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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you have one, does it work really well? I'm thinking about getting one but don't want to waste the money if they don't really work. Our trees are loaded with walnuts this year and I definitely want to crack out as many as possible to use, freeze, and give to friends; walnuts are soooo expensive in the stores.
 

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Master Dollar Stretcher aka TraciBob
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We have 2 black walnut trees in our backyard, but I have no idea how to do them. I know that you have to peal the shell off and stuff but I wish that I knew how to do them because we have so many that end up on the ground. I have a wooden walnut cracker but I have haven't used it for years. It doesn't hold the walnut secure and it is pretty big and bulky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
baronmom, here's an article on black walnuts that might be useful to you.
http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/champaign/homeowners/hc991002.html
We always put ours in the driveway and run over them to loosen the husk on them, and then I can easily peel the husk off. Make sure you wear gloves when husking them because they turn your hands a nasty black/brown color and it won't wash off!!! It will also stain your shoes and clothes so wear old stuff when husking. I never wash the walnuts, I just lay them out in the sun and let them dry for a couple days after husking them, and then they can be cracked or stored. They are great in chocolate chip cookies and brownies, yum, they do have a stronger flavor than English walnuts though, but I use them in place of English walnuts in lots of different recipes. Oh, and be very careful not to get any shell in the nut meats because it can easily break a tooth. Around here walnut meats or "goodies" as we call them, sell for quite a lot of money and some people sell them every year but most people just don't want to go to the trouble of cracking them out. My dad used to sit out by the garage and crack walnuts and eat them right out of the shell sprinkled with a little salt; I can still see him sitting there with his hammer and salt shaker:)
 

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Master Dollar Stretcher aka TraciBob
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I found out today that I think we have English Walnuts and not Black Walnut. I really don't know what the difference is. One of the articles said that they should be ready to pick around the last two weeks in Aug. or early Sept., but they are already falling off the tree. Thanks for the info though. I have always wondered what the process was. I did know that the black stuff was terrible. We have lived here for 5 years and every year they have gone to waste. I really would like to put them to some good use. I will keep on researching and maybe I will be able to do something with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's natural for the tree to be dropping some of the nuts this time of year, it's shedding some that either aren't any good or it's trying to get rid of too heavy a load so it's branches won't break; these nuts that are falling now are not mature and not any good. To figure out the difference between the two nuts: the black walnuts have a very rough, grooved, black shell; English walnuts have smooth, brown shells. I would think that you have black walnut being in PA, unless someone planted English walnuts there, the black ones are native to the area. You should be able to tell which they are this fall when you can hull off the outer husk.
 

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Master Dollar Stretcher aka TraciBob
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I am pretty sure that they are English walnuts. I would add a picture to this post, but I have no clue how to do it. So, I will put it as my avitar for now and you can take a look and let me know if that is what they are. I appreciate all your help.

Traci
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Traci, I think you are right. Your pic doesn't look like our black walnuts, the leaves on ours are more narrow and pointy and the hull is not shiny but dull. Sounds like you have some nice English walnut trees, don't you just love that someone planted them years ago and now you get to benefit from them :) I hope you find some info to help you figure out how to harvest them, I'm totally clueless about these. Your family is certainly going to have some yummy treats this winter, and just think, free, wow nuts are expensive.
 

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Master Dollar Stretcher aka TraciBob
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Thanks for all your help. I am totally clueless when it comes to plants and trees. I know the man that built this house. He was friends with my grandfather. (my grandparents lived down the street.) He has planted quite a few nice different kinds of trees around the house. I only hope that I can take advantage of all the nuts on the trees. I was looking at them today, and there are quite a few of them. Thanks again for your help.

Traci
 

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Black walnuts are rounder and darker (more of a deep brown shell) than the English variety and are very, very, very hard to crack (did I mention that theya re hard to crack?:toothy: ). We used a hammer and a brick, but we have friends wh put them in a burlap back and ran over them with their car a few times to "soften them up". They are a lot of work, but are very good!
 
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