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Old 10-16-2012, 10:21 PM
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Default Walnut storage?



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I have been granted gleaning rights to neighbor's english walnut tree crop....so now i have 3 shopping bags full and i am wondering what next?
Do i have to hull them before storage?
can i use the hulls as mulch, or compost?
will they keep just as they are?
cracked a few open, very tasty, just a tiny bit bitter, is that ok?
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:23 PM
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never had english walnuts but with black walnuts and butternuts we always hulled them and stored them in the shells,,,with these it wasnt uncomon for them to be a bit bitter till after they had aged a while,,,try to store in a cool area,,

my understanding is for longer term storage they need to be shelled and roasted and some of the oil blotted off after

if your neighbors got one growing i would be tempted to try starting a few to see if i could get my own trees going
Old 10-17-2012, 08:25 PM
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Wear gloves while shelling...
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Old 10-18-2012, 03:01 AM
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I have just collected several bags worth myself.

For some reason, they fall off the trees here and they often are out of the hull already.

I leave some in the shell and hang them in net bags. And I crack a bunch and put them in jars.

The easiest way I found to crack them is combination hammer and nut cracker. I initially started with just the nutcracker and that worked, but My hands and thumb started to get really sore, and one of my nutcrackers broke.

What I found works faster and with less pain is to put a walnut on the counter, give it a whack or two with the hammer, which usually splits the nut, and I can remove the meat. Sometimes the nut needs a bit more help and then I use the cracker just ever so lightly. It's kind of a rummagy job, but quite pleasant. Just put a big pile of nuts on your counter or other hard surface, and have a bowl ready for the nutmeats and transfer them into your storage container afterwards.

I store the nut shells as I thought I can burn them in winter and use as kindling.

I've read that walnuts and the trees have something in them that stunts the growth of various plants, so it's probably a good idea to find out where in your garden you could use them to not stunt growth. Also they seem to take a long time to break down.
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Old 10-18-2012, 03:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morethnrubies1 View Post
I have been granted gleaning rights to neighbor's english walnut tree crop....so now i have 3 shopping bags full and i am wondering what next?
Do i have to hull them before storage?
can i use the hulls as mulch, or compost?
will they keep just as they are?
cracked a few open, very tasty, just a tiny bit bitter, is that ok?
remove any flesh from the fruit, if this is what you mean by hull. You store only the nut itself, in its shell. it will begin to oxidise the moment you shell it so only shell those nuts you wish to eat in the next month. Rancid walnuts are nobody's idea of a good time.

Once hulled, lay in a nice place to dry, a few weeks. At this point any remaining hulls should be relatively easy to remove.
As I mention above, do not shell them. They last far better in their shells, at the very least a year, so if you get to go back for more you should have no problems maintaining a constant supply.

Keep them in a cool, dark, dry place.

when you do shell them, you can throw the shells in teh fire or in the compost as you prefer.

The older they get the more bitter, new nuts are very tender.
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:08 AM
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Thanks for all the answers! I will be removing the outer hulls and leaving the shells today, and collecting some more as they have fallen agian. it's nice to have a free supply of somewhat expensive nuts.

I'll try planting some, i believe it takes nut trees ages to mature, but why not give it a shot?

The kids have been having a blast cracking them open by throwing them on the sidewalk. But I think Ill give the hammer method a "whack"
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daisy View Post
I have just collected several bags worth myself.

For some reason, they fall off the trees here and they often are out of the hull already.

I leave some in the shell and hang them in net bags. And I crack a bunch and put them in jars.

The easiest way I found to crack them is combination hammer and nut cracker. I initially started with just the nutcracker and that worked, but My hands and thumb started to get really sore, and one of my nutcrackers broke.

What I found works faster and with less pain is to put a walnut on the counter, give it a whack or two with the hammer, which usually splits the nut, and I can remove the meat. Sometimes the nut needs a bit more help and then I use the cracker just ever so lightly. It's kind of a rummagy job, but quite pleasant. Just put a big pile of nuts on your counter or other hard surface, and have a bowl ready for the nutmeats and transfer them into your storage container afterwards.

I store the nut shells as I thought I can burn them in winter and use as kindling.

I've read that walnuts and the trees have something in them that stunts the growth of various plants, so it's probably a good idea to find out where in your garden you could use them to not stunt growth. Also they seem to take a long time to break down.
The inhibiting chemical you refer to is juglone, and it is named after the walnut genus, Juglans. It is not universal in inhibiting the growth of other plants. Woodruff and wild ginger are good companion plants, and I'm sure that a black belt in Google-fu can find many more.

For companion trees, try beech and maple.
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Harmless Drudge View Post
The inhibiting chemical you refer to is juglone, and it is named after the walnut genus, Juglans. It is not universal in inhibiting the growth of other plants. Woodruff and wild ginger are good companion plants, and I'm sure that a black belt in Google-fu can find many more.

For companion trees, try beech and maple.
Wild ginger is a noxious weed in New Zealand. That stuff is a very bad idea.

As to just putting their shells into the compost if you are not throwing huge quantities in there, go for it. They do take a while to break down but that's fine because that offers habitat for cute little animalses to have their babieses in.

The hulls - chuck em in compost or use em for mulch. We just mow them back into the lawn.

In relatively small doses they do just about nothing. Look at the grass under the walnut tree - it's still growing. Trees nearby are still growing. If you tried to kill your garden you wouldn't use walnut husks to do it with.
Old 11-05-2012, 06:38 PM
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We have both black and English Walnut on our property that I shell every year. Once we pick them up we lay the walnuts in the gravel drive for several days to run over them with the car/truck/lawnmower/4 wheeler which causes the outer shell to come off. Then we pick them up (wear gloves) and wash the black from the out shells of them. Place them out to dry and them let them age in a bucket in the garage for several weeks to a month. Then they are cracked and shelled. From there I freeze them in half pint jars or they can be roasted and then canned to be stored shelf stable.See the attached link for more info and canning directions

[URL="http://hickeryhollerfarm.blogspot.com/2012/11/walnuts.html"]
Old 11-15-2012, 07:04 PM
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You can dry them in the shells. You certainly need to remove and wash any of the covering outside the shells.

We had filberts (hazelnuts) and walnuts in our orchards and a washer/dryer. We also had one black walnut tree that we picked the nuts by hand, ran them through the washer in their own burlap sack (so as to not mix with the others) and shelled them (many blanks off that tree) then put them in the furnace room (laid them on newspaper) for weeks until they were dry.

Black walnuts are superior in taste, but small and not very productive.

If they are bitter they may not be ripe or dry enough. The fruit should be relatively brittle when dry and should chop up well (we would usually chop them up to put on foods).

Walnuts are somewhat acidic.

As for keeping them, they will keep in the shell or when shelled keep in a jar, but eventually they will go somewhat stale after a couple of years, so go ahead and use them up.

Yes the shells can be used for a number of things - they burn and ground up they can be used in compost although they don't decay very fast.
Old 11-15-2012, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morethnrubies1 View Post
Thanks for all the answers! I will be removing the outer hulls and leaving the shells today, and collecting some more as they have fallen agian. it's nice to have a free supply of somewhat expensive nuts.

I'll try planting some, i believe it takes nut trees ages to mature, but why not give it a shot?

The kids have been having a blast cracking them open by throwing them on the sidewalk. But I think Ill give the hammer method a "whack"
The tree may grow, but it probably won't be very good. It takes some doing to grow a decent walnut tree. Generally we would start with small root stock which we grew in special conditions and then we would graft the fruit tree onto that.
Old 11-15-2012, 07:14 PM
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soak the hulls in water for a day or so and then put it in containers label it and seal it up. When every you need worms for fishing pour this solutionon onto the ground and wait a few secs to a few min. you can pick the worms up right off the ground. Be sure to rinse the worms off immediatly in clear water before you put them in a worm container.
Old 11-15-2012, 07:35 PM
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Just as a heads up. I did my first gathering of black walnuts in 1988 and had buckets full of them. They should be hulled by not shelled for long term storage. DON'T use the shells as garden mulch. Very few garden plants can survive it. But here's the funny story I have to tell.

I moved into an old farm house in 1987 and by the fall of 1988 I had a cellar full of food for the winter of which I was so proud of. Several buckets of black walnuts were part of that stored food. I was a bit shocked at how fast my husband was eating those darn walnut, especially since I had them mainly for baking. But we were newly married and I didn't want to ruffle feathers by telling him not to eat so many of them. This went on for a couple of weeks and darn it, but those walnuts didn't go faster and faster as time went on. Finally I came up with a nice way of saying "keep your mitts off the walnuts." to my husband (today I would probably use those exact words). He looked at me in a weird way and said he hadn't eaten any of them.

Well, either I married the premier BS artist or else we had walnut gnomes. So I went down and sat at the bottom of the stairs and waited in the dark. I heard a noise, flipped on the light, and there were SEVERAL mice with my walnuts scurrying away with them. Nasty little buggers.

So the morals of this story are, don't automatically think everything is your husband's fault. It might be, but don't automatically think it. And second, other critters like your nuts, keep them in a way that lets them stay dry, but doesn't let the mice in. I find that metal garbage cans with lots and lots of tiny holes poked into it all over is the best way to store nuts. And if it IS your husband stealing the nuts, it's pretty easy to weld on a hasp and lock it up. :-)
Old 11-15-2012, 07:41 PM
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Oh and I forgot to mention, I know nothing about english walnuts but the hulls of the black walnut dried makes the best tooth brushing podwer there is. People think I'm nuts when I say this but I was taught this by an Amish mid-wife. She had lovely teeth and the only thing she would brush with was dried and powdered black walnut hulls. She recommended people with cavities to stuff the area with the dried hulls and it can (not will but can) fix a cavity. I tried it on my nephew once while waiting to go to the dentist and it really did work. I saw the x-rays. It works better on kids than adults though, maybe because their teeth are still growing?
Old 11-15-2012, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absolutely! View Post
Wild ginger is a noxious weed in New Zealand. That stuff is a very bad idea...
I had a wild ginger once, she wore me out!
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