STOCKTON, Mo. (KY3) — Black walnut harvest season begins next week in the Ozarks. It can be a family affair collecting the nuts as they fall off of the trees.
Brian Hammons, the owner of Hammons Black Walnuts says, “black walnut harvest is really a tradition, a lot of families grow up picking up black walnuts.”
This is a a tradition that can produce more than 22 million pounds of wild black walnuts, most of which come from the Ozarks.
The best black walnuts have a lot of green on them and should be picked up soon after they have fallen. If the walnuts are mostly black, cracked or soft, then you know it’s a bad nut and should not be included with the rest of the crop.
“This year’s crop looks fairly moderate. There are some spots that have a decent amount of nuts, some areas don’t have quite as much as in past years,” Hammons says.
The crop may be moderate this year, but the profit will be higher. Sixteen dollars per 100 pounds is the highest rate they have ever given for walnuts.
You may not make a living on the walnuts, as the collection season only runs from the first of October through early November, but you could make enough for extra food shopping, Christmas gifts, or even just a tank of gas. Some of the big haulers of the walnuts have made around $2,000. Hammons says, “in the case of black walnuts, money really does grow on trees and money really does fall to the ground.”
There are more than 100 collection sites in Missouri, and nine in Arkansas. You can find your nearest collection site by going to the Hammons Black Walnut website.