Friday, March 7, 2014

The Sage of Chetopa, Kansas

I had an excellent conversation with Bill Reid of Chetopa, Kansas.  He has a blog on Northern Pecans and I am in the market for some scionwood and some seed nuts.

We had a wide ranging conversation. 

We talked about the differences between rural people and city people.  Rural people, for the most part, understand that all things are born, if they are lucky they live out their allotted time, and then they die.

Bill was puzzled by urban baby-boomers.  They throw money at every fad that offers them more longevity. They stuff themselves with magic pills and miracle foods. Price be damned.

Miracle nuts and fruits

Bill claims there are miracle nuts and fruits.  Those are the ones that you grow in your own orchard.  They are the ones that give you a reason to get up every morning and walk around in the fresh air and sunshine.  The actual eating is incidental. 

He also observed the fruit growers seem obsessed by what they cannot grow.  People in Kansas want to grow peaches and apricots.  People in Michigan (me) want to grow pecans.

Bill said that pecans like it HOT.  They like hot days and they like warm-to-hot nights.  More accurately, the trees are tougher than heck but they will not ripen nuts where days and nights are on the cool side.  Michigan rarely experiences those kinds of summers.

Hope springs eternal.  I bought eight pounds of seed nuts from him.  Even if I only get nuts one-year-in-ten I will be a happy guy.  Mrs ERJ's mother was from DeQuincy, Louisiana and she grew up on pecans. I am doing it for her.

Doing the math....15-to-20 years from seed (5-8 years grafted) before they start trying to have nuts, then another 10 years before I have a year hot enough.  By my reckoning, these seed nuts almost guarantee that I will live another 25-to-30 years.  I have the Sage of Chetopa, Kansas's word on that.

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