Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Oh, Pecans!

What a pecan harvest we're having!Two years ago, Adam fertilized our main pecan trees. Last year, he rigorously cleaned underneath them. This year, we're reaping the benefits of that work, I think. Here's a quick video showing the 18 pecan trees we have.

I gather them with a little device we bought, and we store them on the front porch to cure. This is the haul thus far.
At first I picked up any pecan with a hull that was dry and open. I thought it didn't matter much, the state of the hull. After cracking and picking pecans for several evenings, Adam told me it does matter. The best, most fully-formed pecans have NO hull attached at all. So I began selecting only nuts that had fallen and had no hull attached at all.
I'm not exaggerating when I say that for every nut I pick up, I leave at least 20 on the ground, because they have hulls still on them, in some form.
We have thousands of pecans on the ground. It would be overwhelming, but thankfully I have no inclination to get them all.
Looking from the pasture toward the road, these five pecan trees are the large ones, very old, and very prolific this year. They are (we think) Stuarts, and their nuts look like this:
A good nut is fat, heavy, and light in color, as above. I don't want to add to Adam's work by picking up bad pecans.
In addition to those five trees, I'm also picking up around this tree by the barn.

Its nuts look like this (above), more pointed on one end. I'm not sure, but it might be an Amling variety.

The two trees in the middle of the pasture are also producing in alarming amounts, but their nuts are smaller (compared to the Amling above). I'm not picking them up at all, until I'm done with the other six trees' nuts. But when we walk along the path there, we crunch pecans underfoot.

Here's the view from the back of the property. It's a massive canopy of pecan limbs. To Ned's disappointment, an enemy squirrel can travel overhead from the road nearly to the barn, without being in danger of Ned's teeth.

The other enemy of pecans is the pecan weevil. This insect has larvae that bore their way out of a pecan, after eating the meat inside, and then drop into the soil to start the weevil cycle all over again.
When I see nuts like this, I crunch them under my heel. They are hollow and useless.

Although I grew up in Mississippi gathering pecans in our yard, watching my mother process them each winter, and enjoying my share of pecan pies, I'm fairly ignorant of how the tree produces and what to expect from our trees, year to year. Cleaning up the "pecan trash" under the trees reduces the effect of the weevil.We have so much "pecan trash" -- bad nuts, plus all the hulls -- we are dumping it all on our garden beds out front. They are far enough away from the trees that any weevils in there won't reach the trees.

In addition to the pecans, on the front porch I'm drying loofahs, drying herbs for tea, and beginning to move in potted plants for the winter. Adam has enclosed the porch in plastic again.
lemon balm, tarragon, and mint

volunteer toatoes

 Today it's 70 degrees. Adam is raking the mown grass in the far field, adding it to his compost mountain.
 And because he's the best doggie-daddy, he put up a puppy play area for Trixie. The other dogs taunted her with their freedom to roam.
 Poor Trixie. There are Ned, Beau, and Baby.
My onion sets in the garden have come up nicely. That's almost all I have left in the garden.
 I'll harvest them next year.
Now I'm going out to dig up a late basil plant and put it in a big pot for the greenhouse/porch. Maybe we'll have basil this winter, in addition to those tomato plants. Do you know the prettiest, newest, herb in my garden? Cilantro. Go figure! It's as fresh and pretty as if it were April.


  1. Wow, what a pecan haul! I bet you could sell some at the market you set up at.

    Enjoyed your little video and hearing your voice.

    Enjoy life on the farm and happy fall ~ FlowerLady

  2. WOW That is a bountiful harvest, M.K. I so enjoyed this information about pecans, we have two small trees and the squirrels beat us to the few we have. So I have to buy my pecans.
    There is always something to do on a farm, aren't there. the work is never done,. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Lots of pecan goodness! I can just taste the pecan pie! :)
    I love your porch/greenhouse. It wouldn't work in our area, but it sure looks inviting with all the drying produce. You constantly inspire me! Loved the video!

  4. Wow so many pecans. What a great harvest!!

  5. Wow, 18 pecan trees! Your harvest is gorgeous. I've learned the same thing about them - that the ones with hull still attached when they fall aren't well developed. I can kind of tell when I pick up a pecan off the ground. The good ones are a little heavier in weight and always have good meats in them. Everything else looks good too. :)

  6. What an interesting video. It was lovely to hear your accent. I noticed pecan nuts in my local shop last week and have to confess that I have never tasted one. I will rectify that soon!

    I expect the pecan "rubbish" will make good mulch. We actually have to pay for something similar here.


Welcome to the farm! Please let me hear from you ~