My life has been shrouded in the realm of walnuts. My earliest memories include my grandpa sitting after dinner cracking walnuts. Once I had the hand strength to squeeze the metal nut cracker hard enough to break the shell, I would sit next to Gramps, cracking walnuts along with him. After that, I lived most of my adult life in a home with a giant black walnut tree which stood 50 ft. tall, and had a span of branch width of at least that many feet if not 60. It was huge, and provided shelter for squirrels, raccoons, and opossum. I loved that big old tree. I still have walnuts in my life.
These trees are dropping round, squishy things with a hard pit that threaten to twist your ankle upon a misstep.
There are five of them, all abundantly dropping as quickly as the leaves are falling.
They do resemble ornaments hanging in the breeze. I wonder how white twinkling lights would look strewn about the branches?
After the last big rain, the trees are more devoid…..
…but now, the ground is covered. They do make quite the mess.
After talking with a friend about collecting and drying walnuts, my curiosity was ignited. I Googled the process and found some good information. This year, we are going to try our hand at collecting, de-husking, drying, and harvesting the nut from the very hard, thick shell. Black walnuts differ greatly in shell construction than the English variety that are usually sold in grocery stores.
The shells are harder to crack, and instead of a two chamber contraption, it has four.
I have read that the meat of the black walnut, once dried, has a wonderfully nutty flavor. It is apparently, well worth the effort, and will keep well in the freezer for two years. I hope this works out, and will help cut the costs of enjoying these healthy, meaty nuts.
Thanks for enjoying the farm with me today!
Your friend from Oregon,