Thanksgiving begins in SW GA - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Thanksgiving begins in SW GA

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THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) -

It's a busy time at south Georgia grocery stores as folks prepare for the big Thanksgiving Day meal.

Whether it's the main course, side dishes, or the dessert, much of what we eat began right here in south Georgia.

While we may buy it at our local or chain grocery stores, much of what we will eat this Thursday was born right in our own backyard.

"We have poultry, and the produce growers, and grain. All that comes from farmers out of southwest Georgia. All all the cakes and pies and cookies and stuff use nuts products. So basically everything you are going to have on your thanksgiving table is grown in southwest Georgia," said Pecan Grower Julian Knight.

The most common home grown crop we may see this turkey day are pecans.

The state of Georgia produces about 88 million pounds of pecans every year.

"So when you make a pecan pie it takes about a half a pound, 3/4 pound. You're looking at about 78 pecans. So when look at how many pecans come from the state of Georgia, if you do the math, that's 176 million pecan pies," said UGA Extension Agent Andrew Sawyer.

Georgia has been the top pecan producing state in the country, since the late 1800s.

But if your aunt or grandmother is planning to bake her famous pecan pie this year, she may have to shell out a few more dollars.

"Quality is not quite as good as what we had. We got a lot of rot, a lot of decay in our crop this year. Prices have been way off from what they were last year," said Knight.

And some growers say the economy is not allowing them to catch up with inflation.

"High prices for commodities that we have to buy, fuel, fertilizers, and chemicals and stuff is skyrocketing, but for what we are getting for our product is going downhill," said Knight.

But pecan growers say they hope their crop will spark some patriotism this holiday season, as pecans are the only tree nut that is truly native to the United States.

One irrigated and managed acre of pecan trees can produce about one thousand pounds of pecans a year.

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