I didn't name this blog Walnut Grove Farm for nothing! Our house was built in a grove of black walnut trees. They are old, gnarly, mossy, stately, and.....messy! Each fall the walnuts become ripe and fall off of the trees. This picture is of SOME of the walnuts under ONE of our trees. They are just a little smaller and about as hard as a baseball, but then they get smushy, and the green husk turns to black yuck.
A few years ago I did some research on the topic, "What Do You Do With Black Walnuts?" Here are the results of that in-depth study:
1. It seems like the obvious answer to "What Do You Do With Black Walnuts?" would be "You Eat Them." Maybe, yes. In my case, no. But, if you have a relative who sits and watches Jerry Springer reruns all day, you could give them a bowl of nuts, ask them to please pick the meat out of the shell, and at the end of the day you would have enough walnuts to sprinkle on top of your salad.
2. They are great for twisting your ankle when you accidentally step on one hidden in the grass.
3. You can throw them at your brother. If you have a brother. I don't. You can also throw them at trees to test your ability to hit a target. Daryl uses them this way.
4. The black dye in the husk is wonderful for staining your gravel road into black polka dots. Of course, this only happens if you are lazy enough not to pick them up twice a day.
5. They are good for waking you up when they fall out of the tree onto your metal roof.
6. They will keep your squirrel population fat and happy.
And it is #6 that is my favorite use for all of these walnuts. I'll even pick them up and dump them in a pile so the squirrels don't have to gather them. It seems to work well for both of us because I have never had a squirrel eat out of our bird feeders.
I'm not complaining about the walnut trees, though. I love living here. Walnuts and all.