The annual Black Walnut Harvest has been going on across the Midwest since October 1. The pace for the first three weeks was slow, as most nuts stayed on the trees. But last week, with strong winds, cold air and some nice days, the pace has increased — through November 1, our harvest total is about 7 million pounds.
Now that the wild Black Walnuts have fallen, local people have “money on the ground” – literally. Our goal for the harvest is 12-15 million pounds, which will require a lot of work and nice fall days. We hope and pray that the weather cooperates so folks can get the nuts in.
Our network of over 220 hullers will continue buying through Monday, November 11. And they’ll pay the highest price ever to individuals or groups who bring their freshly fallen Black Walnuts: $16 per hundred pounds (hulled) in Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Iowa, and $15 per hundred pounds in eastern states. There is no minimum amount – hullers will take nuts in one bucket, three sacks, or a trailer load.
Many hulling station operators in the states east of the Mississippi River report good crops of nuts, with increasing activity. So it looks like the last week should be strong out there. It’s money on the ground, jobs for the economy, and food for great recipes. The Midwest is the only place in the world where Black Walnuts are collected and sold on a large scale, so it’s something that is very unique and special to these rural communities.
Once again, buying continues through November 11– so there’s still plenty of time and nice fall weather to get out and be part of this fall tradition!