PRAISE THE PECAN!
Southern Farm & Garden takes an inside look at The Pecan. Begin with an excerpt from James McWilliams book, The Pecan, a History of America’s Native Nut.
Pecan trees were thriving in southern North America when Native Americans crossed the Bering Strait, or perhaps entered by boat farther down the Pacific coast, from Asia into North America. These intrepid nomads—America’s first immigrants—spanned the hemisphere in search of woolly beasts, eventually fracturing into thousands of distinct cultures of hunter-gatherers. In time, several groups reached the Mississippi River Valley, where they created cultures under grove after grove of towering pecan trees—trees that should have been nowhere else but exactly where they were. Understanding precisely how Native Americans worked the pecan tree into their myriad cultural expressions constitutes the first episode in the larger story of humanity’s ongoing relationship with America’s most economically significant indigenous tree. – James McWilliams