Walnut processing this week

My walnut processing “factory” in the garage was humming this week. The gathered walnuts are a mix of perfect walnuts, imperfect walnuts, and debris – all that needs to be sorted. I poured a half bag into the shallow plastic box each time. The perfect walnuts went into the white bowl which was then dumped into a bag until it was almost full. The imperfect walnuts went to the right and were dumped into a separate bag – I may just throw these away in the end. The debris left in the plastic box was dumped into a third bag.
The perfect walnuts then get weighed, 12 pounds per bag, and put on shelves. I’m at 439 pounds with lots to go. The other garage activity was cracking a bowl (after bowl after bowl) full of the perfect walnuts,

then sitting at the dining room table with the tv remote nearby and shelling them,

followed by making candied walnuts and making one-pound packages of walnut halves.

Walnuts gathered

I raked and picked up the final section of walnuts today. Of course by this last day, I finally figured the best way to bag them. It started with Justin’s neighbor, Mitch, who loaned me his walnut-gathering tools. That day I went to the hardware store in Marysville and got my own. A light weight walnut rake and a lightweight fork with a bit of a backstop on it.
Justin got the walnuts inside the pasture and loaded some of the bags into his trunk for delivery to my garage. The last 5 trees had the biggest yield I think. 27 bags today. Yes, my body aches from the exercise I got this week.
My garage is FULL of bags of walnuts.

Walnut gathering

Justin had the trees shaken a few days ago. There was a dry north wind (bad for fires, good for walnuts on the ground) with no chance of rain so Mother Nature dried the walnuts this year. Hurray! Justin made a nice arrangement of tools for me on the lawn. We weren’t sure which would be the best. I ended up using just the metal rake and a dustpan.
One tree raked and bagged, 14 to go.
Almost half the trees are done. 25 bags today. Using a dustpan to scoop up the raked walnuts means there will be debris to deal with.
My vehicle is full!
Oops! Slow down on those turns, girl!

Walnut harvest

While I was away, Justin gathered walnuts for me (thank you!) and sent me a picture.

The last pile after 4 hours of raking and gathering. 10 1/2 bags!
I weighed everything and now it’s time to start the drying rotation.

Total so far = 239 pounds

Almost ready to go

The last few days have been busy. Getting lesson plans ready for two bike clubs. Making a sign and cracking/shelling 30 pounds of walnuts. There’s a craft fair on April 12 at the clubhouse but I will be out of town. Two of my neighbors, Silvia and Kathie are going to man my table and sell walnuts and hopefully find some people who would like to buy part of a cow from Justin in late August.
Time to finish packing:

End of walnut gathering

A series of storms was over and there were many walnuts on the ground. This would be the last week of gathering.
And it wouldn’t be easy gathering. On Monday, I was there for 6 hours but only got 4 trees done. I raked leaves and piles of walnuts + leaves + dirt which I sorted through. There are at least a dozen walnuts hidden UNDER this scattering of leaves:
There are still walnuts on the trees:

Thankfully, Justin used his blower around the rest of the trees and the ground dried out a bit more. I finished on Saturday.
Grand total for 2018 = 596 pounds.

Religious experience

So, today was the Blessing of the Animals at church. Hmmmm … I think I should check on the walnuts instead. Beautiful weather, quiet pastoral setting, peacefulness, animals on the other side of the fence.
I’m so glad to have a wagon and the Weasel Nut Gatherer. The tree branches are so low to the ground that stooping is still required – along with banging your head on a branch every now and then.
There weren’t too many walnuts on the ground but look up!
Prying off the green husk results in brown-stained fingers:
Hanging by a thread:

19 pounds. The season begins!!