How to collect nutsand how they are preserved. Advice on the best time to harvest walnuts, on cleaning and storage.
On this page we will see all the necessary attention to complete a good one collected in the context of family cultivation.
Therewalnut cultivation, especially in a small home garden, should respect a pyramid-shaped training system that supports the natural bearing of thewalnut tree.
When to harvest walnuts: the harvest period
The maturation ofnutsit is scaled and is completed in 2-3 weeks.
The ideal period for collecting walnuts in Italy is from September to the end of November but it is influenced by seasonal trends so you should understand it based on the condition of your walnut.
To understand when to pick nuts just observe the ripening of the fruit: the nuts are ready when the husk has a series of cracks and begins to detach from the shell.
How to clean walnuts from the husk
It is useless to ask ourselveshow to clean the nuts from the husk. The walnuts must be harvested at the right degree of ripeness. In these circumstances it will not be difficult at all to eliminate the external husk. If the husk adheres tightly to the nut shell, it means that the harvest has been premature and it will be really difficult to extricate yourself in this situation.
When the hull is literallyattachedto the shell of the underlying walnut, probably the content of the same walnut (the kernel) is not yet fully formed.
If the husk only partially sticks to the nut, you can remove it mechanically using a knife. Don't forget to wear gloves as this will make your hands black!
How to wash freshly picked walnuts
Freshly picked walnuts are absolutely NOT to be washed! By washing them you would increase the possibility of mold appearing. Clean them by rubbing them in a box to remove any excess dust, accumulated on the shell.
How to collect nuts
In the peasant tradition, thenutsthey are collected following the natural fall of the shell.
The natural fall occurs when the husk definitively detaches itself from thetree, that's why you shouldn't really wonder abouthow to eliminate the husk of walnuts, it is nature that does this for us once it has matured! In this context, the fallen walnuts are collected.
Unfortunately, this traditional method has some disadvantages: if there is a lot of humidity or there is rain, the nut shell will tend to blacken due to direct contact with the ground or with what remains of the husk.
The quality of the kernel can be damaged and, moreover, it will be necessary to ripen graduallycollect nuts from the groundevery 2-3 days as prolonged contact with the ground can alter the characteristics of the fruit.
Collecting nuts from the ground: how to have clean nuts
If you want to respect the peasant tradition, wait for nature to take its course and monitor the feet of the plant: check at intervals of 2 or 3 days.
Also check the weather forecast and if there is rain in sight, anticipate the monitoring and eventual collection. Ideally, in order not to get the walnuts dirty and to protect them, you should keep a very low grassy hill at the foot of the walnut. This is not always the case so the nuts end up on bare or tall weed soil. To facilitate the walnut harvesting you should at least mow the wild plants that are too tall. Weeds keep the environment very humid and can cause damage to the nuts.
Do not have tobreak your backto collect nuts from the ground. Our peasant ancestors had already developed a very simple collection basket. I'm talking about the tool shown in the photo above which is useful for picking any fruit in a fall, therefore: walnuts, hazelnuts, chestnuts, olives ...
The convenience of this device is that, at the end of the harvest, by turning the basket empty, leaves, dust and other debris attached to the shell of the nuts are eliminated.
On the market, you can find similar products at the best-supplied agricultural consortia. From personal experience I point out a pick walnuthandmade (therefore it is handcrafted), very robust, proposed on Amazon at a price of 65.95 euros with free shipping costs. For all information I invite you to visitThis Amazon page.
Sure, 65.95 euros is a lot of a good investment, but it's a 2-year warranty item, handcrafted and really sturdy. Initially I had some doubts about the leaves, but by continuing to rotate the basket on the ground the leaves come out spontaneously while the nuts remain trapped. Quickly turning the basket is possibleclean the nutsthat have been on the ground for several days, so dirty with soil!
Those who have more walnut trees or want to organize themselves in other ways, can continue as described below.
Nets to collect nuts
To overcome the limits of this collection system, it is possible to prepare polyethylene nets which, by collecting thenutswhen falling, they avoid contact with the ground.
The barking of Walnut branches
This harvesting system does not present any danger of damaging the fruit. The so-called "ramming of branches" involves the use of long poles (a very long and light wooden stick, like reeds) to shake the branches and drop the nuts.
Collect the nutswith abbacchiatura is a commonplace especially for small companies.
Warning! This is a risky method!
In this case, the inconvenience is linked to the possible injuries that can be caused to the buds and fruit-bearing branches by exposing thewalnut treeto the action of numerous parasites. Subsequent harvests may be affected.
Mechanical harvesting of walnuts
Agricultural mechanization involves everything, even thewalnut harvest. Mechanical harvesting involves the use of shaking and harvesting machines and offers the advantage of obtaining a healthy product without the risk of damaging the fruit or the tree. Due to the high costs, mechanical walnut harvesting cannot be used in cultivations of walnutcarried out within the family or in small businesses.