Mid-Missouri home to state's pecan capital
BRUNSWICK – Pecan trees are the root of Brunswick’s tourism industry, and this town is “nuts” about pecans.
The Chariton County town is home to fewer than 1,000 people, and they take pride in their hometown, and all the pecans.
Pecan farms surround the town, and farmers harvest and ship pecans to stores and brokers. Brunswick's pecan farms harvest thousands of pounds of pecans each year.
Several businesses line the streets of Brunswick, along with the world’s largest pecan, which weighs a whopping 12,000 pounds and stands at seven feet tall.
The town hosts its annual Pecan Festival each October, where people from all over the state come to celebrate pecans and Brunswick’s small-town atmosphere. The festival brings in venders and freshly baked pecan pies for a pie contest. This year’s first-place pie sold for $1,400.
There’s even royalty at the festival, with a queen crowned each year. The 2018 queen, Sophie Kussman, said being from the state’s pecan capital is a great conversation starter wherever she goes.
“I was like ‘oh I’m from Brunswick, Missouri’, and they were like ‘where is that’ and I was like ‘it’s the pecan capital of Missouri, just a fun fact.’ And they were like ‘oh my gosh,’” she said.
Cheyenne Miller-Deitch is the manager of Miller Pecan Farms. She said some of her farm’s pecans go far beyond mid-Missouri.
“We have a lot of our pecans staying in Missouri, and we’re very proud of that. But we do ship to all 50 states,” she said.
Miller-Deitch said pecan harvest season runs from October to January, and during this time farmers are either handpicking the pecans, shaking them off the trees or using machines to gather the nuts from the ground.
She said pecans have several health benefits, and people buy them for both baking and eating straight out of the bag.