While agriculture no longer fills my days nor spills into the nights, I still do some token things. My daily routine includes checking the fig tree to see if any are ripe, picking up walnuts and now dehulling black walnuts.
I have mowed closely around the big black walnut tree in our yard. I first threw any nuts over the fence when I started because if they lay on the ground too long they get worms in them, and there are so many on the tree I won’t use them all anyway. You definitely have to get them before the hulls turn black or worms will beat you to them.
After gathering the black walnuts, I put them in the dehulling device.
To some this may look like I just put them behind a car tire and to them I say call it what you like.
Here is what they look like after I return from driving somewhere, like breakfast at the temple.
This step is useful because the hulls are very tightly connected to husk and practically impossible to get off unless they are crushed first. I then grab a pair of the latex gloves that Vidya uses when she dyes gourds. I bring two buckets and pull the husks off into one bucket and put the black walnuts into the other.
The gloves are necessary if you don’t want to stain your hands a kind of yellowish brown. The husks are a source for strong dye, good if you want to dye something, bad if you don’t want to dye your skin, the thin leathery thing that it is.
The husks are also reputed to be good for deworming and other things, so anyone who follows the parasite theory of illness might be advised to make some tincture of the husks and take it for a couple of weeks.
I have no plans to do either so if anyone wants some hulls, let me know, there are a byproduct for me. I am drying some to have around just in case but there will be too much to dry, most will be discarded.
I then set them out to dry before storage. The black walnuts are the ones on the right.
Vidya picked up the chain saw carved owl at one of the shows she went to. Hopefully It will keep birds and chipmunks away from my walnuts and black walnuts.
The shells are extremely hard so best stored away for winter and hammered out around the fireside when it is too cold to be outside. This is what makes driving over them feasible. Driving over a regular walnut crushes the shell.
FYI, for those who know Candra Mauli Swami, he used to be famous for the black walnut burfi he made to offer to Sri Sri Radha Vrindaban Natha when he was Their pujari back in the day in New Vrindaban.