Black Gold — Black Walnut Harvest

Black Walnuts - Husking

We have a small harvest of black walnuts! Black walnut trees are beautiful  and very valuable. Walnut trees produce delicious nutmeats and the tree’s timber are in high demand. A mature tree can yield 50K or more. Black walnut trees are a goldmine. Black walnut veneer — attractive and durable — is in demand. Walnut is especially popular for making furniture, gun stocks, etc… Timber thieves have been known to sneak into property and cut down valuable black walnut trees and haul them away. These criminals often use helicopters in these operations. For many, black walnut trees are more valuable for their fruit. Black walnuts can sell for up to $7 to $12 per pound — Chinese consumers have created a high demand for the American nutmeat. Recently a “nut thief” stole 140, 000 pounds (worth 400K) of walnuts  — that’s nuts!

These Nuts Stain!

Native Americans used the tree for its fruit and tapped the sap to make syrup and butter. Black walnut fruit turns ripe in October, its yellow-green husk covers the black Walnut. The yellow-green husk turns black and create a very strong black dye. This dye stains everything. Native Americans used this dye for their clothing, maps and writing. Now that we have our walnut bounty, its time to prep the nuts by getting rid of the husks. Husking is not hard, but you must wear gloves because these nuts stain! Check out this quick video to see how we “de-husked” our black walnuts:

 

It’s amazing how time consuming it is to get rid of the black walnut husks. You can buy equipment to help — a tree shaker ($5,000) or Push Black Walnut Harvester ($500) would make the processes much easier. But for now, We’ll stick with our trusty half brick.

Black Walnuts - Nutmeat

Black Walnuts – Nutmeat

More Walnut Info…

Here are some more interesting articles about walnuts. Who knew these nuts were so popular!

China: A Game Changer For Walnuts

Black Walnut – A Cash Crop in Your Yard

California walnut industry plagued by crop theft

More information on Black Walnut harvesting costs