Pecan Harvest and Pecan Festival go hand to mouth in Luther, OK

Great State
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LUTHER, OKLAHOMA -- Diane Couch helped plant these trees with her father.

"I was just a little kid," she recalls.

She grew up watering these Meramecs and Mohawks, watching them grow with her.

"Everybody thinks I have them named," she smiles, "because I can point out trees and know the way they're built or shaped."

The trees Diane's father planted from nuts in this bottom land still number close to 400.

In mid-November every year the tree shaker machine fires up and the paper shell pecans rain down with the last of the Fall leaves.

Diane says this has been a good year for pecans.

Her rakers are pushing extra hard to get this crop in, racing squirrels, murders of crows, and all kinds of hungry critters.

"Everything likes pecans," says Couch. "Squirrels, possums, deer."

Years ago Couch and her dad used long poles to shake the branches.

A good cold snap helps bring them down too.

She knows plenty of water helps her orchard, but some of those good years are still a mystery.

Diane continues, "The crop turns out nice and you're like, 'I'm not sure what happened this year but thankful'."

When her fruit is picked and gathered, the shellers and sorters start in.

The meat makes for good pies and all kinds of other home recipes.

Even the broken shells make for good garden mulch.

Over the years Diane and her father kept on producing good pecans.

Every November the cars would line up at her shed to buy them by the bag full until they were all gone.

"Very few people get just one sack," she says.

The trees are bigger now.

Her father is gone, but Diane still can't help but pick up any stray pecan she sees.

"Got to get every last one," she says.

Not as long as people are waiting for a seat at the table.

The United States produces about 80 percent of the world's supply of pecans and, in 2017, Oklahoma was the leading producer among the states.

The 1st Annual Luther Pecan Festival takes place on November 18, 2017.

The Couch Pecan Orchard starts selling their produce November 15 every year.

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