How To Harvest Black Walnuts The Easy Grandma Way

If you’ve ever tried to remove the thick green husk from a black walnut then you probably know what a messy and hard job it can be not to mention the nice green stain that gets left on you skin, that will not wash off no matter how hard you scrub. I’m going to share with you a secret on how to harvest black walnuts the easy Grandma way.

How To Harvest Black Walnuts The Easy Grandma Way

How To Harvest Black Walnuts

Every fall when we went to visit my Grandma, she would have us pick up all the walnuts that had fallen to the ground around a big old walnut tree she had in her backyard. That thing was massive, but I was just a kid so maybe it wasn’t as big as I remember. Of course we didn’t want to do it, but with the promise of some of her amazing chocolate brownies after the chore was done, we quickly agreed to do it for her.

Grandma’s Big Secret

She would have us to pick them off the ground around the tree and put them in a bucket, then we would carry our buckets over to the gravel driveway and dump them right on the driveway. We all thought she was crazy. But turns out she was really smart.

You see after we dumped them all in the driveway, then the cars that drove over all those walnuts it would smash that hard outer shell, leaving behind the walnut. The walnut itself is hard enough that they are mostly undamaged by the tires.

My Grandma was really cleaver!

Don’t tell her I shared her secret!

How To Harvest Black Walnuts The Easy Grandma Way

Grandma would collect the bare walnuts but she always left them outside until a couple heavy frosts. Storing them on a old table outside for them to dry out on after the hard shell was removed. I guess the heavy frost cures the nut meat inside the shell. After she thought the nuts were ready to eat. Then she gave us another job to do.

That Grandma always gave us some kind of chore to do when we came to visit.

We were giving the incredibly boring job of cracking and picking out the inside meat of the walnut. She made the most delicious things with those nuts. You can’t beat the flavor of fresh black walnuts in a chocolate brownie.

Now that’s How To Harvest Black Walnuts the easy Grandma Way!

Let’s Recap!

If you want to harvest black walnuts on your homestead. You need:

  1. A couple bored kids
  2. Buckets to carry the walnuts in and to dump on the driveway
  3. Gravel Driveway
  4. Your car to run over them over time
  5. Time
  6. And a couple heavy frosts
  7. Bored kids again to crack them open

Hope you enjoyed this little secret I shared, sometimes Grandma really knows best. After all she had to do with a lot less, but I feel she had a much fuller life that we live now a days.

Lots of love-min




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    • Jazan
    • October 3, 2021

    Will all of the fruit fall near the same time? If not, can you pick from the tree? Will animals carry away what is in the driveway? So many questions.

    1. Reply

      No, they don’t all fall at the same time, we have a bucket that we collect them in, then pour in the driveway.
      Yes, squirrels will find them, that’s what they need to survive the Winter. But there’s plenty for us all to share.
      Once you get that green hull off you still have to crack them to get the nutmeat out of them. It’s a job. Might be something to do while relaxing on the front porch in the evenings. So worth the work when you add some to homemade brownies!

      • Ellis kilgore
      • October 17, 2021

      With respect, the photo shows English Walnuts. Black walnuts are much Smaller and very wrinkly shells with minuscule amounts of walnut meat as opposed to these. Grew up collecting, attempting to crack and harvest these stubborn but delicious treats

      1. Reply

        Yes I know, it was the only free picture I could find online at the time. We have several in our front yard. I’ll have to grab some and make a new picture this Fall. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Cinda
    • November 14, 2019

    Your picture is of English walnuts not black walnuts. We also used the car method. We accelerated the “curing” by putting in freezer for couple weeks.

      • Michelle
      • November 15, 2019

      Good Tip Cinda! I totally forgot about putting them in the freezer! I remember grandma doing that too.

      Haha, I know that was the only free commercial picture I could find. Mine are not very pretty to put on a blog. lol!

      Thanks for stopping by,

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