How NOT to Harvest Black Walnuts

I guess we shouldn’t complain. We didn’t even know we had a black walnut tree until last year. We are finding food producing plants everywhere we turn around on this property.
When yellow round pods started to show up on a tree I searched online until I was able to identify it as black walnut.

After the pods grew fairly large and started falling off the tree I decided it must be time to harvest and collected them in paper bags. I read they needed to dry awhile before cleaning off the pod from the shell.

Come February I started to extract the shells out of the dried pods and tried to crack one open. None of our nut crackers would crack it. It is one hard shell! We bought a cracker online that was made specifically for black walnuts and we finally were able to get one open!

The nut wasn’t as large as a regular nut, and I understand that’s normal. It certainly was a good looking nut! Unfortunately, we were sorely disappointed when we tried to eat it and it was bitter.

I was confused. Where did I go wrong? I did more research online and found that I was supposed to pull the pods from the tree BEFORE they started falling off and turning brown. I believe I was supposed to extract the shell from the pod right away and THEN let it dry.

Just goes to show you, it’s important to get multiple opinions online on how to do something. Don’t take the first suggestion you get.and run with it. Do your research!  I just lost 3 large paper grocery sacks of what could have been delicious black walnuts!

See us crack a walnut on our YouTube channel: