Black Walnuts and their many uses

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Black Walnuts and their many uses

Quillsnkiko
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September 23rd, 2014, 4:49 pm #1

Yesterday afternoon I discovered that the previous nights cool temperatures had brought  down a lot of black walnuts. since I was mowing the yard that meant I had to pick them up before mowing there so they did not become guided missals fired by my riding lawn tractor. I had been meaning to pick some off the tree to make some walnut dye to dye some Braintan dark for some woodland Indian  things I intend to quill .So the fact they were laying on the ground  ..got me started on the project  asap. The nuts I picked up .

almost a 5 gallon bucket full. While mowing I am thinking how am I going to get the green hulls off the nuts easily .I came up with the idea of a old meatal wheel barrel I have which I'd intended to plant flowers in and a heavy metal pipe I have with a tee on the one end .I hoped it would work .   it worked beautifully well.

I soon had a bucket full of hulls with a fair minimum amount of work on my part and a wheel barrel with hulled nuts in it . now all I have to do is add water to the hulls and let them steep a few days .

then I need to put the nuts in a bucket and hose them off with pressure and I will use this water to gather some night crawlers . Here a video about this method .

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=wal ... A014BB1975
It works marvelously well ...and he's not using many nuts ...just be sure to rinse them well as walnut juice is toxic . Indian uses it to stun fish in slow moving water . Its even a weed deterrent somewhat .


I will let those hulls soak a few days then strain off the liquid ...heat it up a little ....and add my Braintan ...hopefully to dye it dark enough as I want it .It may take several  soakings to get it dark enough .I will also use some of the liquid as a base for dying some porcupine quills dark brown and black .  Oh yes and later on Cookies....    PS.... please feel free to add your own Black Walnut adventures to this thread ... or if you have any other nutty stories ....  :-)   Quills
Last edited by Quillsnkiko on September 23rd, 2014, 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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caveman2533
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September 23rd, 2014, 5:33 pm #2

quills did you hammer the nuts thru the pipe and scrape the hull that way?
Steve Nissly
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Quillsnkiko
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September 23rd, 2014, 7:52 pm #3

nope Steve .... just pounded on the nuts in the wheel barrel .I was amazed and how the hulls just sort of starting separating after several blows. The very bottom side of the tee is what I used not the hammer looking side .Does that make sense ?? Its seemed because the hisks are dampish on the inside the blows were glancing and I was not trying to CRUSH the nut itself as I wanted them as well .

The bigger the nut the easier the hull came loose , I noticed .I don't think it took me more than 1/2 hour ..if that.. to remove the husks

I started picking the nuts apart with bare hands and soon decided Id better get a pair of gloves on so got a pair of my blue nitrile gloves I use working on hides and they work great .Your hands do not sweat as much in them as they do in the other kind of rubber gloves. I threw the husked nuts over to one side in the wheel barrel so I was not still mashing on them after they were husked and took the husks out the remaining unhusked nuts periodically so I could mash on the nuts needing to be husked better .the husks were providing padding and making it more difficult .

Its amazing how dark brown the water is today and its thicker to ....I may strain it off yet today . I noticed on my way to town today ...that tree is totally loaded with walnuts ...hundreds and hundreds of them in clusters . So a bumper crop . I wish I could find Hickorys that abundant . for the nut meats ...or Butternuts . I am going out to collect some worms ..right now to go fishing ....see ya all later . Quills
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Quillsnkiko
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September 24th, 2014, 1:37 am #4

Okay I went out this afternoon and took a look at my ..brew ..and it looked like it was time to strain off the dye .
It looked pretty dark and thick so I got my strainer and things ready to go .



I ended up with a little over a gallon of thicker dark dye and some to try getting earthworms .and that's my 3 legged mama cat ..Crip.she got 6 kittens anyone need some or one??


I went out and checked the ground under the tree. gosh they are raining down like mad .

I sat down on the bench and did not stay there long because they were coming down fast and furious as I was sitting there and as I was taking  pictures they were falling close by  . . Quills
Last edited by Quillsnkiko on September 24th, 2014, 11:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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DuxDawg
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September 24th, 2014, 10:54 pm #5

Cool that yours are doing so well. Here in WI a lot of things did very poorly this year. Apples, Black Walnuts, Black Raspberries, etc. Too many trees with no fruit/nuts at all. Usually a high is followed by a low, not a "none at all".
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Quillsnkiko
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September 25th, 2014, 2:40 am #6

Dawg....the trees around here are loaded with walnuts...I do not know about others like hickory's etc...But the Black Walnuts are a bumper crop .The elderberries were to ..but I could not get out to gather any when they were ripe. Maybe next year .I think there may have been a lot of black caps to ...but did not get out for them either .Just was not in the cards. Thankfully I am able to do more now . and yes last year was not a good nut year for my tree anyway . I hope its not going to die this winter ...because it has so many on it .I had 2 and the other one ...the winter before it died produced a bumper crop as well. I have no idea why it died ..it was a large old tree. There is another one right down the road from me ..and another over by the canoe access . plenty of black Walnuts for easy pickings here this year .I once sent a box to Northern Minnesota....to a guy who wanted some. He said there were none at all up there
I've been up there canoeing ...and I guess I never saw a walnut tree in the north woods. I would think if they were planted though they would grow...as they are very cold hardy . I know this next time I pick them up I will get several or more 5 gallon buckets full .I think all the smaller ...unusable nuts came down first ....and the bigger ones are clinging on yet. No time to pick them up right now though so they will have to lay . Quills
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aztecstoneandflint
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September 28th, 2014, 10:59 pm #7

Quills, this has been a bumper year for everything except Mosquitos this year in St. Louis area. I have had my best foraging year of my 55 years. Morels Blackberrys Elderberrys Tomatos and Pears. I just got granted the opportunity to collect on 2 Black Walnuts this fall and they are loaded. I am so overwhelmed processing and preserving all the bounty this year, I would love to "try" all the things black walnuts offer but I can only go for the nuts this year. Pecans are still ahead and those are my Favorite Fall Forage.
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Quillsnkiko
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September 29th, 2014, 12:51 am #8

Aztec...I'd give my left arm ( almost ) if pecans grew up here .My brother lives near Buffalo down there .I've got to find out if he's ever seen pecans while turkey hunting ....Glad you had a great year ...they are not all that way ..that's for sure .But usually something does well one year ..and might not the next but something else takes up the slack . I mowed again today and had to rake the nuts into piles ...which I will pick up soon .with the lawn tractor & trailer as there are so many ...and they are still coming down . Great year for walnuts. Quills
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Chance Boon
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October 2nd, 2014, 7:37 pm #9

You can put a handful of walnuts, still with the hull on, in a mason jar and fill with vodka to make a tincture that does wonders for parasites.  My granddad used to use it to worm the hounds.
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Knifesmith
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October 4th, 2014, 3:43 am #10

One note on using black walnut as a antiparasitic or vermifuge is that the juglone in them is fairly hepatotoxic in humans and horses at least. Lots of herbal medicine sites recommend taking milk thistle extract (silymarin) concurrently, and for some period afterwards in order to prevent liver damage if walnut extracts are being taken internally. Topically, walnut extract is said to have some pretty good antifungal effects (though the purplish stain would probably lead me to use one of the OTC pharmaceutical antifungal creams available ).

http://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/summary ... i?cid=3806

So, while it's great to use naturally occurring substances when you can, be aware that there are certain cautions that you need to be aware of, and to take into consideration when using them.

--------------
Eric Dobratz
Scarab Forge
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Quillsnkiko
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October 8th, 2014, 1:45 am #11

Good words of caution Eric....I remember reading the book about the white guy who back in the 70's ..dyed his skin with walnut juice ...went into the Black community and lived as a black man for several months or more .I forget the name of the book ...but when he died at a fairly young age ....there was speculation his dyeing his skin ..had something to do with his death . weeds and things other than grass do not grow at all well under walnut trees .and don't even think about planting a garden or other types of trees under or near one ...they just do not do well at all .Grass grows fine....like pasture grass or meadow grass .I've got to get my braintanned hide soaking in it tomorrow ..finally will have the time to fool with it . Quills
" You can't stop the waves .... but, you can learn to surf."
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Tetsuoh
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October 9th, 2014, 3:33 pm #12

On a side note but on topic - whats the best / easiest way to wash walnuts are you have them hulled?
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Quillsnkiko
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October 9th, 2014, 10:26 pm #13

With a hose ....and a nozzle on the end ...I put them in a plastic..... milk jug bin ...like they used to carry 4 glass gallon jugs of milk in before the advent of Plastic milk jugs . You can buy brand new ones for storage cubes at wally world cheap .or pick up old ones at yard sales usually cheaper . I just hosed mine with force a little then put them in the sun to day in a open container so they can dry thoroughly .do it right away as the residual husk comes off easier then...than if allowed to dry . some walnuts I just dump on my road and let folks drive over then ....driving on them husks and all cleans to them and crushes very few ....the birds get them ...then if it rains ....most of the nuts are pretty clean when you pick them up ...I might hose them off quick...and then let them dry before storing them .I like to freeze them over night before cracking .they come out in bigger pieces and crack easier .Black walnut shells are incredibly hard .I am going to do it this year on a Rail Road Tie plate ...a heavy plate they put where 2 RR tracks come together to keep them from shifting . I think the nut will sit in the square hole for the spike quite well and hitting it with a hammer it will not shift around .plus the plate is heavy thick metal . Just need a strong bench to sit it on . I usually freeze the nuts over night before cracking ...they crack easier and come out in larger pieces . Quills
" You can't stop the waves .... but, you can learn to surf."
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