Saturday 16 November 2019

Walnut Trees

What to do with Walnuts

We have two walnut trees at the top of our garden. When we arrived in 2006 they were fairly modest, quite dainty trees. Now they are very large.

They don't come into leaf until June and have shed all by mid October so they must have pretty efficient constitutions.

We have had a few nuts in previous years but this year they have gone crazy. I've picked up off the floor 3 buckets-full and could probably find more in the long grass and under the raspberries. We were told by the previous owners of Froggarts Cottage that they aren't English walnuts, I think she said Italian. The leaves are thinner than English walnuts and the nuts inside the hulls are ridged lengthwise rather than rippled and smooth as the English nuts are.

Thought I better do a bit of research to find out what I can do with all these nuts. Turns out they are likely to be American Eastern Black walnuts."junglans nigra".  They have smaller kernels which are tricky to get out, which is what we've found with ours.

Earlier in the year when the first nuts formed I tried pickling some but haven't yet tried eating them. For pickling walnuts need to be under-ripe with the inside shell still soft. Problem is the nuts grow high up so if this appears to be a good use we'll have to use the tall ladders to reach them.

Once they have fallen from the tree Googling suggests bashing the green hulls with a wooden mallet and peeling off by hand. Will need to wear gloves because they stain fingers black.

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