With the end of autumn earlier this week, I planned to blog today about my fall foraging fails. Of which there seemed to be many, although most of them – like the American persimmons I mentioned earlier this month – were “failures” by choice. I’ve just had so little success despite so much effort, I opted not to even try harvesting wild foods like amaranth seeds, gingko nuts, autumn olive… I’ll spare you the litany. Because yesterday for Christmas I finally got a black walnut cracker!
This contraption is a major improvement over how I tackled our black walnut harvest back in January of this year!
And I’m super grateful for this technological step forward, because black walnuts, in fact, could be considered one of my foraging successes this year. …although not through any heroic effort of my own! A neighbor gifted us with two huge feedbags full of black walnuts he’d collected when he heard of my interest.
Unfortunately, they’d been on the ground for quite a while before he brought them to me…
And actually, two full weeks passed between when he harvested them and I finally picked them up…
At which point, the hulls were almost completely black and falling off of their own accord. I have heard repeatedly that the leaving the hulls on this long would change the flavor of the nutmeat within, but I couldn’t waste this generous gift. Using the same technique we tested out a few months ago, we (OK, my husband) transformed an almost-full garbage can of walnuts….
…to a heaping five gallon bucket-full.
Which means I have five gallons of gratitude for my Christmas gift!