fill 2/3 full.
  7. Bake at 350° 25-30 minutes.
  8. Remove from pan and cool on rack.
  9. Makes 9 jumbo muffins or 12 smaller muffins.
Notes
  1. Recipe Picture from Food.com
Sunnyland Farms https://www.sunnylandfarms.com/

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Gratitude - Jane Willson


Jane WillsonThis past week my grandmother Jane Willson passed away. Our family as well as the Sunnyland Family was touched by the number of calls, emails and Facebook messages we received wishing us well and offering sympathy. That outpouring of love would have made my grandmother proud and it certainly reaffirmed what we already believed: that Sunnyland Farms’ relationship with its customers is a two-way street. For us there is no greater compliment and we look forward to continuing that legacy. We truly appreciate You the Customer and look forward to serving you for years to come.

Cheers!
Alex


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A Legacy of Updates


1964 FamilyMy grandparents always considered Sunnyland Farms customers their friends which led to the creation of the Sunnyland Farms and Willson Family update sections in the annual catalog. In 1960 my grandfather, Harry Willson, wrote that my grandmother, Jane, was helping him again that year in the mail order after not being able to do so the prior year. Their first girl after having three boys had been born in late October, 1959. Many of Harry and Jane’s mail order friends wrote to congratulate them on their baby girl and to ask about the boys which led to Harry writing a few words about the family in the following year’s catalog. “The Willson Family Update” was born and later expanded to also include “The Sunnyland Farms” update.

These two pieces are now cornerstones of the annual catalog and provide us with a way of sharing a bit about ourselves with our customers. The continued and overwhelmingly positive feedback to these sections led us to think about how we could provide our friends and customers with more updates like these. After tossing around a few ideas we came up with what we think is the winner: dedicating a specific section of our website to such a cause. We are happy to announce the creation of the “Pecan Post” page to provide information on various happenings around Sunnyland Farms!

The new “Pecan Post” page will be a blog of sorts, with a variety of focuses, or perhaps no focus at all! The posts may range from an employee spotlight to a wonderful recipe we discovered. We may tell you about a new product we are crafting or what is occurring in the pecan industry as a whole. The great thing about creating a page such as this one is that the possibilities are endless. While the annual catalog updates will never be replaced we look forward to supplementing them with a web page where we can communicate to you year-round and in turn to where you can provide us with your comments and feedback. If there is something you really want to hear about, let us know and if we see enough similar requests we’ll be sure to post about it!

Cheers!
Alex


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