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owdy friends! This month, we’re highlighting Texas pecans and I couldn’t be more excited. These delicious nuts from the Lone Star State are enjoyed around the world, particularly this time of year. Many of you may enjoy a pecan pie at Thanksgiving, which is right around the corner. Perhaps, you’ve even thought of growing pecan trees yourself, and if that’s the case, we’ve got some handy tips for you. Or, if you just want to know more about pecans or find a new recipe, we’ve got you covered. Of course this is also a big time of year for Texas-grown Christmas trees. A long-

standing tradition for many Texas families is going to pick out their very own Christmas tree. I encourage you to visit one of our many GO TEXAN Christmas tree farms and create a memory your family will never forget. From welcoming the town of Henderson into our family of GO TEXAN Certified Retirement Communities to how 4-H is encouraging young people to get involved in agriculture, this issue of Go Local. GO TEXAN. has it all. I hope you’ll enjoy this issue. Be sure to share it with your friends, and remember Texas Agriculture Matters!





A PRIMER AND MORE As the holiday season gets underway, many Texans are gearing up to make those famous homemade desserts that exude Lone Star pride... 5

...we’re talking about pecan pralines, pecan sandies, pecan sticky buns, sweet cinnamon roasted pecans, and of course, pecan pie. Pecans in Texas are a big deal — pecans are the official state nut, the pecan tree is the official state tree and the pecan pie is the official state pie.

With all this attention, many Texans might have considered becoming a pecan grower themselves, so our GO TEXAN member, the Texas Pecan Growers Association (TPGA), has developed a helpful publication to do just that. It’s called Pecan South Magazine, and it’s geared toward educating growers about the pecan industry. The guide will help if you’re planning on becoming a commercial grower or simply adding to your landscape. Pecan trees are native to Texas, important for wildlife and fastgrowing. You can subscribe to this publication here or visit the magazine’s Facebook page. Cindy Wise, Executive Vice President at TPGA, provided the following tips for growing pecans in Texas:


What are the best regions to attempt growing pecans in Texas? Pecans do well in drier climates where disease pressure is minimal, thus we see more production west of I-35 than in the eastern, more humid areas of Texas. However, intensive management with proper pecan variety selection does make it possible to produce pecans profitably in most areas of the state where good soil and adequate water is available. Soil is probably the number one thing to consider before planting pecans — the right type of soil with proper drainage. Pecans are native to river bottom land with rich, deep soil and will endure brief episodes of flooding. But they do not like what we call “wet feet” on a prolonged basis.

How much or how little land should I use for growing pecans? There are too many variables to give a specific answer to this question — is it going to be a commercial enterprise or a parttime, weekend/hobby pursuit? Attentive management and

a minimum of 50 acres or so might be necessary to justify the investment in equipment needed, such as a tractor, sprayer, mower, shaker and harvester. Also, who will be doing the labor: the owner, family members or employees?


What sort of regulations do I need to know about before I begin growing pecans for my own personal use vs. commercial resale? Anyone engaged in pecan production needs to be familiar with pesticide handling and usage regulations and be aware of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). TPGA has GAP brochures available. There are no other regulations for growing pecans for personal use. Where do I get the right seeds? How do I plant them? How do I care for the young trees? Experienced growers sometimes (but not often) plant pecan “seeds” and grow their own trees. However, most people buy trees to plant. They may be seedling trees, which the grower will graft or bud to the “variety” they desire, or they buy the type of pecan trees that they want to grow. Pecans do not grow “true to seed.” For example, a person cannot plant a Pawnee pecan and get a Pawnee tree. Whatever 8

grows from that planted seed is considered a seedling and must be grafted or budded (two different techniques to create a hardy hybrid) to the desired variety. It takes years longer to get a tree into actual production, if the grower is growing from seed. Young tree care is critical. Water, weed control, pruning and zinc applications are the primary management emphases for young trees. Texas AgriLife Extension has online resources with guidelines for managing young trees and also publishes The Texas Pecan Handbook, which is a basic, comprehensive guide to growing pecans in Texas. It should be considered mandatory reading for new growers in particular. Additionally, AgriLife Extension offers a four-day pecan short course each January in College Station. Once I have trees, how do I harvest them? Pecans are shaken mechanically from the trees after the shucks are split and picked up mechanically.

These are two different pieces of equipment, a shaker and a harvester. The exact type of equipment sometimes varies depending on the age or size of the trees. What else do I need to know? Pecans need lots of sunlight and do well in hot, dry weather (as long as water is available for irrigation). Pecans use lots of water! There are pests to manage. Appropriate variety selection for

one’s climate is essential — some varieties do not perform well in humid climate, for example. Pecan trees do not like to be crowded, so spacing between trees is another consideration. Pecan trees are not mature and in full production until 10 years of age, give or take a couple of years, depending on how intensely they are managed. For more information, please visit buytexaspecans.com. Supplier info can be found here. [Continued next page] 9

Nutritional Facts Did you know that pecans contain the highest antioxidant total of any tree nut? This and more health-related facts are featured in this new brochure, available for download here. You will also find sources to purchase fresh Texas pecans.


Recipes Texas pecans make any dish taste better. Try out these tasty options featured in this new recipe brochure. Download your free recipe brochure, which includes storage tips and a list of Texas pecan suppliers, at BuyTexasPecans.com.

Flowers and Wine—

The Perfect Pairing for Success. Fresh flowers and wine are two Texas treasures that fit together to create a winning combination that makes the perfect holiday gift. Pair a gorgeous floral bouquet with a one-of-akind Texas wine to deliver the beauty and flavor of the Lone Star State in one unforgettable package. To find Texas flowers and wineries in your area, visit gotexan.org.



BUYING A TEXAS CHRISTMAS TREE: CREATING A LASTING FAMILY MEMORY The holiday season is rapidly approaching and GO TEXAN is proud to support the time-honored tradition of selecting and buying a Christmas tree each year. There are many GO TEXAN member Christmas tree farms across the Lone Star State, and they are always happy to provide a fun experience for the whole family. In addition to pumpkin patches and hayrides in October and November, most of these farms open up for Christmas trees right after the Thanksgiving holiday. They’ll help you pick out the perfect tree as you take in the natural beauty of a Christmas tree farm. “As it gets closer to Christmas, I encourage all Texans to visit a Texas Christmas tree farm in your area,” Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said. “You will be supporting

Texas agriculture while making memories that will last a lifetime!” To find your local Christmas tree farm, click here. Did you know that real Christmas trees are good for the environment? • They are recyclable. Christmas trees make great mulch for groundcovering crops, like strawberries, to rest on. Pine needles dry quickly and decompose slowly, making them an excellent source of moisture and mold-free mulch. • They are renewable. For every tree cut down, Texas Christmas tree growers plant three more. Did you know their fresh scent adds a wonderful, and chemical-free, aroma for your Christmas season? Our friends at Texas Christmas Tree 13

Growers Association have some tips in caring for your real Texas Christmas tree: • Keep your tree hydrated. If you allow the water level to drop below the fresh cut, a new seal will form and the tree will no longer absorb water. A new cut will be necessary. Trees need water – just like a fresh bouquet of flowers. • Cut 1 to 2 inches off the bottom of the trunk before mounting in stand. • Immediately place your tree in a water-holding tree stand. • Add fresh water daily as needed. • If storing your tree outside before decorating, remember to keep it in water and protect it from the wind and the sun. • Keep your tree away from fireplaces and other heat sources. • Turn off all of your tree decorations before retiring at night and any time you leave your home. Commissioner Sid Miller, the Texas Department of Agriculture and the Texas Christmas Tree Growers Association wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving and happy Christmas tree hunting! It might be the best shopping experience of the holiday season. 14


HENDERSON: A TEXAS TOWN BIG ON VARIETY When you put together a history of honest and hardworking pioneers; a heritage of friendly folks with a “can-do” spirit striving to build a better community; and a blessing of abundant and beautiful natural resources, what do you get? None other than the rolling hills and pine forests of the Northeast Texas town of Henderson. As a GO TEXAN Certified Retirement Community, Henderson has a lot to be proud of. It is designated as both a Texas and National Main Street City. Named after the first governor of Texas, James Pinckney Henderson, Henderson provides residents with a relaxed and friendly rural atmosphere with a sophisticated and intelligent charm. Boots and jeans, rodeos, fishing, hunting, birding, coffee shops, gourmet cafes, tennis, parks, golfing, 16

theater, museums and historic homes are all found in this special place. Community events like Independence Day events, theatre performances and the Heritage Syrup Festival provide fun for the whole family. Henderson offers the conveniences and hassle-free living of small town America, yet provides many goods and services normally only found in larger communities. It’s also centrally located in the heart of East Texas, allowing for easy access to the larger communities of Tyler (30 miles), Longview (25 miles), Nacogdoches (30 miles) and Shreveport (65 miles). Stop by soon and see for yourself why Henderson is such a special place to visit.



There’s nothing like taking your passion and making a business out of it. That’s exactly what the owners of the Vintage Grill & Car Museum in Weatherford have done. Located on Fort Worth highway in the original 1930’s McDavid auto dealership building, the Vintage Grill & Car Museum combines farmto-table, southern style, indoor and outdoor dining with an eclectic collection of vintage automobiles. And there’s a bar and gift shop to boot! A Metroplex favorite destination spot, Vintage Grill & Car Museum offers lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. Using high-quality ingredients, the 18

menu features Southern favorites like chicken and waffles, chicken-fried steak, ribs, burgers, fish tacos, salads and more. As much produce as possible is sourced directly from Texas growers at the famous Weatherford Farmers Market across the street. The vintage automobile gallery is free and open during restaurant hours Cars on display include: a 1930 Buick, 1940 LaSalle, 1948 Studebaker sheriff ’s patrol car, 1948 and ’64 Lincolns that belonged to President Lyndon B. Johnson and an East German-made 1975 Trabant. Learn more by clicking here.





noot Designs contact designer, Anithia Oliver, said that certain criteria needed to be met before their company was able to grow from a crew of weekend hobbyists to a serious business venture specializing in personalized and engraved gifts. It wasn’t until 2015 that Knoot Designs became the business that it is today.

design, etch and engrave to provide a personalized touch to any occasion.”

“Helping our customers personalize their life is our passion,” Oliver said. “From corporate awards to gifts from your MiMi, we truly love what we do! We love being a part of the GO TEXAN network.”

“Shopping small and buying local is essential to growing our communities and local economies,” Oliver said.

Knoot Designs became a GO TEXAN member because they wanted to show their support for agribusiness. “And of course GO TEXAN gives us a great opportunity to network in our state and beyond,” Oliver said.

As for what’s on the horizon, Knoot Designs has plenty of plans. “We When trying to figure out a name for started our business with laser their company, Anithia said the final idea engraving, but earlier this year we blossomed all because of a polar bear. decided to add color to our product offering by adding a UV printer,” “In 2006, we followed closely the story Oliver said. “We will continuously of a cute little polar bear named Knut, look out for new trends and add which was born in the Berlin Zoo,” additional capabilities where we see a Oliver said. “During discussions about demand.” our business name, Knut came up. We changed the spelling to Knoot for ease For more information on Knoot of pronunciation. The full name, Knoot Designs, click here. Designs, encompasses our desire to 21

TEXAS 4-H: RIGHT ON THE DOT Dottie Cook, a Texas 4-H Extension Associate is honored to serve–as she calls it–the life-giving sector that is the agricultural industry. Her passion is livestock production and watching youth make a difference in agriculture and do more than just raise animals at a livestock show.

opportunity to attend and work at all of the Texas major livestock shows.

As a Texas 4-H Extension Associate, Cook is particularly fond of getting the

For more information on how you can get involved with Texas 4-H click here.

“I get to watch exhibitors’ most triumphant and hardest moments; both are success stories to me,” said Cook. “Whether they win or lose in the show ring, I get to watch them exit the arena to an embrace from family members and mentors who have walked with them “Our nation’s livestock industry provides Americans and people in their journey throughout the year. It takes outstanding teammates and leaders all over the world with the most abundant, safe and wholesome protein to help exhibitors get there. To watch supply on the planet,” Cook said. “I am both parties revel in the moment at the proud to serve this industry and help end of a successful year makes my job develop young leaders that will help the best in the world.” feed our growing population.” “We are doing more than raising Cook knows that the secret to a youth livestock,” Cook said. “Our industry leadership program like Texas 4-H is raises young people that will make a the quality of its members. “We get difference tomorrow. It is more than to work with some of the best young leading a calf around a ring and the people in the country and are able to banners and buckles. It‘s all about watch our youth succeed – in the show life skill development, agricultural ring, in formal education settings and in education, fair competition and family dealings with others,” Cook said. involvement.”




Not every bo champions th nor can they source that is natural filter atmospheric chlorinated.

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Beyond the p 24


ottled water company he great state of Texas, y boast of a pure water s brought through a without any surface or c pressure and is never

Texas Crystal Water have endeavored to stand out from the competition with its packaging.

extensive charitable, civic and church involvement.

One way they support local “The original concept behind organizations is through their our patriotic red, white, and blue custom label packaging, allowing Texas theme label was to create companies and organizations to unique shelf appeal by utilizing purchase water with individuallyuse Texas Crystal Water a distinguishing logo that designed private labels for events. m aquifers deep under identifies the product as an allas. Unlike a natural Texas product,” Marta Mattox, The future looks bright for Texas re water surfaces on its owner and CEO, said. “Texas Crystal Water. erground pressure, this pride is legendary” ured into a borehole “Since our label was initially es not come into The printing on the bottle says, developed in 1995, we have worked any possible surface “Grab a Taste of Texas” and hard to carefully position our eric contamination. showcases the GO TEXAN brand in many highly competitive mark to show Lone Star pride. venues, including grocery and d provides benefits They also promote the Texas convenience stores, theaters and rystal proudly Department of Transportation’s convention centers, bars and um purified water.” “Don’t Mess with Texas” antirestaurants, news and gift stores, barriers that protect litter and recycling campaign. fitness centers and vending sites and bacteria, markets,” said Mattox. g process removes By championing Texas and being tal contaminates friendly to the environment that For more information on where es their water’s taste supplies them their product, to find Texas Crystal Water or on dition of minerals and Texas Crystal Water is indeed having their bottled water for your of PH. a red, white, blue and green organization, click here. company. They also support product’s contents, their local community through 25



his delicious dessert recipe combines the sweet taste of bread pudding and chocolate with the official state nut of Texas — the pecan. The best part is pecans are in season right now.

Custard Ingredients: ¾ cup Whole milk 1 - 1½ cups Heavy whipping cream 1 tsp. Vanilla extract ¾ cup Sugar 1 Egg 5 Egg yolks Bread Pudding Ingredients: 6 slices Toasted white bread 1 serving Custard ⅔ cup Chocolate sauce ¾ cup Caramelized pecans Chocolate Sauce Ingredients: 6 oz. High-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped 3 tbsp. Water ¼ cup Heavy cream 3 tbsp. Sugar Caramelized Pecans Ingredients: 1 cup Texas pecans ½ cup Sugar 1 - 1½ tbsp. Butter 2 tbsp. Water 1 pinch Salt Custard Directions: 1. Combine milk, cream, vanilla and sugar in a small pot or sauté pan, and cook until sugar is dissolved. 2. Place egg and yolks into a bowl and whisk together.

3. Slowly add in the warm cream mixture while whisking the eggs. This will keep them from curdling. Bread Pudding Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 325 ° F. 2. Soak bread and custard together in a bowl, then transfer to a baking dish. 3. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and keep warm. 3. While the bread pudding bakes, make chocolate sauce. Chocolate Sauce Directions: 1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Place the bowl over a pot with simmering water, and stir until chocolate is dissolved and mixed well. 2. Transfer chocolate sauce into a small container to keep warm until ready to serve. Caramelized Pecans Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 275 ° F. 2. Heat pecans in medium sauté pan with the sugar, butter, water and salt mixture, and cook until the water evaporates. 3. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until very crunchy. To serve: Top the bread pudding with the chocolate sauce and caramelized pecans, and serve warm. 27


Take the Challenge and WIN PRIZES! 28

Grab your mobile devices and cameras and send us pictures of the GO TEXAN mark — on products on the shelf or in your hands, on signs, vehicles or printed materials. Get creative!

Prizes include GO TEXAN t-shirts, glasses and hats.

To enter, tell us where you saw the product and GO TEXAN mark, and post your photo (be sure to use the We will judge your social media post #GOTEXAN hashtag) on Facebook, or emailed photo based on originality, Instagram or Twitter. We will share creativity, composition, the “fun factor” your posts and select winners once and, occasionally, we’ll randomly pick per month. You may also enter by winners! If you win, we will notify you emailing us your photo. that we’re about to send you some stylish GO TEXAN swag. Have fun ... and happy hunting!



UPCOMING TEXAS EVENTS Nov. 15 – Feb. 19: Dinosaurs Live, McKinney Nov. 18: Lights On!, Bryan Nov. 19: Gillespie County Wild Game Dinner, Fredericksburg Nov. 25 – Dec. 11: Christmas Tree Farm Hay Rides, Brookshire Nov. 25: Christmas Tree Lighting & German Pyramid, Fredericksburg Nov. 26: Breakfast with Santa, Magnolia Dec. 2–18: Christmas Wine Affair, Texas Hill Country Dec. 3: Tamale Festival, Houston View more Texas events here. 31


Launched in 1999 by the Texas Department of Agriculture, GO TEXAN, with its signature mark in the shape of Texas, celebrates, promotes and supports the business savvy and plainspoken grit Texas agriculture is known for throughout the world. Whether it’s grown, sewn or served up on a plate, nearly 27 million Texans shop, travel and dine out in support of Texas businesses, agriculture and communities, looking for the GO TEXAN mark to light the way. To learn more about the GO TEXAN program, call (877) 99-GOTEX or visit the GO TEXAN website. Tell others about GO TEXAN! One great and easy way is to forward them this publication. All your friends have to do to is click here to subscribe, and they’ll start receiving the Go Local. GO TEXAN. free monthly e-zine.

About the Texas Department of Agriculture

TDA’s mission is to partner with all Texans to make Texas the nation’s leader in agriculture, fortify our economy, empower rural communities, promote healthy lifestyles, and cultivate winning strategies for rural, suburban and urban Texas through exceptional service and the common threads of agriculture in our daily lives. 32

Profile for GO TEXAN

Go Local. GO TEXAN. November e-zine  

The latest news on Texas food, wine, restaurants, recipes, gardening, style and more.

Go Local. GO TEXAN. November e-zine  

The latest news on Texas food, wine, restaurants, recipes, gardening, style and more.

Profile for gotexan