Two years ago I test marketed an item that was abundant in my yard that fall. Hickory nuts. All day and all night I heard the nuts falling from the trees and crashing down on unsuspecting decks, cars and the occasional passerby. I wondered whether anyone sold these hard-shelled nuts on eBay. A quick look assured me that, indeed, they do. So, I decided to start collecting and selling my collection.
When I started, in late September of 2007, I had no idea that by the end of the season, some two months later, I would have collected and sold about 600 lbs of these nuts. But that is exactly what happened. And almost every day during that period, I walked an hour or more in my woods, stooping and picking up each nut, sloughing off its hull, and dropping the nut into my collection bag. I stopped only when the bag was full.
Last year, I was unable to collect the nuts. My feet had become so painful that walking, even a very short distance, was intolerable. I was sad this was the case, because I truly enjoy the quiet redundancy that is the hickory nut collecting. Nevertheless, though I received several email inquiries from my 2007 customers, looking for some of my 2008 crop, I was unable to collect even enough for a single shipment.
This year, having undergone the surgery in March that made pain-free walking possible again, I am determined to spend my fall, collecting the hickory nuts, giving them their "bath," separating the good nuts from the nuts gone bad, and listing the latest collection for sale. In the wee hours this morning, I listed the fruits of Friday's walk through the woods. 8 lbs of hickory nuts. My first listing of the 2009 crop.
This morning, when I checked, I discovered I already had two watchers. Good news. I collected more today and listed more, this time in 1 lb offerings. I'm not sure which will sell better, but I figure experimentation is the name of the game. This evening, after supper, I logged onto the computer and was greeted with email letting me know the first 8 lb listing had been sold with the Buy-it-Now option. I was thrilled. I sent my new customer a thank you for his purchase and let him know his shipment would go out Monday. No sooner did I press "send" than I got another notification of sale... this time for the first 1 lb lot.
I guess I need to step up the nut collecting!
Today was overcast most of the day, and there was definitely a feeling of fall in the air. The leaves are starting to blanket the floor of the woods and I am getting more excited about hickory nuts than I suppose a person should be. Just call me a little nutty!