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My neighbors' tree is dropping a tone of walnuts in our yard. I have been just throwing them away, or chucking them back over the fence. But I'm wondering if they would be any good to eat.

How would I know if they are good to eat? How do I get to the walnut - they come off the tree with a thick green skin.

Anybody have experience with walnut trees?
 

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Are they black walnuts? Do the green hulls turn blackish and softer after the nuts fall off? Black walnuts are edible but you have to remove the hull, and the shells are very hard. I have no experience w/ english walnuts, but they are probably similar. I think that all walnut-type trees in the US have edible nuts. You could check out a field guide to trees to be sure.
 

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If they are black walnuts, they are hard to shell, but very healthy (way more nutritious than the English Walnuts you'd get in the store. I've never really liked the taste of them for just eating, but they are very good in baking.

What we'd do is gather them up in a net bag and hang them from the rafters of the garage for a few weeks/months while the green outside hull dries. Then you can kind of peel/chisel off the outside hull, and are left with the nut in the shell. The shell is very, very hard to crack. A nutcracker probably won't work, but we used the vice grip in my dad's shop and that did the job. I seem to remember that my dad would also place the nuts between a couple of boards and drive his truck over them when he got impatient with the vice - I think that is the old-timers way of doing it.


Enjoy! I really wish I had a neighborhood tree dropping walnuts in my yard. I just don't have the real estate to plant one of my own here.
 
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