It just hit me the other day that I am a part of a pecan conservationist family. It all started when we were gathering up wood to build a fire. We had invited some friends over for dinner and I was determined that we would also spend some of our time around a campfire. My husband LOVES when I come up with ideas like this! 😉
So, off he went with his friend, Jeremy, to round up some wood in the orchard below our house. Not just any wood. Pecan wood to be exact. Branches that had fallen from most of the pecan trees dispersed throughout the orchard. This time of year is when we usually have a good number of limbs on the ground due to the recent harvest. Most of them are small in size making them great for kindling, but some of them are bigger and make perfect logs for a fire. And that’s when it hit me. This concept that in us lies the heart of a pecan conservationist.
Pecan Conservationist Resources
To be sure of this, though, I decided to look up the definition of the word ‘conservation’. I found out that it is ‘the ethical use and protection of valuable resources, such as trees, minerals, wildlife, water and others. It focuses on maintaining the natural world in order to protect the sources of resources’. (Emphasis mine) “Precisely!! That’s what we are doing!”, I thought. We are protecting the valuable resources that have been entrusted to us.
We would never find a perfectly healthy pecan tree and cut it down just to make a fire for our recreation. But we do have to periodically clean the orchard of any fallen debris. These limbs would be picked up anyway in order to protect the trees from mold and diseases that can damage their health. So instead of going out and buying wood for our campfire we are using the resources that are provided to us from our very livelihood.
All Aspects of Pecan Usage
I think it boils down to being intentional. For us, to be conscientious about all aspects of pecan usage so that we are not wasteful. Every aspect…from the ground that brings life for each pecan tree, to the pecan tree itself, to the branches that fall periodically, to the very nut that it produces. And that’s not to even mention the parts that make up the pecan. Because in actuality, each part of the pecan has different uses too. The shells can be used for mulch in a flower bed or for smoking a mouth-watering brisket on a barbecue pit. The nut inside, when shelled, produces varying sizes that have endless uses as well. From the delicate candy adornment that pecan halves provide for your favorite candy recipe to the role that pecan meal plays as an essential ingredient in a gluten-free meal for your daughter with Celiac disease.
This is what a pecan conservationist does. He or she is intentional about preserving the heritage of the pecan. So that it will continue to enrich the lives of generations to come. We strive to ensure that there is no waste in the use of this valuable resource. Why? Because it has so much to offer each one of us.
And so this is a good reminder for us to work with focus each day to make sure we are carrying out our role as pecan conservationist. And for those of you reading this today we invite you to join us in this effort. Maybe you have pecan trees in your yard at home? Possibly you are in the process of planting a pecan orchard on a plot of land you recently purchased? Whatever may be the case…within you, too, lies the same potential, so let’s not wait another day!