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The Solution To All Your Pecan Problems

November 22, 2009

(to order your Texas organic pecans for all your holiday pie-baking needs:  WHRI Organic Pecans – yum!)

Alright, folks. You know what time it is. That’s right, I’m talking ’bout Fall. Autumn. Thanksgiving. And along with this season comes weather change, naked trees, eating Turkey, increased fireplace activity, and so on. This post is concerning the “and so on”. Today, I am bringing you a knowledge nugget so rich you’ll need to dilute it with water or at least bite it off in small chunks at a time. We’re talking about how you can get pecans off the tree and into your mouth. Anyone can do it and everyone should. In case you don’t know how to do this, I’m going to tell you…coming straight at you in two dimensions! So sit back in your swivel office chair, keep your finger on the scroll button, and turn up or down your internet radio to an appropriate level.

Ok. First thing you need to do is find a native pecan grove or plant an orchard. After you plant, wait 15-20 years until the trees are old enough to start producing. You’ll have a lot of free time in between, so you might want to find a way to pass the time…like a part-time job or build a canoe or something. Next, you’ll need to go out on a crisp fall day when it’s dry and a little windy. Take a hearty work crew with you that is excited about life and can’t wait to strain their bodies for cheap/free.

It wouldn’t hurt to do some pecan yoga beforehand. This is good for even the limberest of the limber. It doesn’t do much for the body. It’s mostly a good way to procrastinate from having to get to work.

Spread out your vinyl tarps around the base of the tree. Make sure you get the real thick kind that are heavy and awkward to carry. Watch out for fire ant hills, armadillo holes, and irrigation pipes.

So you’ve got your tree, you’ve got your tarps in place, now you’re ready to shake.

So go ahead and jump on the tractor and…oh wait. You’re tractor is missing a bolt, the hydrolics aren’t working, or just won’t start for some reason. You better figure out how to fix this.

Ok, you’ve jimmy-rigged some solution to the tractor, now you’re ready to shake! Back up the tractor with the shaker implement up to the tree.

You’ve locked on with the jaws of the shaker…now rev up the RPM’s, engage the PTO, and let ‘er rip!

Whew! what a shake! The wind will hopefully have blown most of the leaves off into the wild blue yonder and your precious pecans should have fallen into the open arms of your tarp….along with hordes of sticks and twigs and caterpillars. Now, pull the tarps to the next tree in the row and repeat the process.

The tarps will get progressively heavier as you go. This is OK. This means you’re bringing home the bacon. It might ruin your knees and back, but just think of all those pecans you’ll be swimming in later!

After the load gets too heavy, and the crew is starting to lose moral, call for a “tarp dump”. This is a technical term in the pecan production industry which means you take the tarps and dump the contents in the back of the trailer. (Take note, this by far the worst part of the job. If you can get past this, consider yourself a trooper, and don’t feel guilty about the next slice of greasy pizza you eat.) After the tarp dump, stand back and say to yourself, “oh yeah”.

Now, some of you might be thinking: “Cool. I’ve got pecans out of the tree. Let’s eat!” Hold your horses, just one minute. You’ve only done half the job! You’ve got pecans, but you’ve also got leaves and sticks and twigs and caterpillars. If you want to eat those, then go ahead and call it a day. But if your stomach can’t handle all that stuff, read on. Take your load up to the barn and unload it on a tarp and start shoveling it into the sorting machine.

Have one person pull the big sticks and twigs out of the hopper so they don’t clog up the machine because this makes you really frustrated when this happens.

As the trash gets blown away, the good pecans will pass through and fall onto the conveyor belt. Now you feel like Lucille Ball as you sort the good and bad pecans. Throw out all the bad ones and let the good ones fall into the bucket at the end of the belt. Don’t put any in your mouth because the shell tastes gross.
When you’ve sorted through the whole load, check out all those glorious pecans! Whoa mamma!

Now take the pecans that you’ve sorted out that still have the green husks on them and stomp on them. It helps if you have some sort of traditional folk music that sounds like a march…or maybe some salsa music…or maybe swing. I don’t know. I’ve never actually done it to music, but it seems like it would be a good idea while you stomp and twist the husk off of the pecans.

Once the green ones have been sufficiently stomped, sort through them again, and then bag ’em up!
Now take your thousands of pounds to a sheller, wait a week, pick them up, and enjoy! It’s really that simple! However, if some of you out there are just too busy to spend 8 hours a day for 2-3 months harvesting pecans, I do have a much simpler solution for you. I have actually already done all of this and have plenty of pecans ready and waiting for human consumption! All you have to do is call up World Hunger Relief, and we’ll gladly share our bounty with you for a great price! Our pecans are Organic, taste better than anything you’ll find at the store, and are usually a little cheaper. I know it’s hard to believe. Check out our website (worldhungerrelief.org) and click on “Organic Pecans” on the right side for all the information you’ll need to get your hands on these taste-tastic treats.

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