However, the most noteworthy and
traditional value provided by Black Walnut comes from the nuts, which
enjoy a reliable and lucrative market every year. So, if you have
the good fortune to have a lawn or woodlot scattered with walnuts,
picking them up rewards you not only with the ability to walk safely
across the ground, but to do so with cold hard cash in your pockets.
And how much cash is that,
exactly? Well, you're probably not going to be quitting your day
job in order to concentrate on picking up walnuts every autumn, but most
anyone can count on gathering a few dollars, perhaps even a few hundred
dollars, in return for a little effort spent enjoying nature on sunny
For example, last year our local
buyers were paying $12 per 100 lbs for shelled walnuts. The
old-timers used to shell walnuts for their home use by placing them all
in the road by the house and driving over them for a few days, but
nowadays, commercial buyers set up buying stations at strategic
locations and shell, bag and then buy the nuts you bring them.
A single bushel of black walnuts will yield over
a dollar in this year's market.
Because I am rather obsessive
about quantifying such things, I kept track of my nut collecting efforts
and determined that I could pick up 6 to 8 bushels of nuts in an hour's
time from beneath relatively abundant trees. That meant that at $10 per
hundred pounds of shelled nuts, a single bushel would yield 88 cents, so
I could make around $7
If you don't consider this too
impressive remember that I had no expenses other than to drive my
collected harvest into town, where I'd be going sooner or later anyway.
Had I been able to locate and corral a group of cheerful willing
helpers, (such as larger children of the sort you can never find around
when you need them) we could have produced quite a haul, so to speak.
Adding to the good news, this
year shelled walnuts are bringing a heady $13 per hundred pounds
so, theoretically at least, I should be able to make $1.15 per bushel or
about $9.20 per hour with virtually no overhead expenses.
Of course you might also
consider keeping the trees, the logs AND the nuts all to yourself.
If so, you'll need a hammer and a rock or similar hard place to crack
the shells and a horseshoe nail, to dig out the nut meats.
Below are a few sources for
recipes using black walnuts.
Where to Sell Walnuts in 13 States
The Wild Vegetarian Cook Book
recipes from Hammons
About Home Cooking