We have a lot of walnut trees. How do you harvest them and what is the easiest way to shell the nuts?
By citygirlinthecountry from Wilmington, OH
Squirrels will get them quickly, so you will need to pick them up and allow them to dry outdoors until after the first frost. They turn from green to loose blackish brown hull and remove it. Use a hammer over a thick flat rock and crack the nut and pick the meat out with a nut pick. You can place them in freezer bags and store in freezer until ready to use. I've tasted them stored in a jar and they got a musty flavor from aging, so I didn't like that method.
If you know anyone who makes straw baskets or does other reed weaving, you might offer them the walnut hulls as they are a natural dye and stain fingers easily.
If you have, or know someone that has a dirt or gravel driveway, the cars coming and going into the driveway a few times, and you'll have the worst part of the hulls off of the black walnuts. Yep, the hulls will stain your hands really bad, and it's not easy getting rid of it. . lot's of washing and washing, and washing.
A couple years ago, my two 20+ year old blackwalnut trees that I planted finally started making blackwalnuts, however, so far, the moment they dropped lately, the squirrels quickly make them disappear. I may have to camp underneath my trees to try to grab some of them before the squirrels get them. . .heh heh.
I have a friend who raises beagles for rabbit hunting and every year he hunts fallen walnuts that still have a green hull to put in his dog's water bowls to cure "Kennel Cough" and it works. Just thought I would throw in this little nugget for fun.
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