The pecan trees are losing their leaves and the hulls are opening up which means it’s time to start picking pecans! What better time to start than today? This time of year we make frequent trips down to the orchards to see if the pecans are ready. Today just happened to include one of those trips. My guess is that Winston already knew that the pecans were ready to harvest because unbeknownst to me he brought a collection of buckets with us. He made it sound like he needed us to go check the trees with him, but in actuality I think he just really needed a few extra hands.
Not that I mind because picking pecans is actually exciting to me and when we involve the kids it provides some great opportunities for teaching some life lessons. Nowadays we use sophisticated machinery to accomplish this task, but there are a few older trees that are in locations that limit the equipment from doing their job. So for these trees we revert back in time to the way of our great-great grandparents and pick them by hand.
Everyone in the Pecan Orchard
This was our youngest daughter, Allison’s, first time to pick pecans. Well, she really sat in her carrier part of the time. And she was held by her oldest sister the rest of the time. But she was present none-the-less and I like to think she was playing the role of supervisor. It cracks me up when we do activities like this together because each of our personalities is clearly displayed.
For instance, our oldest, Anna, was really motivated at first. Especially when her daddy announced that for every bucket collected that they would earn a dollar. Although, that motivation quickly wore off and she got distracted by holding her baby sister. Abby, our next in line, loves to please her daddy. A dollar is a LOT of money to her. As soon as money was involved she went from playing with sticks and throwing rocks to being obsessive of that bucket. And working diligently to earn every dollar.
Winston, who is good at keeping us all in line, was trying to make a game of it. He wanted to see who was picking pecans the fastest. As you can tell from the pictures, Abby did a fine job. She was quite pleased with the dollar she earned. As for the rest of us, well, I enjoyed my little breaks to ensure that this little memory was documented by camera. At some point Anna took a break as well by taking Allison on a walk with our sweet dog, Cocoa.
Picking Pecans for a Living
I guess we should be thankful that our livelihood doesn’t depend on that one day of work. One thing is for sure, though, it was a fun family memory on the farm. After all, I have to remind myself that there should be little splashes of playtime that present themselves at various times during our time of work. All in all, it was fun to spend our Sunday evening picking pecans by hand. And it didn’t hurt to instill a little value into the next generation of Millican Pecan farmers.