Black Walnut Adventure


This past fall was a big year for nut trees in the area. Its called a masting year. Its kind of cool, trees have a reproduction strategy to out-wit the typical consumers of their bounty. By only producing moderate amount of nuts, squirrels and the like do not have a population explosion. Then, once and a while (and likely also based on environmental factors), a nut tree will go loco, producing way more than typical years. And more interesting is that all nut trees in the area are in synch. So, 2013 was a masting year, and we tried our hand at processing some nuts…  300 lbs or so with hull on.  Removing the hull (with a cast-iron corn huller) brings the bounty down to about 100 lbs in shell, or 1/3 of the original weight.  It takes a lot of time and effort to manually process black walnuts, not to mention a guarantee of stained hands (even with the protection of nitrile gloves).  But the effort is definitely worth it.  Black walnuts are a slow, slow food with big, big flavour.  Mmmm!

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