When I put in the orchard, I’m also going to include some nuts. I will likely get some hazelnuts and hardy almonds. I’m not sure the hardy almonds are as good as California almonds, but I’m going to give them a shot.
Not really nuts, but I’m also thinking of giving peanuts a shot in the garden. They are supposed to do fairly well in this area even though I’m not in the south. It will give me a source of some of our protein. They are also a good source of fat. But they are time consuming to shell out. I did some reading and came across the Universal Nut Sheller. This uses a couple concrete stones to shell the peanuts. If I plant peanuts, I’m going to have to get the plans to make one of these.
But that’s all for the future. What can I do today? Well I have several black walnut trees around the property. I know they are not as good as English walnuts, but it is what I have at the moment. I decided to see what I can do with them.
My son was complaining that he wanted to earn some money, so I gave him one of my old Ale Pails and sent him to one of the black walnut trees. The deal was that if he filled the bucket, he’d earn some money. He filled the 6 gallon bucket without much problem. He could have probably filled another half bucket if he’s have looked through the bushes.
After he brought them up, it was my turn to do some work. I had to remove the husks from the nut. What I find works best for me is to lay them on the driveway and step on them. This cracks open the husk, making it easy to remove it from the nut. In the lower left, that black walnut has been stepped on and split, ready to be peeled open. On the right are the husks from those nuts on the left. There’s a lot of husk to throw away.
I would peel off the husk and drop the nut into a box. I ended up with probably a gallon and a half of nuts. They are still very wet. I’ll need to lay them out where the squirrels can’t get to them to allow them to dry. I’m not quite sure how I’ll keep the squirrels out, but I’m going to try.
Luckily I remembered the dye that’s in black walnut husks. It will stain anything it touches. My hands would have been really messy for days if I didn’t put on some gloves. Even with the gloves, I ended up with stained index finger. I must have put a hole in the gloves while working on the nuts.
I’m not completely sure what I’m going to do with them yet. Maybe I’ll see how pesto tastes with black walnuts in it.