How to harvest walnuts from your tree

Harvesting Walnuts - The Right Way to Pick & Store Walnuts for Freshness

Harvesting walnuts is a part of our fall routine most years. We don't have walnut trees yet, but our neighbors have black walnut trees and English walnut trees. I normally use the black walnuts for their hulls to make black walnut tincture, and use the English walnuts for their nut meats.

Both types of walnuts have a tough green outer hull, but the hulls on English walnuts usually split open and are easy to slip off. Black walnuts require more effort to hull, and their shells are thicker and nut meats smaller.

English walnuts have thinner husks and shells, and are easily cracked with a lever style nut cracker. In this post I'll talk about harvesting English walnuts, picking the fresh nuts and drying them for storage in the shell. We'll also cover the best way to store nuts out of the shell.

Note: The maple candied walnut recipe has moved here.


  • Harvesting Walnuts
    • Gathering the Nuts
    • Avoiding Bitter Walnuts
  • Walnut Harvesting Tools
  • Drying Walnuts for Storage
  • Easy to Use Walnut Cracker
  • The Best Way to Store Walnuts
    • What are Crispy Walnuts?
  • Crispy Walnut Recipe
  • Using Walnuts

Harvesting Walnuts

In the fall of 2014, I got a phone call from one of my neighbors – “Would I like walnuts?” It turns out that other neighbors, relatives of theirs, have two beautiful 89 year old Carpathian walnut trees in their front yard, both of which produced a bumper crop that year.

Those trees were sent directly from the Carpathian mountain area all those years ago, at a cost of $1 each, which was big money back then. They came with an apology note about how expensive they were. (I heard this story from the folks who owned the trees as we picked nuts. The farm is still in the same family, and the trees were purchased by the grandfather of the current owner.)

We were blessed with many buckets of nuts, enough to share with family and friends. I had to learn how to process walnuts.

Since then, we get called when there are excess nuts. Some years they don't have any to spare, but luckily, walnuts can store a long time in the shell. With what we store from year to year, I haven't had to buy walnuts since 2014.

Gathering the Nuts

Harvesting walnuts (in this case, harvesting English walnuts) is simple. We gather the fresh nuts in a bucket after they fall to the ground. Because we're gleaning at the neighbor's place, we only pick up fallen nuts.

If you were harvesting English walnuts from your own tree, you could go ahead and grab nuts off the lower branches as soon as the green husks start to split open. Wear gloves if you don't want to stain your hands dark brown.

Avoiding Bitter Walnuts

Walnut husks are extremely high in tannins, which are bitter in flavor. The longer the hull stays on the walnut, the more bitter the nut inside is likely to be. In the book “The Resilient Gardener”, the author notes how she was able to gather and use nuts in her area that others avoided “because they were too bitter”. By gathering promptly as they fell, hulling immediately and curing, she quickly had a stockpile of free, delicious nuts.

As we sort nuts, we set aside any that have stuck-on blackened hulls, along with undersized nuts and damaged nuts, for animal consumption. (The chickens don't seem to mind the bitter flavor.) Our chickens LOVE walnuts, and the walnut shells act as grit.

The video below shows the walnut sorting process. (Make sure ad blocker is disabled for video to play.) We remove the hulls and moldy nuts are discarded.

Walnut Harvesting Tools

For several years we harvested walnuts by hand, but this year we tried a ball style walnut harvester (similar to the Garden Weasel Medium Nut Gatherer). Holy smokes did that speed up picking! There are similar nut pickers sized for larger nuts, and even powered nut harvesters.

The video below shows the walnuts in their green hulls, and harvesting walnuts with a rolling nut picker.

Drying Walnuts for Storage

I was instructed by the tree owners to spread the fresh walnuts out in a warm, dry, shaded place to cure for at least a month before using them. I've seen mixed recommendations online on how long to dry. I suppose it depends a lot on your conditions.

The goal of drying walnuts for storage is to reduce the moisture within the nuts to prevent mold growth. When properly dried, the nuts inside should have a nice “snap” and not be rubbery.

At this point, the walnuts should hold for up to three years in the shell in cool, dry conditions (if you don't eat them all first). So far I've stored my fresh walnuts for over two years at a time with no loss in quality.

Sometimes,I spread my walnuts out on the mesh shelves of my greenhouse to dry. (I did find that the mice got a few of them when I used this option.) Once I have them spread on the shelves, I cover them with burlap to keep out the light.

Because of the mouse risk, I usually dry my walnuts in trays in the finished basement or in the living room. I spread the walnuts out in shallow cardboard boxes, or in my black planting trays that I use for seed starting.

Once the fresh walnuts are dry and cured, I store them in the shell. We keep ours in five gallon or one gallon buckets with lids. (Mice do love walnuts, so make sure any storage container you use is rodent proof.)

Gamma lids make it easy to get into the buckets as needed. Store your walnuts in a cool, dry location out of direct sunlight. Don't store the buckets in the root cellar. We tried this (thinking the buckets would protect the walnuts) and had issues with nuts getting moldy inside.

Easy to Use Walnut Cracker

For cracking our monster nut harvest, I was lucky enough to find a great deal Reed's Rocket Nut Cracker at the local kitchen store. If you do any serious volume of nut cracking, you need one of these nut crackers.

If you have a smaller nut or odd sized nut, like a hazelnut, just fold a bit of dish towel and tuck it in the cracker with the nut to make sure it fits tight enough to crack. (Looking for a black walnut cracker? Try this heavy duty nut cracker instead.)

This cracker saved so much time and so much easier to use than our old “pincer” type cracker. I got one for our neighbors who shared the nuts, too. To avoid flying pieces of shell, we covered the cracker with a cloth as we cracked. (I cut up an old, worn bath towel, which we use in place of paper towels in the kitchen. )

The nuts come out neatly, too, often in clean halves instead of bits and pieces. It's rather fun to use, too.

The Best Way to Store Walnuts

As mentioned above, fresh walnuts, properly dried, will keep for three years in the shell. The shell acts as a natural protective barrier. This is how I store most of my walnuts.

Once shelled, the oils in walnuts quickly go rancid. You should either use freshly shelled nuts right away or store them in the refrigerator or freezer for best quality. In the fridge they should keep for six months, in the freezer, safely a year.

You may be thinking, “But they don't store walnuts cold at the grocery store.”  Once you've had a chance to compare the taste of freshly shelled versus pre-shelled, you'll know that they probably should.

Many stores do turn over product fairly quickly, but store nuts are, in general, not optimally processed and not terribly fresh. It's cost prohibitive.

It's safe to eat raw walnuts, but we usually take the time to make Crispy Walnuts.

What are Crispy Walnuts?

Crispy walnuts are raw walnuts soaked in salt water and then dehydrated until crisp. Soaking and dehydrating removes excess tannins, phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors.

Maybe you've encountered a sore, puckery mouth after eating several walnuts? That's the tannins.

Some people also get a “heavy” feeling in their belly after eating nuts. That's the enzyme inhibitors. They're great for keeping the nuts from sprouting too soon, but can make the hard to digest.

After the soaking and dehydrating, the walnuts taste almost like roasted walnuts. No more pucker mouth and no more heavy gut.

When we want to get nuts ready for eating, we shell a bunch of nuts and process them into Crispy Nuts ala Nourishing Traditions.

Crispy Walnut Recipe

To make crispy nuts, mix together in a non-reactive bowl:

4 cups walnuts (also works with other nuts)
1 tablespoon sea salt
Enough water to cover

Stir and leave on the counter overnight, or at least 7 hours. Drain well in a colander and dehydrate at 125°F for around 24 hours, depending on how crispy you like them.

Store them in the freezer to prevent rancidity. Don't forget to date and label them. They will keep for months. For even better quality, vacuum seal them.

Using Walnuts

Walnuts are great as a snack, in granola or hot cereal and for baking. There are number of recipes featuring walnuts on the site (you can view our entire recipe listing here). Some of my favorites are brownies, coconut oil fudge and cranberry walnut pie. Maple candied walnuts are delicious and make a great gift.

What are your favorite ways to use walnuts? Do you have any walnut harvesting tips to share? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Originally published in 2014, last updated in 2019.

It makes a HUGE difference when you share our articles. Thank you so much!


Harvesting, Cracking, and Storing Black Walnuts

by Eldon Everhart, Department of Horticulture

The black walnut (Juglans nigra) is one of the most valuable  timber trees in Iowa. It is also a valuable nut tree.

Walnuts ripen in the fall. As the fruit matures, the hull softens and changes from solid green to a yellowish color. The fruits are mature and ready for harvest as soon as the hull can be dented with your thumb. The best quality nuts are obtained by picking or shaking the mature nuts from the tree. Most individuals, however, gather the mature nuts as they drop to the ground. Dropping of mature nuts usually occurs in mid to late September. Before you spend a lot of time gathering nuts, it's a good idea to crack a few to make sure the kernels are full. Nuts occasionally fail to fill or have small, shrunken kernels. Nut crops vary from year to year. A tree that produced bushels last year may have many or few nuts this year.

The nuts should be hulled immediately after they have been harvested. If the hulls are allowed to remain on for any length of time, the juice in the hull will discolor the nut meats and make them strong-tasting. The stain also discolors skin, clothing, concrete, and anything else that it touches. There are various ways and devices to hull walnuts -- a cement mixer, corn sheller,automobile wheel, and squirrel cage are possibilities. Hulls can also be removed by stomping the nuts under foot or pounding with a hammer. After hulling, thoroughly wash the nuts to remove hull debris and juices. Small quantities can be washed in a large bucket or tub. At this time, the good nuts can be sorted from the bad ones. Unfilled nuts float while filled nuts sink. (Rubber gloves should be worn when hulling and cleaning to prevent staining of the hands.)

After washing and sorting, allow the nuts to dry for two or three weeks. An excellent way to dry nuts is on a wire screen. Spread the nuts in shallow layers (no more than three nuts deep)and dry them in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area. A shed or garage is usually a good place to dry walnuts.

The black walnut has one of the toughest and thickest shells to crack. While nuts can be cracked with various tools, the hammer and nutcracker are most commonly used. The hammer method involves placing the nut, pointed end up, on a hard surface and striking the point with the hammer until it weakens and splits into sections along its axis. Several nut-cracking tools are also available. When cracking nuts, shattering of the kernels is often a problem. Shattering can be reduced by soaking the nuts in water for 1 or 2 hours before cracking. The soaking process allows the kernels to absorb enough moisture to become somewhat flexible, resulting in larger kernel pieces. The kernels are extracted from the nutshell with a pick and a pair of pliers.

The oils in walnut kernels will turn rancid if nuts are stored improperly. After the kernels have been removed, place them in a plastic bag and store them in the freezer. The nutmeats will keep almost indefinitely when stored in the freezer. Kernels can be stored for short periods in the refrigerator.

Harvesting, hulling, cleaning, and cracking black walnuts requires considerable labor and patience. Those efforts, however, are rewarded when fudge, brownies, candies, and cakes are made from Iowa-grown black walnuts.

This article originally appeared in the September 16, 1994 issue, p. 142.


September 16, 1994


Garden Management, Maintenance, & Design



black walnut



Links to this article are strongly encouraged, and this article may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Horticulture and Home Pest News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. If this article is to be used in any other manner, permission from the author is required. This article was originally published on September 16, 1994. The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed.

harvesting terms and storage methods

A rare gardener does not grow walnuts in his area. So, having received an enviable harvest, 100% wants to completely, without loss, harvest and preserve it.

Learn more about when to harvest walnuts and how to properly store them.


  • 1 When the walnuts ripen: Harvest time
  • 2 How to properly collect and peel the nuts
    • 2.1 How to remove the green skin (pericarp)
  • 3 How to dry walnuts after harvesting
  • 4 How to store walnuts at home: peeled and in shell
    • 4.1 storage of peeled nuclei
    • 4.2 Storage in the shell


when they convene a walnut. harvest time

Walnut harvest time depends on two main factors:

  • 1) variety;
  • 2) climatic conditions in the place of cultivation (warmer - earlier, cooler - later).

As a rule, depending on the variety, walnuts ripen at the following times:

  • early ripening - in August;
  • mid-season (most of them) - September;
  • late - in October.

The main signal that it is time to start harvesting is the moment when the green pericarp bursts, and after a while the nut falls to the ground .

It is worth considering another option: it often happens that ripening occurs unevenly on one tree. Accordingly, in this case, the fruits are harvested selectively in several stages.

Important! Thus, there is a direct relationship between the timing of harvesting and the quality of walnut kernels, so the harvest of walnuts must be harvested on time. If you are late, substances from the green pericarp can penetrate into the nucleus and it will turn black. Moreover, mold may appear on the fruits that have fallen to the ground and they will disappear. And if this is done ahead of time, then the kernel, when dried, can significantly decrease in weight and volume, become very wrinkled (lose any presentation) and hard, its taste will deteriorate, and, naturally, it will be stored worse.

Video: when to harvest walnuts: harvest time

Now you know how to correctly determine that the nuts are ready to be harvested, it remains to correctly collect, clean, wash, dry and store them.

How to properly collect and peel nuts

With fruits that fall to the ground on their own, there can be no problems in collecting - just take them and collect them with your hands in a suitable container.

But if you have several trees, and the harvest is quite serious, then there is a special tool - walnut roll .

You can see how this tool works (and it can collect nuts on both flat and uneven surfaces) in the following videos.

Video: how to quickly collect fallen walnuts on any surface

The main difficulties usually arise with fruits that are already clearly ripe, but still hanging on the tree. If you have a small tree, then you can remove the nuts by hand, the same goes for harvesting from the lower branches of large trees.

But picking nuts from the upper branches of tall trees is no longer such an easy task, which can be solved in 2 ways:

  • shake the tree itself or its individual branches with your hands, for example, this can be done by climbing a ladder.
  • , again, you can use special tools for removing on a long stick (pole), for example, with a hook at the end, or some other design.

By the way! Many people advise picking nuts in dry weather, but, as a rule, they fall off after rain, and besides, in any case, you will have to wash them first before storing them, and then dry them properly.

How to remove the green skin (pericarp) from fruit

It's good when a walnut falls out of the pericarp while still on the tree. It is also not bad when it is released when it falls to the ground, or the skin is detached already on the ground. This happens in most cases.

But it often happens that the fruits have to be removed from the pericarp on their own, which can be quite difficult (you will have to work tediously and monotonously with a knife). This must be done, and as soon as possible, if you want to get high-quality light nut kernels. This need is due to the fact that the green peel retains heat inside the nut, which means that the pericarp itself gradually begins to rot, and the shell and core darken, that is, the nut begins to lose its taste.

In general, those who grow walnuts for sale, that is, in large enough volumes, as a rule, use all sorts of special machines for quick cleaning, for example, as in the next video.

Video: industrial method of peeling nuts from green peel

Important! Be sure to wear rubber gloves if you are peeling green nuts by hand, otherwise it will be very difficult to wash your hands .

After you have peeled the fruit from the amniotic rind, they should be washed in water and then bleached if desired, for example, in a saline solution (5 kg of salt per 10 liters of water). After the bleaching procedure, the duration of which is 1-2 minutes, the fruits should be thoroughly washed in clean water.

Video: how to collect and prepare (dry) nuts for storage

Pay attention! The author of this video at the end says that drying nuts near the battery is fraught with the fact that they can bloom and become moldy, but according to numerous reviews and opinions (even in the comments to this video), this is not at all the case.

How to dry walnuts after harvesting

In order to keep walnuts as long as possible and not lose their useful properties, they must first be properly dried, and this can be done both at home (in the apartment) and on the street or under a canopy.

Dry freshly harvested nuts optimally in the open air in warm sunny weather (but not above 30 degrees), or in the shade under a canopy where there is good air circulation, however, ventilated attic (especially if the weather is changeable and unfavorable).

Nuts should be laid out in 1 layer (maximum 2) on wire mesh or wire mesh boxes or on newspapers and stir occasionally to dry the shells evenly.

It is very convenient to dry walnuts near the radiator at home.

The procedure time depends on the humidity of the nut and on the intensity of the drying itself. Most often, a few days are enough (from 2 to 5).

Important! Do not place walnuts to dry on impervious materials such as plastic wrap. The water flowing from the nuts will stagnate, which will cause stains on the nutshell, and the kernel itself may deteriorate.

Video: how to dry walnuts

By the way! Inshell walnuts can also be dried at home, eg in the oven on a baking sheet. The optimal temperature (preheat) is up to 50 degrees, time is 20-30 minutes (do not forget to stir).

The special electric dryer is even better for such purposes.

It is very convenient to dry nuts in the microwave (1.5 minutes at the maximum), but it is still better to do this with already peeled.

Tip! After the walnuts have dried sufficiently, be sure to crack open a couple to check doneness. If the kernels are still wet, it is worth continuing drying, because it is precisely because of the excess moisture inside that the fruit deteriorates and becomes moldy during storage.

How to store walnuts at home: peeled and in shell

By the way! Knowing how to properly store walnuts is not only important when you grow your own, but also when you buy them from the market.

Important! Nuts absorb foreign odors very well, so they should not be stored next to other "fragrant" products, and even more so when peeled.

Storage of shelled kernels

Depending on the volume (and in this form they are usually stored in a fairly small amount) and your options, there are various ways to store shelled nuts.

It is convenient to store shelled walnuts, prepackaged in plastic zip bags or jars with lids, in the refrigerator . Shelf life - from 2 to 12 months.

But before storing the peeled kernels, they must also be dried, more precisely calcined in a frying pan (periodic stirring) or on a baking sheet in the oven for 10 minutes at a temperature of no more than 50 degrees.

Unshelled walnuts can be stored in linen bags, glass jars by placing them in a dark and cool place (pantry) . Shelf life - from 2 to 4 months.

You can also store peeled kernels frozen in freezer , and it is most convenient to use special vacuum bags for freezing. Shelf life - from 1 to 3 years.

Tip! When storing peeled walnuts, do not forget to periodically inspect and mix them in order to quickly remove spoiled kernels.

Video: how to properly store shelled walnuts

By the way! It is not necessary to keep the walnuts fresh, you can make various twists for the winter (jam) with them.

Storage in the shell

It is very convenient to store the walnut in the shell in wooden or plastic boxes, canvas bags or nets, which must be dry, clean and free from foreign odors. In such a container, the nut will feel great and “breathe”, which means it will not rot or mold. The boxes or nets themselves can be put on racks.

As for optimal conditions, inshell walnuts should be stored in a dry, ventilated room with a stable temperature of +5-10 degrees (although some old sources recommend a temperature of 0-+5 degrees and air humidity of 60%). Under such conditions, they can be stored without losing their taste for several years (up to 3 years).

Please note! Under no circumstances should walnuts be stored in damp rooms, such as cellars or cellars. High humidity contributes to the formation of mold on the shell, which means that it rots.

Video: how to store peeled and in-shell walnuts

In order to harvest an incredibly healthy walnut without problems and at 100%, you need to carefully consider determining its maturity and the correct harvesting time. Also, special attention should be paid to cleaning techniques and compliance with storage rules.

Important! If you did not comply with the storage conditions or for some other reason, the kernel inside the walnut stopped being white, it began to darken (it became dark) - it is no longer suitable for consumption. You can get severe poisoning of the body.

How to harvest a walnut

Optimal growing conditions

In order for a walnut tree to produce a good harvest and develop properly, a combination of the following conditions is necessary: ​​

  • Optimal amount of heat. Walnut suffers from severe frosts - but excessive heat is also unfavorable for him. Therefore, for example, it is not grown in Africa: instead of it, coula is used as food - a plant with very similar fruits, but belonging, however, to a completely different family.
  • Lots of light and space. The walnut does not tolerate shading very well, and the crown of an adult tree will be at least 10 m in diameter - this must be taken into account when laying a garden.
  • Required amount of moisture. In dry years, the walnut will have to be watered, adding at least 30 liters of water to the near-stem circle daily.
  • Optimum soil composition. In extreme cases, it can be corrected with liming (against acidic soil), sanding (on heavy clay soils) and fertilizers (on poor soil), but we must remember: walnut roots cover at least the crown projection area, so you will have to redo a lot of.

Description and characteristics of the walnut

The walnut is a tall deciduous tree with a well-developed rhizome and a massive, dense, branched crown among its key characteristics. The tree is recognizable by its green, oval-shaped foliage that profusely covers the branches. The walnut tree harvest is a drupe fruit with a strong shell, which is quite difficult to break. The drupe is in the shell of dense pluses, which nourish the nuclei with the necessary substances. When the fruit ripens, the pluses begin to exfoliate and fall off.

The size and shape of the fruits depend on the variety of the crop: they can be small, medium and large, as well as round, oblong or flattened. The rind of a mature walnut fruit has a brown tint. Its surface is lined with small pores, tubercles and depressions.

Do you know? In the south of Kyrgyzstan, there is the largest relict forest in terms of its area, consisting of walnut trees. Plants reach 30 m in height and cover an area of ​​40,000 ha.

When walnuts ripen: harvest time

Harvest time for walnuts depends on two main factors:

  • 1) variety;
  • 2) climatic conditions in the place of cultivation (warmer - earlier, cooler - later).

As a rule, depending on the variety, walnuts ripen at the following times:

  • early ripening - in August;
  • mid-season (most of them) - September;
  • late - in October.

The main signal that it is time to start harvesting is the moment when the green pericarp bursts, and after a while the nut falls to the ground.

It is worth considering another option: it often happens that ripening occurs unevenly on one tree. Accordingly, in this case, the fruits are harvested selectively in several stages.

Video: When to Harvest Walnuts: Harvest Time

Now you know how to correctly determine that the nuts are ready for harvest, it remains to correctly collect, clean, wash, dry and store them.

When is the best time to harvest

As soon as the harvest on a walnut tree approaches maturity, squirrels and various birds begin to hunt for it

, by which it is possible to determine the desired ripening phase in time:

  • cracked green shell;
  • tree leaves begin to turn yellow;
  • Fully mature fruit has a hard, light brown shell, and the core inside it should be moist and palpable by weight.

The variety of the grown nut is also important.

Trees that bloom in spring, ripen by the end of summer and until mid-September, and June flowering nuts begin to ripen only by early October. Important! First of all, the shell begins to crack on fruits that are located lower to the ground. This is due to the special temperature regime

How to soak nuts

For those who do not like or do not like roasting, there is a soak. You need to soak the nuts, of course, in clean drinking water, in the ratio: two parts of water for one part of the nuts. But further opinions differ.

Someone writes that you just need to soak nuts in water. Someone writes that salt must be added - I met such a recommendation: for a 250 ml glass of nuts, a teaspoon of salt (of course, natural unrefined - better than sea, pink Himalayan or light gray Celtic, for example). And at the same time pour hot water so that the salt dissolves better. But you can, of course, use it not hot, especially for raw foodists.

In the program “About the most important thing”, dedicated to lentils, a smart guy said that alkali contributes to a more effective release from inhibitors. That is, you need to add soda to the water. How much exactly was not specified, but for a 250 ml cup of water I pour about a third of a teaspoon, but in general I often do it by eye.

I tried a couple of times and soak with salt. After soaking with soda, according to the sensations, the nuts were better perceived by the body. However, I recommend that you try both options.

Now for the soak time. All nuts are different. Brazilian almonds recommend soaking for 10-12 hours, or even the whole day - I usually get 12-20 hours. Hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, pistachios - 8-10 hours. Apricot kernels, too, probably somewhere the same. Cashews - 2-3 hours, maximum 6, otherwise they will completely lose their taste (which is why I prefer to fry them rather than soak them). About cedar somewhere I saw information about 8-hour soaking, and in another place that 15-30 minutes is enough, otherwise, they say, they will become tasteless.

The skin (skin), if any, should be removed from nuts before eating, as it contains the highest concentration of inhibitors of digestive enzymes. It comes off quite easily after soaking.

It is better to soak the nuts for one meal or one day of consumption - just so that they do not start to spoil. They write that, in principle, soaked nuts can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days, or dried in the oven, and then they will generally last 2 weeks in the refrigerator in an airtight container. But I'm a fan of freshness.

How to store at home

After the nuts have dried, they are sorted. A small batch is placed in hermetically sealed dry glass or plastic jars or food containers. It is best to keep them in a cool, dark place, such as on a refrigerator shelf. At 8-10 °Ϲ food qualities are preserved up to 1 year, at room temperature - up to 6-8 months.

But there are other ways to harvest. They are suitable if you managed to harvest a rich harvest and there is a utility room - a cellar, a basement, a warm attic or an insulated loggia.

Storage in a box

In cardboard boxes, plastic or wooden boxes, in a cool room, nuts are stored for 3 years, only slightly losing their useful properties. Ventilation holes must be made in the cardboard. It is advisable to sprinkle the fruits with dry sawdust or spread tissue paper or paper towels between layers.

Storage in bags

The method is suitable for cool rooms. Humidity should not exceed 60%. The material of the bags is canvas or paper. At 15 °Ϲ, the entire batch will need to be consumed within 1 year, at 20 °Ϲ - in 5-6 months. It is better to hang the bags so that they do not touch the floor and do not pick up moisture. Temperature fluctuations are not allowed.

Storage in salt

Put a layer of salt on the bottom of boxes or jars made of glass or ceramics, then place the nuts and add salt again. It draws out moisture, and the fruits remain dry. If the batch is large, then salt is mixed with sawdust in a ratio of 1: 1. Harvest can be kept in barrels, enameled buckets or plastic boxes. Keep away from light.

Attention! The appearance of an unpleasant odor, spots on the peel, fine dust is a sign of spoilage. It is also indicated by the bitter taste

The entire batch will have to be disposed of - use can provoke intoxication.

Storage of shelled walnuts

The longest lasting method is dry seaming. The dried kernels are additionally calcined, poured into jars with a volume of 0.5 l so that 3 cm remains to the neck. They are installed in the microwave, set the time for 3 minutes - the power is minimal. Then the jar is rolled up with a lid and turned over. Store in a cool place, such as in a cellar or on a refrigerator shelf. It is easiest to freeze a small batch of dry kernels - the properties and taste will remain for 1 year, with dry seaming - up to 3 years. If it is planned to use for confectionery purposes, peeled nuts are poured with honey in sterilized glass jars. The ratio is 1:1.

For food, you can leave the nucleoli in an ordinary glass unsterilized jar. She is put on the shelf of the refrigerator. They will have to be eaten within 3-4 weeks, otherwise they will go bad.

How to properly decontaminate?

Let's figure out how to wash shelled nuts and fruits so that they can be eaten.

Cleaning under running water

If nuts need to be washed, their condition must be taken into account.


Inshell nuts are the easiest to wash. For this it is enough:

  1. Take the required amount of nuts.
  2. Throw them in a colander.
  3. Rinse under running water for 10-20 minutes.
  4. Dry nuts on cloth or paper for 24 hours.


A day is the maximum duration. If shelled nuts are washed, then it is easier to wait 2-3 hours. In addition, if you open the nuts with a clean and washed tool, then it is enough to wash them from the outside, and do not touch the kernels.


Wash the shelled nuts as follows:

  1. The whole mass is thrown onto a flat, dry surface.
  2. Raw materials are moved. Rotten, moldy and dry pieces of nuts are rejected.
  3. Wash nuts under running water.
  4. After washing, the nuts are dried and either re-stored or eaten.


Soaking nuts is one of the processing methods. In this case, the kernels are sorted out, and then placed for 8 hours in a container filled with either hot boiled water or clean bottled water.

In addition, nuts are sometimes soaked in salt. In this case, the nuts are washed, cleaned, laid for soaking - and poured with saline at the rate of 1 tablespoon per cup by volume of nuts.

Soaking is not necessary, but it is useful when eating the nut.


  1. For roasting, the nuts are shelled and partitioned, laid out in a thin layer over a frying pan, which is then placed on a slow fire. Fry them for 10-15 minutes, stirring regularly with a wooden or silicone spatula. Oil is not added, because the nut pulp already contains up to 50-60% oil of its own weight.
  2. You can also fry in the oven. In this case, they are laid out on a baking sheet and placed in a preheated oven for 15 minutes. Readiness is checked for taste: if it seems that the kernels are still damp, they can be kept under heat for a little more. Tip

    Using the oven is better than pan frying because it heats the nuts more evenly and roasts whole, not just the bottom side.

  3. Finally, the microwave can also be used for frying. However, at the same time, the dishes with nuts must be rotated from time to time (or use a turntable oven). The fact is that the interference of microwaves leads to the fact that areas of strong and weak heating are formed in space, and achieving radiation uniformity is a very difficult engineering task that has not yet been solved in any household microwave oven.

Roasted nuts acquire a brighter taste, but the amount of vitamins and proteins in them decreases.

All the subtleties of collecting and storing walnuts

Autumn is not only the season for apples and potatoes. Another well-known fruit is the walnut. Its mass collection falls on September-end of October. When and how to properly collect walnuts, as well as save the crop for the whole year, you can find out by reading this article.

Controversial question: green or brown?

Often there is a dilemma between when it is better to harvest walnuts:

  • Harvest in green shells, at the end of August. And then store for two weeks in a cool room for ripening. Clean, dry and store?
  • Pick up fallen fruit or shake off trees after cracking shells?

After reviewing a lot of literature, we can safely say that nuts that have ripened on their own on a tree will be more useful. They are stored better and the supply of minerals and vitamins is greater.

But, when there is no time to wait for cracking and falling off, then you can pick it in late August-early September while still in green shells.

Thus, the number of collected nuts can be greater, because squirrels, woodpeckers and other hunters of this fruit will not be able to take some of the harvest for themselves.

It is important to consider: the drying process for further storage of unripened nuts will take longer, since the percentage of moisture in them is greater

Time to collect nuts: terms and signs of ripening

Depending on the variety, there are three main groups:

  • Early maturing: they bloom in May and ripen at the end of August.
  • Mid-season: shell cracking occurs in September.
  • Late maturing: blooms in June and ripens in early October.

External signs of maturation:

  • shell cracking;
  • yellowing and friability of the outer shell;
  • yellowing of foliage;

Focusing on varietal affiliation, and for these signs, the harvest will not be missed.

How to collect correctly

A few tips to help make the collection process easier:

  • Protect your hands with gloves to avoid stubborn brown stains.
  • Knocking down high-hanging nuts with a long stick is convenient, but bad for wood. So you can damage a lot of branches that dry out in winter, and the next year's crop will decrease.
  • It is safe to shake fruit off the tree. But the collection process itself can take several days.
  • Fruits with a thin shell must be collected with a special device: a bag with a fixed hard top on a long stick or a container, as for apples.
  • Nuts that have fallen should be collected on the same day, having lain on the ground for more than a day, they may become moldy inside and will be unsuitable for further storage.

Actions after harvesting

After the harvest, a number of manipulations must be carried out for further storage:

  • Rinse the nuts if they are too dirty;
  • Remove the shell if it is not well behind;
  • Air dry on sunny days in a thin layer.
  • Finish drying near a heat source or several hours in an oven at 90°C. If the temperature is higher, then some of the nutrients will be lost.

Storing hard nuts

When everything is harvested and dried, it's time to decide how and where to store the crop. There are two options:

  1. Shelled and vacuum-packed or in cartons. In this state, in the refrigerator, at a temperature of about 2 ° C, they can be stored for up to a year. But you need to remember that the kernels must be well dried in order to avoid the formation of mold.
  2. In shell, whole and unharmed, well dried, folded into cardboard boxes, preferably nets. Place, or hang, in a dry, warm, ventilated area. An attic might be the best option.

People's advice: For better preservation of nuts in the shell, in order to avoid the formation of mold during storage, you need to soak them in cold salt water for several hours before drying, and then dry them to the desired condition.

Such storage conditions make it possible to preserve all the taste and useful qualities of the nut.

If you harvest as described in the article, then there is no doubt that walnuts will be stored for at least a year, and then two or three. The main thing is not to rush into warehousing in nets so that the entire crop dries well. Indeed, if the humidity exceeds 5-8%, such fruits will not lie for a long time. It is better to eat damaged nuts immediately or store only the core.

How to dry walnuts

In fact, drying walnuts in the shell, at home, is not difficult at all, you just need to follow some simple rules. How to properly carry out this process in various proven ways, including in the oven and in an electric dryer, read on.

Do you know? In fact, the walnut has nothing to do with Greece proper, its true homeland is Asia Minor and Central Asia. And no one knows how it got its name.


Drying nuts outdoors involves the following steps:

In sunny weather:

  1. Any type of waterproof fabric, such as a tarp, should be spread on a free area of ​​land.
  2. Next, the fruits selected and peeled from the green film are evenly laid out on the bedding, always in one layer.
  3. The nuts should now be left to dry in the open sun for a few days. With favorable weather, drying will take only 3-5 days.

This is the way agronomists used for many years, until more modern methods appeared in the world. Its main disadvantage is the possibility of unforeseen precipitation and a sharp drop in air temperature.

Learn how to properly dry cherries, strawberries, plums, blueberries, apples, pears, currants, cranberries, wild roses, dogwoods, herbs (dill, parsley, green onions, sorrel, cilantro, spinach), tomatoes, peppers, onions, oyster mushrooms, broccoli.


Walnut fruits can be dried indoors without fear of adverse weather conditions. For this, as a rule, an attic is usually chosen:

  1. The harvested crop is cleaned of the pericarp.
  2. Each nut is sorted by size and washed in cool water.
  3. The raw materials are then laid out on racks with grating, which must be exposed to fresh air.

Find out the recipe for making unusual nut jam.

In the oven

Detailed information on how to dry and properly roast walnuts in the oven looks like this:

  1. The fruit, previously peeled from the green peel, must be sorted by size, washed and blotted from excess moisture with a clean towel.
  2. Keeping in mind the temperature at which the nuts should be dried (it is 40-45°C), we select fruits of the same size, lay them out on a baking sheet and put them in the oven.
  3. Drying should not take longer than 3 hours with the oven door slightly ajar.

    Learn more