Monday, December 6, 2010

I heart Pecans

About 45 years ago, my grandparents, along with my dad and uncle, moved out to California from Oklahoma. Rural Oklahoma. From what I understand, my grandmother needed some medical attention, and they had some family out here, so they came and eventually settled in the Inland Empire on about a half an acre. Shortly after they moved in, my grandfather began to make that land his own by composting and planting. I wish you could see the pictures of that land. I remember as a child, running through the rows of corn, and around the tomato plants. Picking up the strange looking squash that looked like flying saucers. The land seemed to huge to me, and yet it was small and right in the middle of a city.
Along with all the vegetables and trees that he planted, he decided to plant some pecan trees. The story is that he had to order them from a grower in Georgia and that people laughed at him. They said the trees would never produce in California; what was he thinking?! Well, they did grow to become beautiful shade trees, but did not produce.
My grandparents were both gone to heaven by the time I was in high school, and so the mini farm died away. But the trees stayed. Mostly because they were easy to maintain, I suppose. And about 5 years ago, my uncle died in September. That November, the pecans emerged. It really was an amazing thing. All four tress, dripping with pecans. I can't even recall how many were harvested, but we just kept picking and picking.
Since that year, we haven't ever seen a crop like that, but the trees faithfully produce these wonderful nuts every year.
Those trees are especially a blessing to Tim and me. We dry the nuts and shell them every year to give as gifts in mason jars. This allows us to give gifts when we wouldn't be able to afford to. And people love the wonderful taste of these fresh, raw pecans. I also love the fact that the boys get to help pick them and spend time with a grandfather who they don't see very often. There's some sort of peace about that property that I will always love.


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