[NAFEX] My Butternut experience here in zone 3

Jim Fruth jimfruth at charter.net
Tue Nov 3 09:31:31 EST 2009

    Squirrels do an excellent job of hiding Butternuts in places where I 
can't find them so I tricked them into putting some of the nuts where I can 
find them.  I learned that a favorite place for squirrels to hide the nuts 
is along the sides of logs.  Culverts and pipes work too and the bigger the 
diameter the more nuts are stashed there.  They place the nuts as far into 
the sides of the logs as they can and pack leaves to camouflage them from 
view.  Wipe away the leaves and there are the nuts.  I guess that I get half 
(or less than half) of the nuts produced on each tree - the balance of the 
nuts are in the squirrel's lair.
    The nuts are messy/sticky to work with so I put them in burlap sacks 
storing them away until Winter for cracking them.  Freezing temperatures 
make the once-sticky husks less messy to handle.
    Yield..............that's another story.  I drilled shallow holes into 
both jaws of my bench vise so the nuts could be placed in end-to-end.  Crank 
the vise tight until the nut shells snap and that yields mostly perfect 
halves (nut meats).  The upside is that it takes nearly two bushels of nuts 
to yield a coffee can full of nutmeats.  Butternuts have a high oil content 
and if nutmeats are stored in a warm place, they tend to turn rancid over 
the space of a few months so we stored ours in the freezer.
    There are no Butternut trees where I live now which is good because I'd 
feel compelled to process them and I don't have time to do some necessary 
tasks during my Winters.

Jim Fruth
Brambleberry Farm
Pequot Lakes, MN  56472
For jams, jellies, syrups and more:
1-877-265-6856 (Toll Free)
1-218-831-7018 (My Cell) 

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