Sometimes it takes a farmers’ market to realize the gems in your own backyard. That’s what happened to me this summer at the Arbuckle Farmers Market as I strolled up to Jeffreys Pecans booth. “Really, fresh pecans in Colusa County?” I asked. The answer was a resounding, “Yes.”
As I spoke with Don Bright and Theresa Jeffreys Bright I learned that their family’s land in Williams dates back to 1876 when Thomas Jeffreys, a blacksmith from Sycamore, bought the property from the railroad. The land has been passed down to various family members through the years, and in 2006 the current generation, Don and Theresa, planted 40 acres of pecans and an additional 50 acres in 2008.
After a short discussion, it became clear to me that the Jeffreys are passionate about educating people about pecans. In addition to selling pecans at the farmers market, shipping pecans overseas, and selling pecans from their home, they have also created their own farm-to-school program where they take pecans to Williams Elementary School and Arbuckle Elementary School. There they give presentations on pecan varieties, pecan nutrition, pecan growing requirements and pass out samples for kids to try. The Jeffreys have also provided pecans for the 4-H Food Competition and would like to expand their educational outreach to other schools and programs in the county.
“The majority of our pecans will always be sold bulk and shipped overseas, but we keep enough in reserve to provide high quality nuts for people in our county,” said Theresa.