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Gus R. Douglass
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The Central Appalachian Rural Products (CARP) Center in Weston (formerly the Weston Farmers’ Market) will buy and hull black walnuts for state growers beginning October 1 and continuing for approximately a month.

“This is exactly the type of service I envisioned when the Department leased this property to the CARP directors,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Gus R. Douglass. “The facility already incorporates such a wide variety of uses – including retail space, a restaurant, a farmers’ market and exhibit areas – that I’m very optimistic that the CARP Center will have an outstanding first year in business.”

The hulling station renews a tradition once kept by the WVU Extension Service and private enterprises, which has fallen by the wayside in recent years. The CARP Center is the only location in the state buying and hulling black walnuts, and will offer 9 cents per pound of hulled nuts, according to CARP Center Manager Terry Mathews. The Center “will make a deal” with anyone wanting the leftover hulls, said Mathews. The hulls can be used as fertilizer (with lots of lime) and are used to manufacture stains and varnishes.

The hulling machine is provided by Hammons Products Company of Missouri, which will also take the nuts. The CARP Center must provide fuel for the machine and the labor to keep it operating. Mathews predicts that at least 50,000 pounds of nuts will be processed.

The machine will go into operation just before the October 8 start of the annual West Virginia Black Walnut Festival, held in Spencer since 1955.

In 1954, Roane County resident Henry Young sold 2 million pounds of black walnuts, prompting local officials to develop them as a cash crop. The Festival was born the following year. For more information, visit www.wvblackwalnutfestival.org, or phone 304/927-5616.


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