Nuts are different from most other food items. When planted, the nut contains substances, such as fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals within the nut kernel to survive and nourish the embryonic nut tree until the roots, stems, and the leaves are developed enough to independently maintain the developmental aspects, such as intake of water and minerals by the roots, and the formation of chlorophyll within the leaves and stems, thus developing into a living organism, that can survive as a perennial tree and reproduce more of its kind. The remarkable, internal, compressed potential within a shelled nut seed offers to the health of mankind a perfect food, containing all the necessary elements to successfully survive for short periods of time. The nuts contain protein, fats, and carbohydrates, being themselves capable of sustaining life for short periods, but the high concentrations of these products can make them somewhat difficult to digest if eaten exclusively in a diet. The nutritional value of nuts is obvious when compared to the completeness of survival capability of nut trees, compared with the nutritional composition and content of such vegetative foods as cabbage, apples, tomatoes, or other leafy annuals.
In 1789, George Washington, the nations very first President, made a trip by river barge to Flushing, NY, to visit the nations very first nursery, that was established in the year, 1737. Contained inside this pioneering nursery were nut trees such as: pecan trees....'Carya illinoinensis,' which were among the plants that were protected by troops sent to surround and barricade Prince nursery and to prevent it from being destroyed during the war, and from potentially eradicating this rare collection the pecan species that were growing there.. Correspondence between Thomas Jefferson and George Washington shows that successfully, Jefferson grew Carya illinoinensis, pecan trees that produced nuts, some of which he had sent ahead to George Washington who responded to Jefferson from his Mount Vernon, VA., home, "Agriculture is the noblest of all professions. "During the era of the Thomas Jefferson's Presidency, Lewis and Clark, on expeditions of the Northwest territories of the United States, brought back specimen plants roots and seeds, that could be examined and used as quality root stock at the Prince nursery, New York location.
William Bartram wrote that in 1793, in his botanical book, Travels, page 38, that identified American plants and animals names and Indians that he had formally encountered and were located just west of Augusta, Georgia. There Bartram also identified the nut tree, 'Juglans exaltata.' When traveling near Mobile, AL. in l773, Bartram wrote, page 437, that he "Observed growing in a garden in Mobile, two large trees of the Juglans pecan, and the Dioscorea bulbifera."
Although it is common knowledge that nuts grow on trees, few people know that nuts also grow on bushes. Through the analyzing of the fossil record, it can be proven that on three of the seven continents...America, Asia and Europe, that nuts have been foraged and eaten fresh, or preserved in a cool dark places for centuries. In ancient burial mounds it has been shown that some cultures ground the nuts up into a power, and combined it with flower to add flavor to breads. Also overlooked by many is the medicinal use of the nut and berry plants as a whole. Often in the fossil record is proof that all parts of many kinds of plants were used to make medicines, and to try and homeopathically cure common illnesses and ailments.
The geographical range of nut trees covers most of the United States and pecan trees, American chestnut trees, California walnut trees, and shagbark hickory trees are native trees, some occurring as widely distributed natural forests. Hickory trees perhaps cover a wider range, because of the cold hardiness, than any of the other nut trees. Despite the fact of the pecan tree's Southern origin, the nut shows a surprisingly resilient resistance to cold. The pecan tree will live through low temperatures of zero degrees Fahrenheit and other drastic, sudden weather changes.
The most satisfactory nut trees grown in the United States on a commercial scale, by backyard gardeners, or by tree collectors are Almond tree, 'Prunus dulcis,' American chestnut tree, 'Castanea dentata,' Chinese chestnut tree, 'Castanea sativa,' Allegheny chinquapin (chinkapin) tree, 'Casanea pumila,' American filbert (hazelnut) tree, 'Corylus americana,' shagbark hickory tree, 'Carya ovata,' pecan tree, 'Carya illinnoinensis,' Butternut walnut (white walnut) tree, 'Juglans cinerea,' California walnut tree, 'Juglans hindsii,' black walnut tree, 'Juglans nigra,' English (Persian) walnut tree, 'Juglans regia,' and Heartnut walnut tree, 'Juglans ailantifolia.'
Many tropical nut trees, such as cashew trees, macadamia nut trees, and Brazil nut trees, can not be grown in most climate zones of the Unite States except Hawaii, extreme southern Florida, and extreme southern California.
Most nut tasters and food gourmets agree that the shelled pecan is a much more desirable nut in respect to the flavor, cost of production , and an available nut supply over almonds, but the aggressive and cooperative superior marketing promotion of the Almond Nut Association has left the bureaucratic and primitive marketing strategies of the Southern Pecan Association far behind. One advantage gained by almond tree promoters is that all European and Mideastern countries grew and used almond nuts in their food supply for centuries, and pecan nut promoters have not properly distributed and advertised this unfamiliar American product to a massive market exposure, and to those foreign markets to the sampling of the pecan that is necessary to be successful. Pecan shelled nuts also offer tremendous benefits to healthy bodies since their kernels contain extremely high concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids, that are so high in antioxidants, and they protect the heart by removing clogging cholesterols that interfere with blood flow in veins and arteries.
A recent cost comparison of shelled nuts showed that almonds cost $6.00 per pound, walnuts $4.50 per pounds, and pecans $9.00 per pound. Nuts offer a delicious, healthy product to world markets with profitable financial rewards to those who choose to plant nut trees and market the the shelled product.