Saturday, September 25, 2010

Picking up walnuts

There are five black walnut trees down at the bottom of that hill, three on the right and two on the left.  Click on the picture to make it larger and you'll be able to see all five trees; they're the ones that have lost most of their leaves.  There used to be a small pond in this hollowed-out place.  If we had more clay soil instead of wind-blown sand, we would have had a large pond put in here, stocked with fish.  But alas. sand lets the water slowly leak out and we would have wasted a lot of money on a leaky pond.  It's a good place to gather walnuts, anyhow.

Of course, there's a big hill to ascend with a heavy sack full of walnuts.  But it's good exercise.  The horses were on their way to the barn lot; right after I took this shot they broke into a playful run.  

The walnuts hide in the tall grass, where I step on a lot of them before I see them.  That's all right, because I step on them to loosen the hulls when I get them to the house, anyhow.  Cliff normally doesn't let the pasture grass get this tall, but we had a huge fuel bill a couple of months ago, on top of expenses from a trip to Arkansas during which we charged motel and gasoline expenses... followed by the purchase of an alternator for the Gold Wing.  I do not take kindly to $700 credit card bills, and Cliff is a little afraid to start up a tractor right now for fear he'll send me into some sort of conniption fit.  Those big tractors don't operate for free.  We have this huge yard to mow, and Cliff uses the John Deere for a large part of that job; we buy fuel for Cliff's sister's yard, as well as ours.  Although yard expenses are a drop in the bucket compared to what that big 1855 Oliver costs to operate when Cliff is plowing.  

Bonnie and Clyde passed by, curious as to what I was doing.  Those two stick together like glue.
I hauled another half-bushel of black walnuts back to the house, thinking about how good they'll taste in Christmas goodies this winter.  I think Mother used black walnuts exclusively when she made Christmas candy.  Brown sugar fudge with black walnuts:  my favorite.


  1. Walnuts have so many health benefits. Luck you to have them fresh and free.

  2. Please put me on your fudge gift list. lol

  3. Lindie11:55 AM

    Sadly, I do not care for the taste of black walnuts. I do love other nuts, just not black walnuts. We had so many black walnut trees when we lived in the country too! I planted (free, from the coservation dept)a lot of baby pecan trees which are probably just now bearing!

  4. I have two big walnut trees in the back yard... I'm not really motivated to do anything with them which means there is an abundant crop of squirrels.

  5. Black walnuts gathering/cracking
    We had walnuts closer to home, only I had rather gather them already hulled after traffic passing under walnut tree canopy over the road a mile from home. Mom saved what onion bags she got from friends who'd save us them for us, then I'd hang them off nails driven into the basement's overhead floor joists.
    It wasn't until I had a family of my own did I figure out how to crack them without the shells flying all over the floors for late not fancy stepping finding the lost pieces. I had either had cut or found a four inch piece of steel pipe two inches in length I'd set on another piece of half inch flat steel preferably on the floor. It was where in these pieces of combined steel the walnut was placed. By and by as time went on I fearlessly let the children have all the fun with a ball-peen swat-ski (hammer), even to separating the meats from the shells. Kids thought it great fun. And me, I unselfishly enjoyed sampling a many a the Christmas and winter candy and cooky Frieda showed the boys and girls how to make.

  6. Love love black walnuts! This year all our trees are sparse with nuts-makes me wonder if the frost got them or something. I've been expanding my search to different parts of the county-but no luck so far. At least I know you have them in your neck of the woods-although that would be some kind of drive for black walnuts : )


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