[NAFEX] Shelling butternuts

Jim Fruth jfruth at tds.net
Sat Aug 9 09:37:38 EDT 2008

Deb S. wrote, "How do you tell the nuts are ready for harvest?  Is there 
anything special
one needs to do to shell and use these?."

    Once the squirrels start stealing them, or when the first fall off the 
tree, they are ready for harvesting.  I spread mine out on a tarp with 
netting over the top to keep the critters from carrying them off.  Some 
people I know, who don't have a squirrel problem, cover their driveway with 
the nuts to remove the husk by driving over them.  I wait until the husks 
are dry to the touch, then bag them up to shell them during the Winter 
months.  I remove the husks before cracking the nuts.
    When I shell them, I get 90% perfect whole halves.  I have two shallow 
holes drilled in each end of my vise jaws so that when I tighten them 
together with the points of the nut, each in a hole, the nut is 
perpendicular to the jaws.  Drilling the holes isn't totally necessary if 
your fingers are strong enough to hold the nut in place while you tighten 
the vise but if you fail to hold the nut, end to end, perpendicular to the 
jaws, you won't get halves and, more often than not, you'll get mush.
    I tried this method with black walnuts and hickory nuts with limited 

Jim Fruth
Brambleberry Farm
Pequot Lakes, MN  56472
For jams, jellies & syrups:
(877)265-6856 [Store]
(218)831-7018 [My Cell] 

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