Monday, June 21, 2010

Pecans go down, tomatoes go up.

We live on a challenging lot to say the least. Some people curse their hills and others rocky ground. Our’s to curse is a group of pecan trees. Well, a blessing and a curse, though if you talk to Carrie, you’ll be led to believe it’s worth the time to curse them.

First let me tell you some things about pecans that every self-respecting long time Oak Cliff resident would be able to tell you. They love to drop things. Lots of things. They drop their lovely pecans in the fall (that is if you’re lucky enough to get a good decent pecan variety coupled with a good production year!) Score one for the tree! They drop their crappy flowers in the spring. Tree 1 Carrie 1. They drop their leaves in the fall. Tree 1 Carrie 2. When they aren’t dropping their flowers or their fruit, they are dropping their limbs, and more limbs, and more limbs… Pecans are self-pruners. Tree 1 Carrie 3. Not looking good for my woody friend here if you know what I mean.

It’s worth mentioning the span of a healthy pecan will reach into the next zip code. They are big trees and I mean some of the biggest we have in the region. On our little 50 by 125 foot lot, we live under the canopy of 4 of these monsters… and I love it! A deciduous tree will provide shelter from the sun in the summer and lets light pass through in the winter. The result for us is a $45 electric bill in the month of May (with the use of fans for cooling) when the rest of our area suffers assaults of $150 or more for a house our size. How many points does the tree get for allowing you to hold on to an extra Ben Franklin every month?

Carrie still curses the tree because she likes to nurture stuff. Give her something living and she’ll love it and hug it. Problem is, tomatoes don’t grow on hugs and all of the good real estate was claimed by the other species she was lovin’ on. By the time we got around to the tomatoes, the only part of the property left which got enough sun to work with was on the north side of the house against the fence which is more of a pass through area, so we purchased three special bags which allowed us to grow the tomatoes upside down and hung them on the fence. I liked the idea of growing the little guys that way because everything I do challenges the norm in the quest for efficiency. Because of the way the space is situated between two houses and the surrounding trees, I joked with Carrie when we put them there that we could give them some extra light if they were 10’ or so higher. She smiled at me when I told her that before the season was over these tomatoes would have their airborne wings.

I love it when I’m right.

This weekend while at a garage sale, I found a little pulley which I attached to a braced arm. I’m happy to report that today my tomatoes did in fact earn their airborne wings! Whether or not they grow any better remains to be seen, but I’m more interested in pushing the envelope and seeing what could be. -Jason


  1. Stumbled upon your blog from another blog. Enjoying your posts. Looking forward to future reading.

  2. Diane, Thanks for visiting! We look forward to seeing your comments in the future. -Jason