How to Collect, Clean, Dry, Store and Enjoy Walnuts

If your lucky enough to have a fruiting Walnut growing in your neighbourhood then you are going to need to learn how to Collect, Clean, Dry and Store fresh Walnuts then you’re in luck. If Walnuts are completely new to you, then not perhaps after reading my article, you will consider planting one? But don’t expect nuts any time soon!

Follow my step by step, picture guide to harvesting, cleaning, drying and strong walnuts, be sure to leave a comment your feedback is vital.

Our Walnuts paddocks consist of 40 trees in two varieties
Our Walnuts paddocks consist of 40 trees in two French varieties

Walnut bark is very distinctive
Walnut bark is very distinctive
Once a Walnut tree reaches maturity you can expect a heavy crop every year.
Once a Walnut tree reaches maturity you can expect a heavy crop every year.
Picking Walnuts in the green is not a good idea.
Picking Walnuts in the green is not a good idea.
Walnuts make a large handsome tree
Walnuts make a large handsome tree
Picking Walnuts in the green is not a good idea.
Picking Walnuts in the green is not a good idea.
Walnuts hold on to their leaves well in to the Autumn
Walnuts hold on to their leaves well in to the Autumn
A split forms along the length of the Walnut
A split forms along the length of the Walnut
Waiting until the fruit cracks and exposes the shell within.
Waiting until the fruit cracks and exposes the shell within.
Wait for the Walnuts to fall before collecting them
Wait for the Walnuts to fall before collecting them
Walnuts should be handled wearing gloves
Walnuts should be handled wearing gloves to avoid staining your fingers
Collect Walnuts in the dry
Collect Walnuts in the dry, ideally lay them flat on a drying rack to start to dry in the sun.
Clean Walnuts with a stiff brush
Clean Walnuts with a stiff brush and lot’s of patience.
Remove the fine dry threads from the Walnuts.
Remove the fine dry threads and any dirt from the Walnuts.
Remove mouldy Walnuts from the drying rack.
Remove mouldy Walnuts from the drying rack.
Walnut season lasts 4-6 wks as the leaves begin to fall the last of the Walnuts will drop to the ground.
Walnut season lasts 4-6 wks as the leaves begin to fall the last of the Walnuts will drop to the ground.

Walnuts typically take 2-3 weeks to dry out completely, during this period you need to keep them dry and in a well ventilated room warm room to help them the nut (walnut meat) dry out without mould developing on the shell.

It is a good idea to air dry Walnuts before bringing them indoors to complete the process.
It is a good idea to air dry Walnuts before bringing them indoors to complete the process.

Mobile drying racks are perfect for drying nuts and herbs, moving them into the sunshine on sunny Autumn days is the best way to dry walnuts. The colour of the shell will lighten and the weight of the nut will decrease, you may also here a slight rattle these are the indicators that tell us the walnut has finished drying and can be safely stored for future use.

I have included below some photo of the drying process we use to prepare our Walnuts, avoid using newspaper to dry your walnut harvest as this limits the air flow and creates damp conditions where mould will quickly develop. Instead use a large mesh or wire rack to keep the walnuts in place, ideally rotating the Walnuts daily to help them completely dehydrate for increased storage time.

A large mesh will help airflow and allow the walnuts to dry.
A large mesh will help airflow and allow the walnuts to dry.
Add a few Walnuts to secure your net in place.
Add a few Walnuts to secure your net in place.
Allow enough space for the walnuts to move around when rolled.
Allow enough space for the walnuts to move around when rolled.
A warm room will help speed up the process which can take up to three weeks.
A warm room will help speed up the process which can take up to three weeks.
Stacking boxes with slats and plenty of airflow are just one idea for drying walnuts.
Stacking boxes with slats and plenty of airflow are just one idea for drying walnuts.

Walnuts are packed with energy and contain healthy nutrients, minerals, antioxidants plus vitamins that are essential for good health. eating a handful of walnuts a day will provide you with the recommended levels of minerals, vitamins, and protein for increased health and vitality.

Walnuts packed with goodness for you and your family.
Walnuts packed with goodness for you and your family.

Do you really need any more reasons for planting a Walnut tree? I don’t know about you but I would love to plant a Walnut paddock for the future and with over 30 varieties you can be sure to find a walnut that suits your temperate climate.

Interested in learning more then read my article on the trials and tribulations experienced by one determined walnut fancier who set out to plant a walnut paddock in middle England in the early 1980’s.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Great post and a reminder that it’s high time to get out to the tree and start harvesting!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fascinating post. My grandparents had a walnut grove next to their cottage, but the squirrels always got to the nuts before my grandparents did! The saplings would come up all over the garden!

    Liked by 1 person

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