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How do you harvest pecans?

Okay, I know this is pecan country and if I'd grown up here I'd just *know* this... but I don't.

I just discovered (beats me how I missed it before) a pecan tree on our property, and old & new pecans littering the ground.

But I don't know how to tell which are worth collecting, or when to collect them, or anything that would make the presence of the tree useful to us.

We love pecans, and we don't mind the work involved, but I need to know which nuts are worth picking up and shelling. And whether I need to do anything to them before shelling--do they need to cure, dry, whatever, for a while before being shelled?

Thanks for any tips!!

Heather
 
Blogging about life, the universe, and ducks at www.curiositycat.me
I love to pick up pecans. In fact, back when I was younger, I used to pick them up on the halves. It was a good way to make a few bucks and eat all the p'cons you wanted. I just picked them up off the ground. You will get a few that aren't good, that's just part of the process. Sometimes when you pick up one, it might be a spoosh lighter and it might not be good, but actually, You gotta crack it open to be sure. When you look at it, you will know a good one from a older one. The older one will be all wrinkled up. I know I wasn't much help. speaking of p'cons, it almost time!!!! Bout another month and woo hoooooooo!
 
__________________________ You can call me Hairy, Moose, or Knuckle. Knucklehead is ok too, as well as Anthony, Tony or perhaps if you prefer, an old Fudknucker . It don't matter what you call me; as long as you call me in time for supper!
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Thanks, Anthony. Okay, so I leave the old brown ones on the ground? And pick up the newer green ones?

There do appear to be some newer green ones on the ground--are they likely to be from this year, or do we still have a few more weeks/months before they will start dropping this year's crop?
 
Blogging about life, the universe, and ducks at www.curiositycat.me
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Here in Texas, we like just a bit before they fall. I have already been out scouting for trees that look full. I guess maybe all that rain this year made a really good bunch of them because all the trees look full. The green ones are prolly from this year. They may not quite be ready. Are they still in the green membrane? Maybe the wind blew them from the tree. Take one of the older looking ones and crack it open. You will know if it's good.
 
__________________________ You can call me Hairy, Moose, or Knuckle. Knucklehead is ok too, as well as Anthony, Tony or perhaps if you prefer, an old Fudknucker . It don't matter what you call me; as long as you call me in time for supper!
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Heather, HMK is on to something here. The best way to 'learn' when they are ready is to crack one open. Maybe take a nut cracker to the tree with you. Pick up the brown pecans (not the green ones) and pay attention to the weight/feel of the pecan. I know this is not a ready answer, but soon you'll come to know by feel which are worth picking up. The meaty pecans will feel heavier than the really old ones or the ones that didn't fill out well ( and there will be both, trust me).

It's been years since I picked up pecans at my g'parent's home but I swear I could still tell today if it's a good pecan by the feel of the thing.

Good luck! I sense a pecan pie for, maybe, Thanksgiving? Smiler
 

~~~To plant is to believe in tomorrow~~~

Mobile, Alabama   Zone 8b

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Well, my pecan tree is dropping 'green' pecans, because Texas has hogged all of the rainfall this year.

What's suppose to happen is, the pecans will turn brown while still on the tree, then the coat/membrane will open up, and the 'ready for eating' pecan will fall to the ground! Sometimes the brown coat does not open but fall to the ground anyway, those I save those for the squirrels, blue jay and woodpeckers Smiler

This will be the third year in a row, that my pecans will not be edible Frowner

Hope ya'll have a bumper crop!

Smiler
Robin
 
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Good pecans do feel different - once you've handled a few thousand. "Bad" ones tend to be a little lighter weight than "good" ones.

Anyhow, wait until the pecan ripens on the tree. The outer membrane will turn brown and open up, then the nut will fall out onto the ground. From there you have to crack the nuts and shell the meat out.

After a very short time at working cracking and picking pecans I start to feel that $12 a pound would be a real bargain - and surely the grocery store charges even less than that! If you are in an area with pecan farms that may be places that can run your pecans through a cracker and/or desheller for a very small fee. We paid, I think, .25 per pound last year to have ours cracked.
 
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