September has been a good month at PG. Doris has improved to her usual again, Betty has found a new medication that relieves her pain and Mary Jane hasn’t lost her glasses again. Esther turned 99 and Jean turned 91 in October.
Martha Houston brought Jeannette Ford for a visit, in time for Esther’s birthday. Jeannette stayed most of the month… everyone is excited when she comes… she sure livens the place up! Here’s Martha and Jeannette in the cabin. Dominique gave Jeannette a horn for her walker, so she’s demonstrating blowing her own horn (not that she needed encouragement). The second picture is of Jeannette holding Evren.
Not to be outdone… here’s Naomi holding Katelyn. A group of brothers met here, some headed to conventions in Arkansas and Missouri. Lyle Waldo also visited from Oregon, but I lost the picture I took of him.
Samuel and Conchita fixed Cabrito (a Mexican delicacy made from one of Hoffman’s young goats) for a group of us including Betty, the Maki’s and the twins. Hector Escamilla has come to work with Samuel temporarily… for the pecan harvest and some work on the new house.
The Pawnee pecans (about 20% of our trees) came ready for harvest in September. The rest of the pecans (5 other types) will be ready in mid October (just in time for conventions). Last year the crows and squirrels cleaned out many of our pecans in October, so this year we got ready! We built the crow trap shown below, set out 4 crow cannons (propane noise makers), and set 2 dozen squirrel traps. As usual, both the squirrels and crows have proven themselves smarter than we are. We haven’t caught one crow or squirrel. That may be because there aren’t hardly any here! Last year the crows would blacken the sky in clouds. This year there are about 6 crows hanging around… they’re here all year round… but that’s all! The first picture below is of the crow trap with a few decoys in it. The second is of the tractor shaking a tree. If you’re interested, the bottom half of the October 2012 posting (listed in the upper right of this page) tells how we harvested pecans.
One thing we’re doing different now… then we caught the pecans on tarps…. very labor intensive. Now we’re using a “harvester” shown below, which picks them up from the ground… a machine we’ve had all along but didn’t know how to use correctly before. It picks up the pecans, and a lot of other stuff as well. The first picture is of Kenny running the harvester. The second is of Wayne and Dawn Overby working at the cleaner with Kathy. The third is another picture of the cleaner with Kenny, Kathy, Hector and Samuel working. The last picture is of Wayne and Samuel putting the pecans on the drying tables.
We already have more pecans from the Pawnees than we’ve had from a complete harvest in past years… so a very good harvest so far. In the past we’ve been guilty of not being ready, and not paying enough attention to the harvest. This year Terry made sure the pecans were fertilized and sprayed, we’ve had plenty of rain, we prepared for crows, and now a good harvest. It is amazing to see how many pecans are wasted. When we shake a tree we probably only get about half of the pecans. Then the harvester doesn’t pick them all up, so some are left on the ground. The cleaner throws away a lot of dirt, stones and husks, but it also throws away a lot of good pecans. If someone wanted to… there is plenty of gleaning that could be done.