Friday, January 20, 2012


Nuts, I guess I'm not going to get rich selling wild Hickory Nuts.

We have several Hickory trees on the farm. When I decided it was time to rake up all the nuts that had been underfoot so long, I decided to look up hickory nuts and see what I could do with them. What I read, said, you have to gather them quickly before the squirrels get them all. It went on to say, if the squirrels didn't eat them they are probably bitter. I had to rake them up anyway, so what did I have to lose? Time, that's what.

It was a beautiful day a few weeks ago. A great day to get some exercise raking. My new Christmas present (the red thing up front) made it easy to scoop up nuts from the piles but a lot of twigs and other stuff got picked up also so there was a bit of sorting to be done. Like I said though, it was a beautiful day and one of my favorite areas on the farm.

Here is the bounty before sorting.

Then I stored the sorted nuts in the garage/barn to dry thoroughly before opening.

In the mean time, I read up on opening hickories without shattering them, since I heard it was quite difficult. Lots of great stories about opening hickories later, I decided the picture on a Mother Earth News site would be my best hope. It showed a bullseye on the nut.

The accounts reminded me of opening quahogs. There is that one sweet spot- that if you get it down you have a valuable skill that could earn you some good money.

Today, was the day to find out what I had. I actually did pretty good opening a few but alas they were bitter. One you could taste a hint of that nut taste but others were just bitter. When you get that taste in your mouth it is difficult to try another and get an accurate account, so I waited and drank some water and waited a while longer.

Then, I remembered my solution for getting rid of a bitter taste. I discovered the means a few years ago when I was taking astragalus and - what was the other herb, Eliza?

I got out my good chocolate and it worked its wonder, but alas the next bite of hickory and Yuck.

I think I am going to become one of Velma's and Roxie's best friends. They are Karens pigs. Karen tells me they can crack the nuts and eat the whole shattered mess (shell and all) and they supposedly love them. Maybe Karen and I will eat the chocolate while we watch them.

The whole process was not really a waste of time. I did get the lawn cleaned up. I did get practice opening the nuts for next year when I find some Shag Bark Hickory trees. And I did get to eat some chocolate.

Tomorrow, I think I will try a few walnuts.

1 comment:

  1. I bet Velma and Roxie won't care if they're bitter.

    One time James collected lots of hickory nuts. I thought he was nuts spending hours picking out that tiny sliver of a nut. I think he finally filled a ceral bowl. You can imagine how long that took. I don't think we ever used them. I think they got moldy.