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Old 12-14-2008, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Tropical state of mind
5,101 posts, read 7,915,343 times
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Default Walnut tree - what to do with the 'nuts'

I was just walking part of our property and found a massive walnut tree that has dropped it's ................... fruit?? ....... all over the place. I broke it open and made sure that it is actually a walnut in there and it is.

Question is, after getting off the fruit part of the nut it's still covered in a messy, wet, sloppy mess. If we actually want to use the nuts for eating, baking, etc., what do we do with the fruit that's dropped from the tree to get it to the point that we can crack it open and use it?



ETA: From what I've read on the internet it sounds like it's a black walnut tree. And of course, if so, that means it's very hard to get the darn nut from the fruit. Grrr!!!
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Old 12-14-2008, 04:05 PM
 
Location: rain city
2,633 posts, read 6,735,156 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrs1885 View Post

Question is, after getting off the fruit part of the nut it's still covered in a messy, wet, sloppy mess.
I've seen plenty of walnut trees and plenty of walnuts, but I've never seen what you're describing here.

Look at these pics of black walnuts to see if this is what you're finding. Black Walnut

If in fact you do have black walnuts they're just about impossible to get open. A hammer will bounce right off the shell. And once you do get them open the separating 'paper' in the inside is as tough as the outer shell so you ending up picking out the walnut in little bits. Black walnuts are a tough customer.

On the above website you will see the vice that is used to crack open black walnuts. You might want to get one.
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Old 12-14-2008, 05:39 PM
 
Location: a primitive state
6,745 posts, read 11,207,265 times
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I like using the green hulls to dye fabric. It makes a wonderful soft natural brown that blends well with nature. So if you want to make homemade "camouflage" or just like experimenting, you might try it out.

Walnut
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Old 12-16-2008, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Tropical state of mind
5,101 posts, read 7,915,343 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellie View Post
I like using the green hulls to dye fabric. It makes a wonderful soft natural brown that blends well with nature. So if you want to make homemade "camouflage" or just like experimenting, you might try it out.

Walnut
LOL - I'd goof that up for sure!!! I can barely get make up on myself without scaring the neighborhood children!!
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Old 12-16-2008, 09:40 AM
 
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We had 2 black walnuts...now 1 in our yard. Neither we or the previous owners could ever get them open. And they are a mess.
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:48 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
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I think if you do a search on this forum you'll find a quite recent and long thread which answered just your question. Cheers!
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:08 PM
 
Location: Washington D.C. area
62 posts, read 107,134 times
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Black walnuts are GREAT to eat. You just need to have some patience.

Gather them up and lay them out to dry for several weeks, preferably someplace warm and dry. I put them on newspapers up in the attic of our garage. When they have dried out a bit and look black and wrinkled, put on some old gloves and husk the outer layer off. (You will want to throw the gloves away—it is messy). Let them dry out for a few more weeks. Then bring them inside and use a nutcracker to get the meat out. Lever action nutcrackers work best. Enjoy!
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:13 PM
 
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I thought you might enjoy this thread that I started when I found walnuts here at my new house. Like you, I wanted to use them...

Anyone gather walnuts?....

I think they thought I was nuts!
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:13 PM
NCN
 
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Grandpa and I used to have a walnut cracking party at the bench under the walnut tree. Hammers work really good for this. Love those old memories. You just get some old shoes and stomp on the husks and pick the walnut out and dry it. When you taste one straight from the tree, you will be glad you did. They are delicious.
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
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I was raised on a farm with waaaay too many Black Walnut trees. We harvested every fall. Being on a farm made it a little easier, as we could spread them out on the ground, make a big mess, and it didn't matter.

Here's what we'd do:

1. Bag them whole (100-lb. feed bags).
2. Spread them out on the ground until the husks start rotting. They'll turn black after a few (weeks?) and begin to decompose.
3. Drive over them with a car to break the husks free. Then spray them with garden hose and let dry.
4. Bag the husked walnuts.
5. Wait for your son to misbehave. When he does, his punishment will be to pick walnuts. Severe punishment would be a pint; minor punishment 1/4 cup. (I was only sentenced to a pint once in my life.)
6. Place walnut on concrete, hold with fingers, break open with hammer.
7. Use small "pick" to dig nut from shell.

We usually broke several shells at a sitting, tossing them into a container to pick the "meat" later, as this step could be done indoors.

It's a big job to get a cup of nuts, but better than a spanking or grounding.

Note: The oil in the husks stains anything it contacts -- brown. Hands, clothing, concrete... anything.
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