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Joe Ballou with a basic tool: pecan nut cracker

2009-01-18 - Old Springfield Road, District 6, Adair Co., KY - Photo By Ed Waggener.
JOE BALLOU's pecan operation wouldn't be nearly so fast without his handy dandy Duke Pecan Nut Cracker. Using it, he can crack about four-five pounds of pecans in about 20 minutes, he says. The little device only cracks the shells. He has to extract the kernels and clean them, which takes another one hour per pound. Mr. Ballou likes the little device so well he keeps two more as back up. He got the tools at Southern States in Columbia, he said. The crackers get a little technical; there's some expertise to operating them. The cracker has to be adjusted for different sizes of nuts.

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