So if you notice a tree with fan shaped leaves, and plum shaped fruits which smell like dog feces it's probably a ginko. Only the female trees bear fruit, and they need to be in proximity to a male ginko to make the nuts. Ginkos are considered to be a "living fossil" because they have been thriving for tens of thousands of years in their current form.
A note of caution: Ginko seeds contain urushiol, which is the same chemical that causes poison oak, ivy and sumac to create an allergic reaction, and skin rash. Wear gloves and protect your skin when handling the fruit!
Step 1: Locate a Ginko Tree
Step 2: Prepare to go Ginko Picking
You will need a disposable plastic bag, or a bin to carry the fruit home in, a fruit picker, rubber gloves and perhaps chopsticks.
Step 3: Pick the Ginko
Step 4: Soak the Ginko Fruit In Water
The gesture for removing the nuts is similar to the gesture used to pull the seeds out of plums. You want to keep the nuts and compost the fruit.
Step 5: Dry the Wet Nuts
Step 6: Cooking The Nuts
To prepare them for eating, either roast them in a cast iron skillet like you would any other raw nut, roast them in the oven at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) or put them in a paper bag in the microwave. You will know they are cooked because they have turned translucent bright green.
In the photos below, you can see the difference between a cooked and uncooked ginko nut.