When I was a little girl on 14th street, our yard had three walnut trees in between our house and the Kelly's next door. In the backyard was another black walnut.
My dad would have the kids (neighbors, and my sister and myself) pick up the walnuts, and he would carefully lay them out on tarps to dry, then hull them himself. There were many times we cracked black walnuts in the house in the evening and picked out and ate their good meats.
Fast forward 50 years.... we have three walnut trees in our yard now, and every year, I spend hours bent over picking up walnuts to get them out of the way of the mower, and prevent myself from breaking an ankle stepping on them. Last year, I paid the grands to pick them up, and then took them all down and unloaded them at the brush pile in the pasture.
So.... this year, a friend asked if we would donate our walnuts to her, as she needs tires for her car right now.
I said "Sure". Then she got a bad cold, so I began picking up walnuts and putting them in buckets for her. Yesterday, on the way to Fort Leavenworth, I dropped off what I had gathered and told her there were plenty more. I dropped some walnuts in her drive as we bagged them in net bags... and she ran to get.... The Walnut Wizard! WOW! I had never seen one of these. So today, I stopped by there on my way home AGAIN from Fort Leavenworth, and borrowed the walnut wizard and some sacks from her.
If you biggify the picture, you will see that Keith is laughing. He did a whole bucket in about five minutes or less, a bucket that took me 30 minutes of bending and standing to fill yesterday.
Here is a better look at the Dyson of Walnut Picker-Uppers.
To empty it, you gently pull the wires apart and let the walnuts fall into the bucket. We picked up in 30 minutes what it took me an hour and a half to do yesterday by just picking up. We still have to get the ones hiding against the walls of buildings, or hiding in deep grass... but really, this made it so much simpler. We have a hulling station about 30 miles from us, and my friend will drive out there next week with the walnuts (or perhaps Friday) and sell them. They are hulled first, then she will be paid by the hundredweight.
Keith says we will get a Walnut Wizard this fall.
I noticed that the tree by the above big henhouse had huge, plump walnuts, while our ancient tree has small ones. We have another tree over by the road, and it's walnuts are smaller, too, but I will spend time tomorrow picking up those. I'm hoping to take 3 full buckets and 3 full sacks to my friend tomorrow or the next day.
Our neighbors have a tree with bigger walnuts, and tomorrow, I'll see if they would like theirs rolled up by the Wizard.
It is an absolute joy to drive the roads of Leavenworth County these days. The colors of fall almost hurt to look at, and I am stunned we have so much color despite the drought that still lingers. They tell us there is a chance of rain Thursday, and a better one on Saturday.
The birds from the little henyard flock were enjoying their bread treats, despite the overcast afternoon. I'm praying we get some of the rain they're talking about, despite the way it turns the henyards into a skating rink!
Once we move birds out, there will be only 8 small roosters left in this yard. Eventually, when the big henhouse has been refurbished, we will move the oldsters and some of the other small roosters back over, so they'll have some friends. Towards these lines, I have kept the door between the two henyards open for several weeks now, and have noticed that the two big roosters, Rambo and Legs, have not bothered these little guys, who kowtow to them anyway. Jackson and Annabelle sleep in this yard.