Is harvest time over? Here it is almost Christmas and I have black walnuts drying. I have always heard they are close to impossible to crack so I usually let the squirrels gather them. Amazingly enough you will find halved shells lying all around the tree. The grandkids find them and call them pig noses, and if you follow the familiar grinding sound you can spot the industrious squirrels up on limbs cracking those nuts. But how am I to do it? Any suggestions? I thought maybe a hammer, but I am afraid I might ruin the nut inside.
Driving home along one of my favorite routes, a graveled way through neighboring farmers fields, I spotted a tree among the hedgerows of mostly hawthorn and rugosas. I am thinking it was a crabapple, but I can’t be certain because I have never really seen one formally. I stopped however because it was pretty full of extra small dangling golden fruit. I bit into one, and it was bittertart , if thats a word. I thought wow this would make wonderful jelly so I picked about 5lbs. Was it ever! A beautiful amber jelly with just the right combination of sweet and tart. I thought this would make lovely gifts for the holidays. Then I got up the guts to knock on the door of little farm not far from the road who had a row of those orange pumpkin leaf bags stuffed full lining the drive. But they weren’t home. I left a note offering to dispose of them if they would like, and mentioned that I was in need of mulch for the garden. Truly, we have mostly fir trees and very little deciduous trees. Leaf mold is a fantastic winterizer for garden beds, keeping weeds and grasses supressed, and of course it’s also great for the compost pile. I haven’t recieved a response yet but I will get a jump on this great idea next year for sure. Dear homesteaders, God has blessed us with some awesome sunny weather which has lifted spirits immensely following the storm and flooding last week. Many are still dealing with the destruction of homes, barns and livestock. Please offer a prayer these kindred folk.
My small pile of black walnuts, outer husks still intact. The inner lining is mushy and very black making the walnut itself very black too.
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Tuesday, December 18, 2007 – vice
|Posted by Anonymous|
|You should try using a vice. Be sure and crack them against the side and not along the seam. I enjoy reading your blog. You sound like you have a very intresting life. Thanks and God bless|