Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Squirrels’

A Beautiful & Messy Walnut Tree

I’m fortunate that I live in the older part of town with mature trees. I’ve got a pie cherry and magnolia tree in my yard that are both pretty big. I also have a giant BLACK WALNUT hanging over my fence from the neighbor’s yard. Read more

Harvesting & Drying Walnuts

I may be the only one that LOVES this walnut tree. It’s technically our neighbor’s tree but since it’s just over the fence, I get to claim the half that hangs over my yard. The reason everyone dislikes the tree is because of the mess.

I just can’t get over how beautiful the tree is and really don’t care about the mess.

Because we get so many nuts, I’m ashamed to admit we haven’t harvested any until this year – but it’s better late than never.  So, instead of simply tossing the nuts in our yard waste bin, like we normally do, we collected a big pile of nuts and stomped on them to loosen the nut from the husk.  Then, we went to work removing the nuts from the husk and set the nuts in a bin for washing.

Once the nuts were rinsed and remaining chunks of husk removed, I placed the nuts on a wire rack to dry. Again, since we’ve never done this before, we have no idea how long they’ll need to dry.  We assume they’ll be ready in time for Christmas.

On a side note, if you ever plan to harvest your own walnuts, be sure to wear gloves. I don’t like to wear gloves and now my hands and nails are stained a dirty yellow/brown color.

Apparently, the husks are also used as a permanent dye for reed used to make baskets, like the ones my friend Kari Lonning makes.  I just hope the dye washes off my hands soon, since it was a little embarrassing having dirty “looking” hands at work today.

Below are a couple pictures to help you visualize the process.  Enjoy.

My Friend Mr. Squirrel

Here is Mr. Squirrel. He comes out of hiding about this time every year and is such a joy. He just sits up in his tree and nibbles on his walnut stash. I’ve never had a problem with him eating any bulbs or plants (that I know of anyway).

He’s a good squirrel because of the two giant walnut trees in my neighbor’s yard (in the picture he’s sitting in one of them). The larger of the two trees hangs over the fence into my front yard.

Mr. Squirrel has a good life. We all love him and he has dibs on all the walnuts his little heart desires. He not only has some buried in my garden, but I bet he’s got a huge stockpile somewhere (just in case).

These walnut trees are beautiful with their light green feathery leaves. It’s a bit of a pain in autumn when the walnuts start dropping out of the tree like little bombs – you really garden at your own risk. Then in the spring I have to seek and destroy all the walnut tree saplings. Other than that, I love the tree and my friend Mr. Squirrel.