Picking Pecans

backyard pecans!

backyard pecans!

We’ve had a basket outside on the back porch, readily available to anyone who had an urge to pick up pecans from the yard. There are at least two producing trees in the backyard and the ground is covered with pecans. Or should I say was covered with pecans because I did one hell of a job collecting those suckers, seeing as I was apparently the only one who had that urge. My body hated me the next morning, by the way.

Two and a half hours is how long I spent crouched over, duckwalking, beneath the trees and digging under fallen leaves to find the nuts that had amassed – seriously, I could blindly and randomly choose a spot on the ground and grab a handful of those things. I haven’t weighed my haul from the basket but we’ll be shipping some to my folks in Florida for their backyard bounty: tangerines and valencia oranges! An even exchange and worth a little discomfort for a week, I say.

I did tell Matt that we should advertise our house as a tiny homestead with organic pecans and call it a u-pick pecan farm. Basically, we’ll charge others to come clean up our backyard.

So, here’s another question regarding regional differences: do you say pee-cans or peh-cahns?

When I moved to Florida, rural Florida, to be more exact, I was asked by my pharmacy coworkers to help them pick up the pee cans in the back of the property. I refused. Considering we worked in a pharmacy that supplied medical items and catered mostly to the elderly population of North Central Florida, I immediately thought they were talking about…oh, forgive me, but actual cans filled with pee.

It turns out there was a pecan tree right out the back door! Where I’d just come from, the North*, we called it a peh-cahn tree. Where I would soon be putting roots, the South, they called it a pee-can tree. Who knew?

*One of the funniest essays I have recently read (Katie Crouch‘s “Hurricane Muffin”) begins with “My parents had moved us from the North (we quickly learned to capitalize the region, as if it were a different country)…”. Don’t get me started on the word caramel. Baristas in the South like to correct my pronunciation. I was raised by people who speak like Canadians. We just get right to the point with our terse sounding “car-mull”, not the delicately drawn out Southerners’ “care-a-mell”.

But how lovely would it be to have a caramel tree in my backyard, too?

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