walnuts, part 1

October 28, 2017

I am harvesting walnuts for the very first time and am reminded of a great quote:

“All you can do is admit to yourself that yes, this is an adventure, and to accept it as such, surprises and all.”

-Hugh MacLeod (Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity)


We are privy to several black walnut trees and for the past few years, I have intended to learn how to process the nuts that fall to the ground in such profusion. So, this year I am doing it!

I grabbed up 5 of them – starting small to try it out, because if this works, I will have to find a more efficient way to scale it up. There are oodles of intact walnuts on the ground right now.

fallen walnuts harvested

The gathering might turn out to be the easiest part of this whole process 🙂

The hard part, from everything I’ve read, is to get those hulls off. There is a dehulling device that one can purchase for around $70, which may just do the dirty for me, making this quick and painless. As I said, let’s just try this out on a small scale for now. I am going to do this with my own bare hands. Because walnut hulls can produce indelible stains, I will use heavy rubber gloves (ok, maybe not completely bare hands) and do this over some newspaper, preferably outdoors.

In the hopes that hot water will do the magic that it does in many other situations, I am letting the walnuts soak in a zippered bag for a period of time, maybe 1-2 hours. This either will or will not soften the hulls, making them easier to remove (or not).

walnuts soaking in warm water

Next steps:
Remove walnuts from bag.
Break apart the hull and remove from shell.
Wash the unshelled nuts.
Cure them.

Please check back for the next installment of the Great Walnut Harvest!

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