Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: Anyone here harvest black walnuts?

  1. #1
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    7,885

    Anyone here harvest black walnuts?

    Black walnuts are a totally different animal from English walnuts. We have hundreds, if not a couple thousand of these trees on our property. This year is unbelievable on how many have been produced. Before I go into it much, I'm wondering if any of you harvest these?

  2. #2
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Saint Paul, Minnesota
    Posts
    4,116
    We have a black walnut tree in our front yard. For some reason it was not a spectacular producer this year, but some years are like that.

    We don't harvest them. Years ago a friend of mine and I visited a town (in Missouri?) during its Black Walnut Festival (probably had a less-generic name than that). Kind of like the Gilroy Garlic Festival -- black walnuts in all kinds of foods. We shared a few items and I decided I just don't like the flavor (she liked it more than I do but it was not a must-have). Add in that getting to the actual nuts is a messy stains-everything process and we just leave them for the squirrels or anyone walking by who wants them.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    beyond the pale
    Posts
    2,229
    Walnuts are expensive, but do black walnuts taste different than the generic walnuts for sale? If not, I'd be tempted to spend some time harvesting some of them for personal use.

  4. #4
    Simpleton Alan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    5,072
    Quote Originally Posted by Lainey View Post
    Walnuts are expensive, but do black walnuts taste different than the generic walnuts for sale? If not, I'd be tempted to spend some time harvesting some of them for personal use.
    Yes, they do taste different, much stronger and often bitter to my tastes. I think the secret to making them enjoyable is a long drying process which allows them to mellow a bit.
    "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler." ~ Albert Einstein

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    1,405
    Quote Originally Posted by Alan View Post
    Yes, they do taste different, much stronger and often bitter to my tastes. I think the secret to making them enjoyable is a long drying process which allows them to mellow a bit.
    We love the flavor and do harvest them. Trick is getting shells off. My mom used to run over them with the car. You hve to let them dry out, and watch out for the dye that they contain, which will stain everything.

    Blackwalnut sour cream coffee cake is the absolute best.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    543
    I have memories of people running over them with cars to crack when I was a kid. They are strong and good in limited amounts in things like oatmeal cookies. Hard work to crack, very hard work.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Penns Woods
    Posts
    2,034
    Never mind the walnuts......the wood could be sold for a very nice price for furniture making.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Sad Eyed Lady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    936
    I love the taste of black walnuts. Much better than the English walnut in my opinion. But like others have mentioned, getting the shell off and then cracking them takes some work. They do need to dry out for a while so that the mushy greenish stuff in the outer shell doesn't stain everything, and the kernels will be easier to extract when they are dry also. I imagine if they are not dried beforehand then the taste would be bitter, but dried kernels of black walnut has a delicious taste to me. Growing up we used these in lots of dishes, and when someone said "walnut" this was what we were referring to. If it was the other variety then they would be referred to as "English walnut" because we didn't have these usually unless they were bought in a bag of mixed nuts etc.
    "Like a bird on the wire, like a drunk in the midnight choir, I have tried in my way to be free." Leonard Cohen

  9. #9
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    By a lake in MO
    Posts
    4,018
    It was a good way to make some extra money when I was in school. We have several large stands of walnuts on the farm. We'd take an old farm truck into the woods and scoop them up by the shovel full in some areas. There are process buyers that would buy our truck loads run them up a conveyor belt and through a shelling machine then pay us for the weight of nuts. Dad doesn't mess with them now just leaves them for the wildlife. I've got friends from back home posting photos of doing the same thing so there are still a few process buyers down in the Amish countryside.

    This was just posted by MDC. I love our conservation department in this state. http://www.lakenewsonline.com/news/2...survive-winter
    Last edited by Float On; 10-13-17 at 11:48am.
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

  10. #10
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    7,885
    Thanks everyone, and thanks Float On for that link. It's a good one.

    I tried harvesting some 2 years ago, but got very little meat out of them. DS got me a really good nutcracker, but it was still so much work. I'm learning that you should pick them close to when they fall off the tree, remove the outer stuff and then let them cure/ripen for at least a couple weeks. I collected a bucket-full the other day and cut off the outside part, but that took awhile. Then I realized I could run over them with my golf cart. (raised, with big tires). I was afraid the car might break the shells. Anyhow......that worked great. I use some rubber gloves though, since it can stain so much. I put the nuts in a big bucket and sprayed them, drained them, sprained them, drained them, several times. Then I set them on several cooling racks in the house. When the shells are dry, I will hang them up in a mesh bag for awhile. I did throw out the ones that floated, since they supposed have no nut meats in them.

    There's several You-Tube videos that are useful, and I've learned when you're cracking them that it's good to use wire cutters to cut some of the walls inside the shell, to take out bigger pieces. Using a vice looks like a good possibility too.

    I've heard you can freeze the nuts-in-the-shells too, or hang them up in a cool dry area for quite a while. If this goes well, I might consider some sort of small device that will make all this easier.
    I've even read that you can burn the shells like firewood. They make a good dark dye too. I have a friend who said she found several bottles in the ground around her old great grandparent's home with the label "Walnutto" on them. She showed it to other family members and they laughed, saying it was a stain and the great grandfather used to use it to dye his hair.

    I just can't believe how many we have here. It's nice to know that they won't be "wasted" if we don't use them........but instead, feed a lot of wildlife. It's hard to believe that chipmunks and squirrels can chew them open. Lots of times I can hear them chewing away at them.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •