Pecan Cracking in Austin

Hey Austin, it’s pecan season! And boy does Central Texas have pecans this year!

They’re everywhere! On sidewalks, in the lawn, bouncing off your roof in the middle of the night…what can you do with all of them? Take them to the Lamar Senior Activity Center and get ’em cracked!

In a building set up specifically for the task of cracking nuts, Charles Davenport (a volunteer nut cracker at the Lamar Senior Activity Center) feeds grocery bags full of nuts into the tops of three pecan-cracking machines. These machines have chain-link-type metal ledges that pick up the pecans and carry them on a circular metal conveyer belt into the waiting black hole. Eventually the nuts will travel into the “cracking box” where they are squashed between two heavy metal plates with nubs. The cracking box sounds like a cross between an out of alignment washing machine on the spin cycle and a dryer with tennis shoes in it (the noise is very loud). 

Davenport said that in a typical year he usually does more than 150,000 – 200,000 pounds of pecans in a 6-8 week period, but that this year he expects to outdo that amount because last year’s cold weather and rain seem to have increased production of pecans by the trees.

One customer, Helen Miller (who is also a volunteer at the Lamar Senior Activity Center), was standing in a small line. She had dropped off 300 pounds of nuts the prior week and had come to pick them up and drop off another 200-300 pounds of pecans to be cracked. She said that her five pecan trees have really outdone themselves this year and that she uses the nuts in baking and giving as gifts during the holiday season.

The low cost of cracking your nuts at the Lamar Senior Center is also a huge incentive…only 50 cents per pound! Though you still have to take them home and finish taking the shells off, it is well worth the time, effort and 50 cents per pound…and you get great conversation with some really interesting and fun volunteers!

Pecan cracking at the Lamar Senior Activity Center is currently underway Monday – Friday from 9am – 3pm through January 31st, 2015. They are located at 2874 Shoal Crest in Austin. Bring your pecans in bags that you can write your name and phone number on – paper bags work best.

$.50/lb Pecan cracking at Lamar Senior Activity Center from 9am-3pm M-W-F thru 1-31-15. Located at 2874 Shoal Crest in Austin.


Shelley Parks has been in the PR field for more than 16 years and has experience in the non-profit, corporate and government relations arenas. She currently works for the City of Austin’s Parks & Recreation Department where her goal is to get Austinites passionate about the beautiful Parks, Cultural Centers and Recreation Centers that are found throughout our great city. Recently married and now a mother to three incredible teenagers, Shelley finds relaxation through her passion in helping others, reading, writing, shopping and spending quality time with friends and family.

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