PecansNothing signals the holiday season more than the smell of freshly baking pies, cakes, and cookies. In Southwest Georgia, where pecans are plentiful, they are the ingredient of choice in many seasonal recipes.

At Rudy's Happy Patch Market, we have an abundance of pecans for sale, largely due to the graciousness of many of our customers, who have offered their own pecan trees for harvesting. Once the nuts are harvested, the ritual of "crack, separate, sort" begins, as peer members work with market staff to prepare shelled pecans for sale.

Phyllis Bleckley, market manager, attests to the enjoyment the task can bring: "Our peer clients seem to enjoy cracking and picking out these nuts. It has become a challenge to have the largest number of whole pieces."

In this photo, a work team cracks, separates, and sorts pecans into halves or pieces before packaging. Pictured left to right are James Barron, Kaylon Holt, Daisy Bell, Nakia Rhone, and Laurie Hildreth.

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