Simply Resourceful

Simple ways to be more conscious about how we use our resources.

Harvesting Walnuts: Take 2!

Last Fall I harvested walnuts for the first time and didn't have very good success.  This year I decided to try it again and how lucky I am to have 5 black walnut trees in the yard at our new house!  I say lucky, but not really, because those pesky nuts are a pain to pick up every time the lawn is mowed.  Compared to last year, this time I had much better success with harvesting the nuts.

I had a pretty basic setup in the front yard.  The nuts that needed to be hulled were on one cardboard box area and the ones drying were on another.  I used a rock to break the hulls off. 

The hulled nuts were added to a bucket of water.  The floaters were removed because that signifies the shell is empty. 

The nuts were rinsed several times to remove the hull residue.  The water doesn't have to be perfectly clear...just not really dark.  In the bucket you can see some fabric.  I was dying a treasure map for my son's birthday party.  Walnut dye is great for "antiquing" fabric.

After the nuts were washed, they were placed on cardboard and left in the sun for a day or two until they were dry.  We don't want the nuts to mold while they are curing. 

The nuts were then hung in onion sacks in the basement.  There are a lot of different recommendations for storage times.  Two weeks was just the right amount of time for us because some of the nuts inside the shell were starting to shrivel up into nothing. 

To crack open the nuts I used a hammer and a brick.

This nut looks perfect!


There was a wide range of ripeness from the nuts I gathered. 

Black walnuts have a much stronger flavor than English walnuts; because of their intense flavor I actually use less in my recipes. 


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A weekly update on our adventures of trying to be more self-sufficient by using resources wisely. We explore a variety of topics that most broadly fit in the "Homesteading" category, i.e. beekeeping, organic gardening, edible landscaping/fruit forest, food preservation/canning, woodworking, soap-making, and environmental stewardship.

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