Saturday, October 8, 2011

Black Walnuts! Any Ideas?

               The best ideas are common property.


 We gather these nuts every year. They are falling off the four trees (watch your head) that sit directly behind our house. They cover the ground like a very lumpy carpet. Our very happy squirrels, and chipmunks can be seen running back and forth all day, I can actually see the big smiles on their face as they race back to get more, they are taking them to their winter storage places. This is probably the barn; we may have a tree grow in there someday. Interesting thought.
 We have always just planted them in the fence lines all around the farm. Now after 32 years we have many, many Black Walnut trees. That is a great thing and I am not complaining. The desirable wood of the slow growing tree, in a hundred years (I may not be here) will be of great value to someone, maybe my great, great, Grandchildren?
 I do know the nuts are valued for the rich dark brown dye that can be made with the husks. I also know they are very good eating.
 It was so much easier to just gather, and throw into the fence lines, then dump some dirt over them, at this busy time of year.
 Maybe you, my very smart readers, have suggestions of what to do with this years very abundant crop. This appears to be an exceptionally good year; they will fill a lot of grain bags. I would appreciate your help.



  1. sounds like a good dilemma to have. i'm sure someone will have some good roasting/storing ideas!

  2. I'll trade some black walnuts (and their hand-staining ability) for some spiked balls of death that are our chestnuts! ;)

  3. All I know is they are very, very good for you and very, very expensive in the stores. I hope you find out how to use them.

  4. Sorry I would absolutely have no idea. Wish I could see your chipmunks and squirrels gathering the nuts - that would be so cute :-)

  5. I understand black walnuts are delicious...and hard to free from their shells!

    I enjoy your blog, and have awarded you The Versatile Blogger Award!

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  6. I remember these rascals from when we were children..Every year we collected them and threw in driveway and ran over them with cars, tractors, etc to shell them..after that we would put gloves on and collect them into another single layer to dry some more...after time we could handle them and used a hammer to crack and pull out the delicious meat just in time for holiday baking...
    Wow! that brought back childhood memories!! It was work, but we made it fun...
    ~~Peace & Love & Healing & Blessings~~

  7. If you have holes in your gravel drive way, fill the holes with the walnuts. You will be amazed how long they will last. (years)! If you have a tater gun they also make excellent projectiles!

  8. We are lucky in our area there is usually someone buying walnuts. The outer shell is removed by machine and you are paid by the weight.

    We always save enough for winter. The driveway is a good idea to shell the green outer hull without much mess. They will keep for a very long time in the shell.

    After the outer shell is removed and the walnut has air dried, we just store in sacks...old feed sacks, anything.

    Hammer on a rock works good, crack them outside and use the nut pickers to get the goodie out. They also make walnut crackers. It is hard work but well worth it. The meat can then be frozen until you need it.

    Good luck with your bountiful harvest.

    Also forgot, soak some green ones in water until you get a black tea...this liquid will kill thistles and also makes a great dye.

  9. can also cross cut the walnut and make jewlry or decorations...the design in the cross cut are amazing.

  10. I second the jewelry option (Christmas ornaments too) but if you have the patience to harvest the nut meat... wow are they delish! I used to put them on a tarp on the driveway and run over them slowly with my car and then that helped with the cracking process. Oh, the green hulls will leave your hands black much like if you dipped them in Old English Furniture Polish...

  11. We have a bunch of black walnut trees. Last year I tired to crack them open after that first layer was gone. I think put an ad in the paper and say something like, "free black walnuts, you pick up." Although there is a lady that is going to be deomonstrating dyeing fiber and material with black walnuts on Saturday at our fall open house (The Granny Bee stitchery group)

    Cindy Bee

  12. I don't know about those nuts. I am sure you will nut it out though knowing you :)

    How is the new camera going for you?
    Your friend M xoxox

  13. I must admit I have never seen or heard of them in my ignorance. If they're expensive to buy there must be a profit in selling them somehow.

  14. We did the same as Blessings. They stayed in the driveway until around Thanksgiving (end of Nov here) then we spent all winter cracking them open with a hammer on a brick. Usually one of us would get the whole beautiful nut out in one piece, that was the goal! Once. Per Winter. Momma froze the nuts for baking. It makes the most awesome banana bread on the planet!

    Also, when I lived on a farm in eastern KY people STOLE them to sell. GRRRR.

  15. We have some very young black walnut trees that will not be producing for many years so I unfortunately do not have any good advice for you. That said, how great to have such a wonderful supply of nuts at your disposal and am sure you will put them to good use one way or another.

  16. We have English and Black Walnut trees. Only eat the English. Sara, over at Punkin's Patch, just made some dye out of her black walnuts and it created amazing colors when she went through the process with the wool from many different sheep. A monochromatic feast.

  17. We gather them up from in the yard and dump them on a pile in the woods. The squirrels loves us.

  18. It looks like running over them with the car is the method of choice for cracking those hard shells! I know that they're very expensive here too...maybe someone will buy them from you...could you advertise them in the classifieds of a local newspaper? I've also heard that nothing will grow under those that so?

  19. I read with interest about your dilema, as we have a black walnut tree and it has walnuts on them and I have no idea what to do with them......not sure if I'll pick them or leave them for the squirrels to eat,


  20. Hi B - I was wondering if you had any nuts left? I've been on the hunt for Black Walnuts in Canada and am having a heck of a time trying to track some down at this time of the year. I'd be thrilled to buy some from you? Cheers, Katie


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