Q:

How do you harvest black walnuts?

A:

Quick Answer

To harvest black walnuts, allow the walnuts to ripen to a yellow-green color, and then remove the outer husks from the nuts. Wash the walnuts after husking them, and discard any nuts that are damaged. Allow the nuts to cure for two weeks before storing them.

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Full Answer

  1. Gather the walnuts

    Black walnuts are ready for harvest once the outer husk turns yellow-green and becomes soft enough to indent with a fingernail. Gather the nuts directly from the tree, or gather them from the ground once they fall. Discard nuts with damaged husks.

  2. Remove the husks

    To prevent stains while removing walnut husks, wear gloves and work outdoors. To remove the husks, fill a lidded bucket with three parts walnuts, one part water and a small amount of clean gravel. Place the lid on the bucket, and shake the bucket vigorously to remove the husks. Wash the nuts with a garden hose, and discard any nuts that appear cracked or damaged. Discard the husks.

  3. Cure and store the walnuts

    Place the walnuts in a cool, dry area away from direct sunlight. Cure the walnuts for two weeks, and then store the nuts in a well-ventilated area with 60 to 70 percent humidity.

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