My friend has a huge black walnut tree, and has not found a good way to harvest the black walnuts. They drop to the ground with a green shell around them, and they are very difficult to get the outer shell off. Any ideas? Thanks.
Kim from Crawford, CO
What we did at home was to gather the nuts and pour them into our driveway. Every time we parked the car, we would run over the nuts. When you see the nuts emerging from the hull, rake them out and store to dry. Black walnuts are wonderful in fudge & brownies.
Black walnuts are common here. If you know a handyman, get him a board about 8"x12", or maybe a little longer. Use a router or circle cutter, and cut a spot out of the middle that is the size of the nut, not including the husk. Prop the board over two chairs. Put a waste basket under the hole. With a hammer, pound the nut through the hole. It will leave the husk on the board so you can throw it away. Be sure to collect the nuts as soon as they fall. Otherwise squirrels, worms etc. will damage the nut meats. If you can't shell them right away, freeze them to stop the worms. If they don't taste good, throw them out. There are various fungi that can infect them.
We have a gravel driveway and collect the walnuts and lay them on top of the gravel. Driving over them just with routine trips in and out will remove the green shell. It also allows them to dry some afterward.
We've used this method since I was a child.
When I was a child, folks put the walnuts in their driveway and drove over them. That seemed to get the hulls off. Of course, it will stain your driveway. There's a trade-off there.
You need to be very careful "hulling" black walnuts! The hull will stain your hands and it is very difficult to remove. I would suggest that you wear a pair of cotton work gloves whenever you handle them.
I thought that the worms were part of the natural process of getting rid of the green hull and don't affect the nutmeat inside the shell. It's easier to remove the green hull when it's been partially eaten by the worms. Then I hang the hulled walnuts in a big onion bag until ready to shell them. For those hulls harder to get off, a whack with a hammer on a board will split it. Be sure to wear rubber gloves.
Try this website:
from the university of minnesota extension service. But I'm sure just typing "harvesting black walnuts" in your browser would get you several posts on the topic. Be sure to heed what they say about disposal, the juglone will kill most everything in your garden. also be careful not to touch your clothes while harvesting, black walnuts will leave permanent stains. good luck.
Wait until they get darker when they are in the green hull they are still growing I should know I have one in my neighbors part and they drop all the time on my side. About in the fall they will turn darker and the other shell will break than you can see the walnut in its orginal shell just crack like regular and enjoy. I save a bunch for my mom so she can nibble on them at night.
Kim, I am experimenting with that as well. I did order a special nut cracker to get at them once they've dried. Here were the first steps I took to get to the nuts! http://blog.smallkitchencooking.com ... /more-black-walnuts-in-detailil.aspx
So, do the worms damage or not? Some say "Yes"; some say "No".
How do they taste if they "don't taste good"? --Moldy, too tart?