Sunday, November 16, 2008

Full Wheel Deal

Finally..pecans! Last Friday I finally had a chance to go out with my wheel and gather up some pecans. A norther with strong winds blew in last Saturday night and sent the pecans and the leaves falling. Most of the trees have absolutely no pecans but then there are some that have quite a few. Don't get me wrong.. I wouldn't exactly call this a harvest this year but we are getting more than a few pecans. Between the coyotes and the squirrels, it's slim pickin's. I think this is the first year we've really had a problem with the squirrels. I go to pick up pecans and find that a squirrel has eaten the end off! They're cute but they can sure be a nuisance in a pecan orchard. I'm not real crazy about going on a squirrel hunt. I think I'd rather put out a live trap and relocate them. Now, come on.... what's my choice? Squirrels or pecan pie? Or... pecans or squirrel pie? I'll go with the pecan pie.

We're in the process of fencing in what will be the yard around the house. It will not only keep the coyotes out of the yard but also the horses. Keep in mind that we are living in the 5th wheel RV while the house is being built and sometimes when I go to open the door, the horses are standing right there! The fence man should be back tomorrow to finish. I'll post pictures when he's done.

Several people have asked what kind of pecans we have here. To give a little background about the orchard, a prominent businessman and a professor and extension horticulturist from Texas A&M University started this orchard about 25-30 years ago. It has been told to us that one of them wanted to leave something that would keep on going long after he's gone. From what we understand, they planted a variety of pecans out here. We get all kinds including Choctaw, Wichita and natives to name a few. They are sized like a small sweet potato to a small pumpkin shape to the size of a peanut and also long and skinny like a bullet. We are continuing to learn everything we can about the orchard and hope that we will make Ol' Army Lou proud.

These days I don't go out without my little pecan wheel so I don't miss picking up a pecan. I love picking up pecans! It's so relaxing; it's my quiet time to walk through the leaves and do some serious thinking. I tend to get in a bad habit of walking around with my head down constantly looking for pecans. This time of year we end up with pecans everywhere. There's usually a few in my pockets or in my truck or on the kitchen table. I even see pecans in my sleep.

I'll leave you with a tip about storing pecans -
Place shelled pecans in an airtight container or plastic zip-top freezer bag. Label with date of purchase. Store in refrigerator for 6-9 months or preferably in the freezer for up to 2 years. Pecans can be thawed and refrozen and not lose their quality.

Happy Trails...

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