Thursday, November 11, 2004

hunting & gathering

I’ve just come in from my latest front-yard foraging. It must be a genetic harkening back to the aboriginal food-getting techniques that’s hard-wired into humans. But it takes something to uncover it. Crisscrossing the lawn, spotting each nut, stooping and collecting it into my plastic bag is somehow so very comforting. “Squirreling” them away for the winter. I recognize the technique in others’ motions. The Hispanic construction guy yesterday who, when I asked if he was looking for pecans, answered “nah” but when I pointed him in the direction of a sidewalk windfall, he went. Our scrawny tree has yielded at least 30 pounds of raw pecans this year. I wonder about the dozens of people, probably hundreds in this neighborhood that just let them waste away on the sidewalk and street and let the yard-maintenance crews chop the crop to pieces with their lawn mowers. One nearby house has a dozen pecan trees by my mom’s reckoning. Multiplied by 30 is 360 pounds and at $3.75 a pound at albertson’s foodstore that’s a cash crop of over $1300. Well, at least we have not wasted nature’s bounty and left plenty for the squirrels, too (the ones who do the “real” squirreling).

No comments: