Monday, October 2, 2017

31 Days of the Joys of Autumn - Walnuts and Pecans

This beautiful, tall, and stately pecan tree is one of
four that stands sentinel over our back yard.
Walnuts and pecans are big business here in southwest Missouri. Hammons Products Company in Stockton, Missouri is the largest hulling purchaser, processor, and distributor of black walnuts in the world (to find out more about black walnuts in Missouri check out this article in Missouri Conservationist magazine) and, while they're not quite as lucrative as walnuts, pecans still rank high in producing a multi-million dollar industry within our state.

Now I know that all of that sounds very businessy and I'm sure you're wondering why on earth I'd be talking about such things in this post, but let me explain.

Some of my earliest childhood memories go back to Missouri nut trees. When I was small there was a great hickory nut tree, as well as several walnut trees, around the hill from the home I grew up in. In the fall my mother and I would pick up hickory nuts and walnuts, and during the long evenings of late autumn we would crack them and use them in special desserts and holiday baking.

My great-aunt, Ethel (lovingly known to us as Tootsie), lived near some of Missouri's finest pecan groves and every fall she would pick up pecans to sell. She would always save some back to use in special treats for family gatherings.

Even today Missouri's nut trees still play a part in our family's autumn traditions. Our grandson, Silas, started picking up walnuts to sell to Hammons when he was just 5-years old. He's been in business for four years now and, even though his sister, Audrey, and other members of the family have joined him in his entrepreneurship, Papa and I still refer to him as "the walnut tycoon." 

Silas in his first year of business.
Silas generally makes $100 to $150 dollars per year on walnuts and, we're super proud of him as he portions that money out and makes it run him for a full year. And he's not stingy with it, either. He's careful with his money, shops at thrift stores, and buys really nice gifts for his family with part of it. 

At the old house we had two black walnut trees; here at the new house we have three pecan trees. Although, it doesn't look like we're going to end up with many pecans this year. The trees were absolutely loaded, but the squirrels have, literally, emptied the hulls of the nuts while still on the tree. Makes me wonder if we're not going to have a bad winter.

Anyway...I know that most people wouldn't give walnuts or pecans a second thought, but, to me, walnuts and pecans are definitely one of the joys of autumn!

Until next time...


Related and recent posts that you might enjoy reading...

31 Days of The Joys of Autumn - Introduction To A Writing Challenge


  1. This is interesting and I'm looking forward to read more about your autumn stories.

  2. I love that you're taking time to appreciate the little things in life and bringing your childhood memories forward to the next generation. Good work, mama!

    1. Thanks, April! I appreciate your kind words! Made me smile all over! :)


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