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Old 09-03-2014, 07:34 AM   #1
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Pecans

The new property has 4 massive (75 - 100 ft tall)pecan trees on the grounds. I've never seen so many pecans. The outer husks are still green and just beginning to split. Harvest for zone 8 is said to be September/October.

How does one go about harvesting this crop? Any tricks of the trade to share? How do you get the husks off?

The squirrels seem rather happy about the nuts too, but if they don't stop dropping them on the roof, I'm gonna need a recipe for fricassee.

.40
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Old 09-03-2014, 07:47 AM   #2
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I can't answer your question, but make sure you prune them trees and season them trimmings! Can't get much better smoking wood than pecan. I bet pecan fattened squirrel might be tasty.
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:19 AM   #3
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The new property has 4 massive (75 - 100 ft tall)pecan trees on the grounds. I've never seen so many pecans. The outer husks are still green and just beginning to split. Harvest for zone 8 is said to be September/October.

How does one go about harvesting this crop? Any tricks of the trade to share? How do you get the husks off?

The squirrels seem rather happy about the nuts too, but if they don't stop dropping them on the roof, I'm gonna need a recipe for fricassee.

.40
Are they related to walnuts? There used to be an old English saying "A woman, a dog and a walnut tree - the more you beat 'em the better they be" I don't recommend the first two but beating the walnut tree to bring down the nuts was supposed to sort of prune it as well and encourage more sprouting. It might work with pecans.

Is it true that a Pecan tree can bear fruit for as long as 300 years? Can't remember where I read it as it was years ago.

[Incidentally, is it pee-cans (as we say it) or puca-a-rns as an American chef calls them on TV?]
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:26 AM   #4
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[Incidentally, is it pee-cans (as we say it) or puca-a-rns as an American chef calls them on TV?]
Six one way,1/2 a dozen the other. I call them puh caans.
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:35 AM   #5
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Six one way,1/2 a dozen the other. I call them puh caans.
As a Bostonian, I pronounce the "a" as ah in pecan. Pa cahn How would Queen Elizabeth pronounce it?
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:21 AM   #6
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As a Bostonian, I pronounce the "a" as ah in pecan. Pa cahn How would Queen Elizabeth pronounce it?
In native Texan it is pronounced puh-caan.

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Old 09-03-2014, 09:52 AM   #7
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There are quite a few pecan trees in my neighborhood. I don't have one, but walking around, I see pecans in the shells lying on the ground, so I think the husk just comes off when they're ready. Or maybe the husk becomes the shell as it dries. Here's an entertaining description I found: http://www.texaspecantrees.com/Harvesting_Pecans.html
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:53 AM   #8
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In this part of the country you hear it both ways, Puh-cahns, pee-cans etc..

I just call them delicious!
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Old 09-03-2014, 11:03 AM   #9
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As a Bostonian, I pronounce the "a" as ah in pecan. Pa cahn How would Queen Elizabeth pronounce it?
To be honest, the subject has never come up in our conversations when she's popped in for a cuppa

Seriously though, as the topic has arisen, here's a picture you might find interesting. The Queen made a visit to Marple while touring the north west of England in 1968 and visited a project that I had been involved in. The girl second from the left in the hat, next to the girl in uniform, is me aged 19. I have always thought I was probably chosen to be presented because I was still at school so wouldn't lose a day's pay! The woman facing the line up is HM - not a very flattering shot. She shook my hand - I didn't wash for a week.

http://visitmarple.co.uk/photos/albu...n_visit_09.jpg

This is a better one of her on the same occasion:-

http://visitmarple.co.uk/photos/albu...n_visit_11.jpg

(Photos courtesy of the "Manchester Evening News" and the Marple Website)

My parents were watching from the bridge above the canal bank where we were lined up. According to my mother, my dad, who always professed to be an anti-monarchist, was very taken with the Queen when he saw he in the flesh.
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Old 09-03-2014, 11:23 AM   #10
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I think my grandmother used to put sheets around the tree and then they either beat on it with a stick or shook it depending on how big the tree was. The sheets made it easier to gather them up. As a kid I really didn't pay that much attention but I think I remember them talking about doing it. By the time I was old enough to pay attention to things like that, they had retired and sold the farm.

FYI though, pecan trees tend to get brittle and shed their branches, as well as fall over in wind storms. Craig's last batch of smoking wood came from my cousin-in-law's property where a tree had fallen over several months previously in a wind storm.
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Old 09-03-2014, 11:40 AM   #11
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We have and have had pecans here as long as I can remember.
The green husks will open up and the nut will fall to the ground. We generally let 'em sit for a week or two to finish drying, but you can use them as soon as you pick 'em up, if you want/need to.
Here at Casa de Hoot, we pronounce it pee-can.
You will likely need one of these devices
Pecan Picker Upper
You can find this device at most hardware stores. Saves your back from a whole lot of bending over.
Better yet, if you got kids/grand kids, they can help a lot.
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Old 09-03-2014, 02:19 PM   #12
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Covering my ears with my hands. I do NOT want to hear about your pecans. I am so jealous!!!!!!! Lucky you!
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Old 09-03-2014, 02:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Cook View Post
To be honest, the subject has never come up in our conversations when she's popped in for a cuppa

Seriously though, as the topic has arisen, here's a picture you might find interesting. The Queen made a visit to Marple while touring the north west of England in 1968 and visited a project that I had been involved in. The girl second from the left in the hat, next to the girl in uniform, is me aged 19. I have always thought I was probably chosen to be presented because I was still at school so wouldn't lose a day's pay! The woman facing the line up is HM - not a very flattering shot. She shook my hand - I didn't wash for a week.

http://visitmarple.co.uk/photos/albu...n_visit_09.jpg

This is a better one of her on the same occasion:-

http://visitmarple.co.uk/photos/albu...n_visit_11.jpg

(Photos courtesy of the "Manchester Evening News" and the Marple Website)

My parents were watching from the bridge above the canal bank where we were lined up. According to my mother, my dad, who always professed to be an anti-monarchist, was very taken with the Queen when he saw he in the flesh.
I must say I like your hat more than hers. And as pretty as she has always been, you are so sweet looking. She always though has had a beautiful smile.
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Old 09-03-2014, 03:16 PM   #14
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Lee Valley. which I believe has outlets in the US, sells a nut and fruit gatherer. I gave one of these to a friend who had an acorn issue in CT.

Lee Valley Tools - Important Announcement
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Old 09-03-2014, 03:17 PM   #15
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The commercial growers, when they become ready, when the hulls open and expose the nut shell, use mechanized shakers, heavy trucks with an arm that grabs the tree and shakes it, letting the nuts fall into tarps spread under it.


But the rest of us pick them up as they drop or "thrash" for them. Thrashing is just throwing a stout stick into the tree repeatedly to knock the nuts loose. I know a number of Texas cities with ordinances criminalizing thrashing of trees not your own.

The squirrels will do considerable damage, especially at times like this when the drought hasn't left them much else. They will take a bite out of a green pecan and drop it. They don't seem to know when they're ready, or they're just bored. Pecan pie makes a good dessert following fricassee of squirrel.

The shell situation depends. There are native pecans that are small with tough shells. Very good meat, but hard to get at. Papershells and such are easier and can be done by hand. Or, you can find out where in the area someone has a machine for cracking pecans. The machine takes them all in and shatters the shells, making it easy to get the meats out. They normally work on a split. They get some percentage of the nuts. If they're not impossibly tough little natives, an impact cracker works well. Like this rubber band driven one:


You can get some folks to help, but you have to stuff them pretty good first, or they'll eat as they shell, and the pecan will end up in them instead of the bowl. Freeze the meats for future use.

If they turn out to be good pecans, learn to take care of the tree, how to prune and fertilize. A pecan tree take a LOT of water to stay healthy. And be real alert for bag worms that will build a web nest and then hatch out to eat the leaves.

A top producing variety of mature tree at peak productivity can produce up to 500 pounds under ideal conditions. Mostly, it's much less and quite variable from year to year. The good news is that a good tree can produce for 100 years, even 200 years if well pruned and cared for. Pecans were terribly expensive last year. The Chinese had discovered them, and they were the latest big thing there. A bit cheaper this year. But always enough to be worth gathering.

If you have a dog, and the dog discovers the crop, they'll eat themselves full of pecans.
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Old 09-03-2014, 03:30 PM   #16
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In native Texan it is pronounced puh-caan.

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It depends. But it's either Pee-cans or Pucahns or puh-caans. It doesn't really matter we all know what they mean - pie!!!!!

I spent some time in Louisiana quite a few years ago during the season. They waited for them to fall on the ground and grabbed them up.

You can gently use a pair of pliers to crack the hull, but I noticed some people used a vise type thing where you put the nut in place with both ends in this thingy and gradually screwed it until the shell cracks.

I'll look for a google image for you.

The most important thing to remember is gently. A smashed pecan is not a pretty sight, nor is it really edible.

Once the hull is removed, there are often some debris between the convolutions of the meat. This must be removed. It's bitter.

I go and look now for a picture for you.
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Old 09-03-2014, 03:37 PM   #17
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Oh dear, there are so many types. I googled pecan shellers, and found lots of types.
It sounds like a project.

From what I remember of the past encounter with pecans, the people used a mechanical device and shelled pecans while watching TV in the evening. Then they would sell the pecans.

Let us know when the pies are ready! I loooovvvvve pecan pie!
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:09 PM   #18
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I'm glad you're happy about the pecan trees .40, After reading all of this thread, I'm sitting here wondering if the sellers of your beautiful new place were sick of dealing with the work involved. Since you hold down a full time paying job, you're sure going to need some help!
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:29 PM   #19
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Pecans

No pecans grown here, but we have hickories. I made some wonderful cakes years ago with our apples and hickory nuts, but oh good gravy, what a LOT of work. I smashed the nuts with a hammer and picked the meats out with a nut pick. Nowadays, I haven't bothered as the squirrels get most of them, and what they leave for us have nut weevils.
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:42 PM   #20
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In this part of the country you hear it both ways, Puh-cahns, pee-cans etc..

I just call them delicious!
A pastry chef friend of mine corrected me and told me that a "pee can" is what you take in the boat. (I'm sure you can fill in the blank for which one would use that pee can...).
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