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Keep Houston Press Free
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Native Pecan Report

The native pecans are nice and meaty this year. I knew it was pecan season when I saw two women walking around my neighborhood collecting nuts in a Shipley's Donut bag. Then I saw a very clever individual shaking the branches of a native pecan tree by means of a long pipe with a hook taped on the end of it. He was working a grove of pecan trees growing in a vacant lot on Longpoint near the Whataburger curve.

Gathering foods that grow wild is known as wildcrafting. This is the time of year when you might hear one of your neighbors yelling, "Hey, you goddam wildcrafters, get the hell out of my front yard -- those are my pecans." One of the pecan poachers running away from the grumpy neighbor's house might be me. I love native pecans, I think they have more flavor than the commercial papershells. But it sure takes a lot of patience to get the tiny meats out of those itty bitty shells.

Shelling pecans is one of those jobs that is best performed while watching football. So if anybody accuses you of wasting the whole day sitting in front of the television, you can claim you were being productive.

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