Money Does Grow on Trees!
The walnuts in our yard promised a big return on my investment of time and sweat.
Last fall, a friend from church stopped by and mentioned all the walnut trees in our yard. He said he gathers the walnuts on his property and sells them for 14 cents per pound to an Amish family near Apple Creek. I rubbed my chin, looked up at the sky and thought of the fresh air, exercise and money I could earn gathering walnuts. The next day, I headed out to the yard with my golf cart, three 7-gallon buckets and lots of enthusiasm! In less than 15 minutes, I had all the buckets full and headed back to the barn to look for more containers. I found seven feed bags and two muck buckets. I was so excited! This was so easy, and the walnuts were free and right there in our yard! When the time came to cash in, I found the Amish farm easily. I was the second in line and watched how the whole process worked. When it was my turn, I cautiously backed the truck up to the huller. As the walnuts came out of the huller, they were put into the green mesh bags and then placed on a scale. I saw four bags on the scale weighing 200 pounds. I chuckled as I got into the truck with a fistful of cash. It took me seven hours to make $28. OK, so that’s only $4 per hour, but I got paid to exercise and enjoy the outdoors, plus I had enough money to buy some bottles of Aleve for my aching back. I returned several times in October. After each trip to the farm I quickly forgot about my aches and pains as I tucked the money into my pocket. So I iced my muscles and did some stretches for a week and went back to my final gathering with renewed vigor. I named my new enterprise “Totally Nuts.” It was perfect! On Oct. 30, I hauled my last load. My husband, who had been suspiciously absent during the gathering process, decided to ride along. I showed hubby how to properly position the truck for maximum ease in unloading into the huller hopper. I unloaded four large trash cans, two muck buckets, seven feed bags and three 7-gallon buckets. I knew this was going to set a new record for me! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the total was 391 pounds. That day I made $58.65, bringing my grand total for the season to $120.55. I had to put fuel in the truck on this trip and my smart husband pointed out that after buying $58.25 worth of gas, I had 40 cents left over. How nice of him to explain that to me. Boy, I can hardly wait for next year!