Here in Hartland when Tom is at work, the girls and I mostly keep it low key in the evenings. One of Zoey's favorite things to do when the weather is cooler and we can't stay outside long at the end of the day is to shell some of our pecans. We moved to our little farm just a few days after her first birthday, so she's now had three seasons of pecans to gain some experience! We gather our supplies at the dining room table: nut cracker to share, a big shell bowl and a pecan bowl for each of us. Thus far Camryn has maintained the position of being in charge of passing out pecans to us (and sneakily eating the harvest...), but it won't be long before she's sitting right along side us as well! Once we're finished, we bag up the bounty in little freezer bags to pull out for snacks or recipes later. There is nothing quite like a cold, crunchy pecan to munch on (Some great memories of Great Grandma Ida and her pea green fridge--I remember running over to her place and asking for some of her frozen "capons"!) The cracked shells make a great addition to the compost pile.
This year was a resting year for the trees, meaning that the trees put more energy into growing instead of producing pecans. We gathered about 12-15 grocery sacks full of pecans this winter (Not quite sure because we've been giving some away as we gather), so we decided not to sell the bulk of them as we usually do. Next year should be another high yielding year for us. I think I'd like to start weighing the production we have each year to collect some data--Hhhhhmmmm, I sense a project! If anyone would like some pecans let us know, we have many bags and evenings of shelling to go!