It’s Black Walnut Season at CPA

It was quiet. Too quiet.

Rural Action’s Joe Barbaree and Eugene Hancock walked around the massive walnut huller at Chesterhill Produce Auction, trying to figure out why it had quit running midway through processing a large batch of black walnuts.

Eugene and Joe troubleshoot the huller.

They checked to make sure there was enough gas. After realizing there was plenty, they opened the side of the machine and started clearing out hulled black walnuts that were jammed in there. An October heat wave ensured the work was hot and sweaty.

Once they had it cleared, they gave it another try. Eugene pulled the starter cord once, then twice. The engine sputtered and roared to life, setting the machine back in motion and filling the air with the cacophony of walnuts being separated from their hulls and deposited neatly in mesh bags.

Eugene pulls the starter cord and the huller roars to life.

This wasn’t the first time Joe and Eugene battled the machine on this 91-degree day. Earlier, they had gone in search of a new fuel line. They found one, but it turned out to be the wrong size. Using a little ingenuity and a few clamps, they rigged it so it would work anyway.

A seller loads a bucketful of his 1,600 pounds of black walnuts into the huller.

Thanks to their efforts, a family that brought in 100 bushels of black walnuts to be hulled went home happy. They ended up with more than 1,600 pounds of black walnuts that were sold at CPA. A couple after them had only a few buckets full. And another seller had brought in about 150 pounds.

Black walnuts will be hulled from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21, and Thursday, Oct. 24. They also will be hulled Saturday, Nov. 2 (which is the date of the fall consignment auction). CPA pays $15 per 100 pounds of hulled walnuts. For more info, email Eugene or call him at 740-677-4047.

The walnut huller in action.
On October 4th, 2019, posted in: Latest News by