Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Downside of the Pecan Harvest, for Skywatch



The orchard is almost obscured by the dust kicked up during harvest

We're having perfect weather here in Las Cruces; it's cold at night and early in the morning and warm in the afternoon. It has been perfect for the pecan farmers, too. There was a nice hard freeze a while back that made all the leaves fall so the trees were ready to give up their pecans.

There is a lot of machinery involved in pecan harvesting: Machines that sweep the ground, machines that shake the trees, machines that gather up the nuts and leaves and shake out the detritus.

We get lots of pecans falling into our yard from the surrounding orchards, so we have a plentiful harvest as well, with nuts enough for the entire year.

The one drawback to nut harvest can be seen in this early morning photo: It's a dusty business. Today, in addition to all the flying dust generated by the nearby machinery, we had a gusty wind all afternoon. At times we couldn't see the mountains at all, and everything in the house is now covered in a fine grit.

It's worth it all, though. Pecan candy! Pecan shortbread! Pecan pies! Just in time for Christmas treats!

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18 comments:

Deb said...

How I miss my pecans...I always switch every recipe to pecans no matter what kind of nut it calls for. And toasted pecans in a salad of just spring mix and onion with a little sweet balsamic dressing (ok, toss in some dried cranberries if you want...). Alas, I've given them up almost totally in order to loose a little weight. If I ever learn moderation, I'm re-claiming them!

I guess I just never thought about it...had no idea how they were harvested. Interesting post; nothin' like a little ed-du-ma-cation early in the morning! :0)

morningbrayfarm.com said...

Thanks for the little lesson... interesting! We too are loving the weather right now!

Lucky you with all of the pecans. :)

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I forget how dry and dusty it can get in New Mexico.

Sylvia K said...

It is a messy harvest isn't it? And yet I can still see those lovely blue skies! And pecans are definitely worth a few messy days! Great post for the day, Clair! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Sylvia

Steffi said...

Great photo.So different weather - yours and ours!
Have a nice weekend!

EG Wow said...

Well. I for one LOVE pecans! :) I bet you're glad when the dust settles.

Trish ~ ♥ ~ said...

Was it you who posted the photos of the pecan harvest? If I can remember correctly it was last year, perhaps for My World. Enjoy a piece of pie for me!

clairz said...

Yes, Trish, I posted a lot on the pecan harvest last year, as it was my first time seeing it up close. There are still lots of surprises--I'll be posting photos of some scary-looking pecan tree pruning equipment in the next few days.

Gary said...

I have never thought of the ins and outs of pecan farming. Boom & Gary of The Vermilon River.

eileeninmd said...

Wonderful shot of the harvesting and the pretty sky.

Linda said...

We regard them as an exotic luxury. How amazing to have them tumbling around you for free.

LauraX said...

the dust certainly adds a layer of interest and mystery to the photo..I love pecan anything Claire, YUM!

Martha Z said...

I didn't realize that New Mexico was pecan country, like Deb, I love pecans.
Farm practices are a source of air polution in the Sacramento Valley as well. I can wake to beautiful blue skys, clear all the way to the coast range, only to have the rice farmers decide it is a good day to burn the fields. Not only does it spoil the view but it deprives wintering birds of a great source of food. Fortunately, the practice is in decline.

Miss Becky said...

I've found your blog while traveling through on a Skywatch Friday tour. You are so blessed to live in NM. I've visited several times and I believe it could be my home away from home. I like being there in August for the lightening storms. I've been in the eastern and northern part of the state, but never to Las Cruces. It looks beautiful. Great capture here, very nice.

Jidhu Jose said...

beautiful

becky said...

I am now educated on Pecan Harvesting! I had no idea there were machines that shook the trees... naively I picture people out there picking them. Ooooh, the winds- I remember spending time in Baja, Mx where the winds would blow like that & a fine grit would cover everything. I just got to Santa Fe yesterday afternoon, and today the snow is already melting. I thought of you as I drove thru southern NM, but opted for the "shortcut" thru Hatch rather than driving thru LC.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

What a terrific benefit living beside pecan orchards.....free pecans!

Interesting photo, too.
~Lisa

Quiet Paths said...

Wow, fresh pecans falling into your yard - windfall is so sweet. Will you make a pecan pie?