"Bayou Bill" Scifres
Dedicated to the conservation and enjoyment of Indiana's natural resources
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The Nut Wizard
Copyright © 2004 by Bill Scifres

Ordinarily it is not the function of this column to tout the innumerable outdoors paraphernalia that is waiting for buyers. But I have run smack-dam into a product that everyone who harvests nuts or acorns should own.

It is a contraption that looks like a wire football on a four-foot broomstick and picks up rounded objects--including hickory and black walnuts--like such activities are going out of style. It is called the Nut Wizard. The story, but first some background: You may recall that a few weeks back this column told the story about how the late Ray Fish, of Fishers, Indiana took the back-breaking propensities out of harvesting black walnuts by attaching a two-pound coffee can to a sturdy, three-foot pole. I, of course, tried it (we outdoor writers call it field testing which translates into freebies). 

Whatever the nomenclature may be, I found Rayís gimmick worthy of passing on to my readers . . . after all, it would save hundreds of thousands--perhaps even millions or zillions--of backbends by Hoosier nut harvesters, and save a goodly number of the same from taking the Bengay or Icy Hot route, however good they may be (I have to pay for the Bengay, and Icy Hot).  So I passed it on.

By and large, the column on Rayís invention was popular. Comments from nut-harvesting readers pretty much ran the gamut with such witticisms as coffee keeps me awake, I would pitch my tube of Bengay if I werenít afraid of pulling a muscle, and my back feels better already. There were some naysayers, naturally, but I dismissed as a crank call the death threat from the Ceylonese Tea Growersí Association.

Thence came this e-mail from a fellow named Larry Floyd, a Hoosier nut-grower who noted that he had used a coffee can on a stick to avoid bending his back while picking up nuts for some 15 years. He concurred that the coffee can on a stick is good, but that he had discovered a thing called a Nut Wizard that makes harvesting nuts just as free of bending the back. Moreover, Floyd said, the Nut Wizard works with the speed of sound. Floyd didnít give me much of a description of the Nut Wizard, but he did give me a web page address and suggested that I check it out. It is an easy one to remember: www.nutwizard.com. 

Pshaw! I thought. Nothing could be better than Rayís coffee can on a stick. But Floydís message was most emphatic . . . and there was this web page address that was so easy that even a computer basket case like yours truly could check it out.

I soon learned that this Hoosier couple, Kent and Charlotte Waltz, of Norman (thatís not far from Bedford) were selling the Nut Wizard as one of the items in their business, Seeds And Such, Inc. 

A quick call tended to back the things Floyd had told me, but I still had to see it for myself. To make a long story short, two of the three sizes of Nut Wizards arrived at my house and in less than 15 minutes I had tossed some walnuts into the grass and leaves of my front-yard jungle and pushed the wire football over them without exerting any downward pressure with the handle.

Presto! In one fell swoop all of the nuts were inside the wire football and that left me wondering how I would get them out. Then I remembered the strong wire unloading bracket that fits almost any bucket. I placed the bracket (the literature calls it a frame) on a bucket and allowed the wire football to settle onto it. Presto! The nuts dropped into the bucket.

Undaunted in my quest to save Rayís coffee can on a stick, I motored to one of the few walnut trees I have found producing a good nut crop this year. There must have been close to a bushel of beautiful, little white-meated walnuts on the ground. But in less than half an hour I put ever sweet-meated little nut into a bucket (and eventually a gunny sack) for the trip home.

That more or less convinced me that I should tell my readers about the Nut Wizard. But if it hadnít convinced me, remembered that I might have set a Guinness Book of Records standard for putting a bushel of walnuts in a gunny sack . . . if I hadnít stopped to show passersby how the thing works.

Oh, Yes! Your Nut Wizard will cost you less than 50 bucks.

Click on thumbnail image for enlarged view.

I kept the load of walnuts light for this picture to illustrate the working of the Nut Wizard. Note the bracket in the bucket that empties contents.
bignut.jpg (50818 bytes)

(Larry Floyd, Marion, Indiana, also sells the Nut Wizard. His phone is 765-384-7989; e-mail address is flofarm@comteck.com.)

All columns, essays, and photos are copyrighted by Bill Scifres and may not be reproduced in any form without prior permission from the author.  For reproduction permission and media usage fees, contact: Bill Scifres, 6420 East 116th Street, Fishers, IN 46038, E-mail: billscifres@aol.com

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