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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Black Walnut Obsession and Other Updates

Thistle Down and Black Walnuts

Yes, I suppose I am obsessing.  Have 5 or 6 more five gallon buckets full to hull and dry.  And after spending 2 hours with a hammer cracking them to win barely a cup of nut meats, I ponied up $40 and bought a purpose built nut cracker.  I spent an hour learning to use it, and I think I will be able to shell 2 cups or so of nut meats an hour after a little practice.  Yay!  Black walnuts for baking this winter.  And maybe some to give away.  At $20 a pound or so on Amazon, I should make back my $40 this season.
Tiny Red Spider among the floating bubbles of Morning Dew.
One of the reasons I am so slow at stomping on walnuts (to husk them) and putting them into my bucket is because I am always distracted by some little insect or, in this case, a tiny arachnid.  Less than 1/4 inch long, this little red spider is a marvel of industry.  The whole web is about 5 inches across, and covered in morning dew.

Last of the Summer Basil.
I feel bad that with all the abundance of Basil that we had this year, I did not put more up for winter stews and spaghetti sauce.  But, I did dash out on the evening before our first hard frost and gather up a few trays to dry.   I also got a tray of lemon balm, Melissa Officinalis, to dry to add to tea this winter.

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