SHAWNEE, Okla. – Many of us will find them on our Thanksgiving table.
We’re talking about pecans.
Most of the time, they’re baked into a pie and this year they’re in plentiful supply.
So plentiful, in fact, that pecan shellers are finding themselves backlogged this Thanksgiving week.
The storeroom of Valley View Pecan Company near Shawnee is jam packed with customer’s bags full of pecans waiting to be shelled.
But they’re not going to have them in time for that Thanksgiving pie.
There’s a back log because of what’s being called one of the best crops in years.
One of John Grundmann’s cracking machines is working at the rate of 400 pecans a minute.
But even at that speed, he’s not keeping up with demand.
“We’re working night and day. I finished up at 2:30 this morning, started at 6:30 this morning,” said Grundmann.
Pecans have been the Grundmann family business since 1915.
“In the last two weeks, we’ve shelled about 15,000 pounds. And last year, I didn’t shell anything,” he said.
Last year’s early freeze meant minimal pecans and even with the drought, this year they’re just raining down from the trees.
Debbie Nelson hauled in 76 pounds of her pecans to sell to Valley View Pecan Co. because she says she was tired of running over them in her driveway.
“We just saw that there were so many and we just wanted to go ahead and take advantage of them and see what we could get for them ad help out the candy companies,” said Nelson.
Grundmann’s family is working as fast as they can to keep up with the demand.
And he says while most customers understand their pecans won’t be shelled in time for the Thanksgiving feast, he still expects that last minute request.
“There’ll still be somebody comes in at 4:30 wanting them done for tomorrow. It happens every year,” said Grundmann.
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