Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Inadvertent Black Walnut Husking

Every year around this time, a homeowner on Linden Lane dumps black walnuts at the curb, apparently for pickup by the Boro Yardwaste Patrol's giant claw. As cars drive by, many of the walnuts get processed, that is, run over and stripped of their yellow-green husks. My father used to do this--put walnuts in the driveway and drive over them until the husks were off. What was left were the walnuts, with meats safe within an iron-hard shell. We may have tried breaking some open with a hammer, then toiled to pick out what small portions of nut were inside. Most of them remained for years in a big tin can in the basement. I think of that toil and trouble every time I buy a bag of nuts, all perfectly cleaned.

Breaking apart some of the nuts collected on Linden with a hammer proved very easy, though the meats were only black papery remains--nothing edible. Clearly, more gathering and testing is needed.

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