My name is James Liston. My family has been harvesting the Nevada Soft Shell Piñon Pine Nuts for many years.
My great grandfather used to go out to Nevada with his brothers to harvest pine nuts back in the 1950's or possibly earlier. When his children got old enough he started taking his son's with him. They would just harvest enough for themselves and maybe enough to pay for their gas money. It wasn't a very big operation. In the mid 1960's they got the idea that they could hire people to pick for them and make it into a seasonal business. They haven't got rich doing it, but they love it.
I started going out to help my father run the harvesting part of the business around 1990 and kept going until 2002. I had some great times and have some good memories. It was sometimes hard work, but I loved being out in the mountains and spending time with my father and uncle.
In 2002 I got a job that required me to be there full time. So I no longer have the option of being able to leave for 2 or 3 months at a time to harvest pine nuts.
My father and uncle continue to harvest the pine nuts each year and work with other pine nut harvesters as well.