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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Walnut Harvesting Update

After some small experimentation, I have decided that, for my small scale processing, the boot method looks like it will work.

The one showing ridges is ready for drying - the others need another round of cleaning.
  1. Look for walnuts where the husk has darkened on on side
  2. Step on walnut with heel of "mucky boot" and squash
  3. With rubber/latex glove, "squirt" walnut out of hull
  4. Leave hull to decompose right where it is
  5. Fill 5 gallon bucket until bucket is about half full
  6. Use the "jet" setting on a hose sprayer nozzle to spray walnuts in the bucket until water just covers the walnuts
  7. Use a 3 prong hand cultivator to mix the walnuts against each other until the water is really dark
  8. I am discarding the water where I am trying to kill weeds on my gravel driveway
  9. Repeat the rinsing cycle a few times
  10. Spread nuts out to dry
I was able to process three times as many walnuts as my first try (4 hours for a mixing bowl full of walnuts) - in about half an hour.  I could have probably cut the time down, but I spent a lot of the time picking up walnuts being slow and lazy.  If I had put some energy into it, I'm sure I could have picked up that many walnuts in a much shorter time period. 

From what I have read, Black Walnuts often only produce every other year or every 3rd year or so. There are still buckets of walnuts to harvest, so I am assuming this is one of the "good" years. So gotta harvest enough to have walnuts for a few years of brownies and banana bread! (And I say that like I actually bake...)

These ones have been drying for about a week now. 

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