CALLING ALL FORAGERS! We are buying some species of nuts and trading finished product for others.
We are buying Black Oak Acorns and Bitternut Hickories for $0.35/lb
We are buying Red Oak Acorns for $0.25/lb
If you would like to bring us White Oak Acorns or Pecans, we will note what you bring and give you finished product (shelled out nuts, nut flours, or other products) later in the season.
For in-hull Black Walnuts, we are offering the following: we will hull, clean, cure, crack, and sift the walnuts into two grades (1/2″ sifted and 1/4″ sifted) and return 40% of them to you in two bags with the different grades. The bags you receive will contain shell pieces and will require you to sort out the nuts. See below if you’d like an explanation of why we’re doing black walnuts this way.
***It’s very important that each species of nut delivered is kept separate. Each type of nut has different handling requirements and mixed deliveries add a lot of processing work and will receive a reduced trade or pay value.***
We will be accepting deliveries of nuts at our facility at Smith Mill Works in West Asheville on Wednesdays and Sundays from 4:30pm to 6:30pm. Direction to the Nuttery are at the end of this post.
We are also selling Nut Wizards, which are very wonderful harvesting tools that save you time and back pain. There are two sizes: one sized for Black Walnuts for $55, and one sized for Acorns at $45.
If you would like to forage for us and/or purchase a Nut Wizard, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
You can view and print our Forager’s Guide here, and we’re working on a blog post to help you identify trees accurately and provide more tips and info about harvesting. This is all part of our latest collaborative creation, the Acornucopia Project.
To get to the Nuttery at Smith Mill Works: GPS address is 151 Cedar Hill Road, Asheville, NC 28806. Turn into gate at the entrance of Smith Mill Works and stay straight. We’re the first greenhouse on the right. Turn onto the small road just above the greenhouse for and drive up to the door for deliveries.
*The reason we’re offering to process walnuts only to the sifted, unsorted stage is that sorting nut meats from shell pieces is the most labor intensive part of the process. We cannot, with wild nuts that don’t separate easily from the shell, and at our current scale (lacking any fancy, expensive sorting equipment), possibly do all the work to get shell-free, sorted nuts and not lose money.
And one final note: This whole project is a big work in progress. We’re thinking of it as a community-scale experiment exploring how we can bring the largely unharvested abundance of our native nut trees to our plates in an economically-viable way. We don’t hardly have it all figured out and dialed in. This first year in particular is all about getting good data and developing each step of the process. We appreciate your patience and understanding and willingness to cooperate with us in this experiment. And we are all ears if you’ve got any input, ideas, questions, and feedback. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.