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The Nuts are Coming in Now!

Well, it’s finally shagbark hickory nut season! I’m like a squirrel. I love them so much! I want everyone to try them. That’s why I sell shagbark hickory nuts. Not only are they edible, but they taste amazing! And they are good for you.

I’ve been making my usual circuit around Adams County, PA. This year I’ve been applying my notes from the years past in order to maximize my harvest.

In 2017 I learned that the window of viability is pretty narrow. If they are on the ground for too long (10 days or so) then they become exponentially more rotten. In 2017 we went on vacation right in the middle of the season.

In 2018 I have the luxury of applying more time to harvesting. I’m making it more of a priority. I’m trying to make hay while the sun is shining. I think I have another five to seven days before the nuts are too far gone. Most of them have dropped, but a few trees are still hanging on.

I’ve clocked about fifteen towards harvesting so far. I have right around fifty pounds. Here are a few random shots of my experience so far.

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2018’s Hickory Nuts are Almost Ready

The hickory nuts are just about ready to fall for 2018. The squirrels are up there eating them, so I know they’re about to fall! It will be a few more days until they are ready to fall. If the squirrels don’t eat them all.

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yo this is Ryan I am taking a little

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stroll in the woods near my house I’m

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doing the first check for hickory nuts

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super excited I will say this year I

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haven’t really been looking at the trees

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a lot of times I’ll walk around and

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check out the trees and this year this

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summer I didn’t so I’m pretty excited to

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thought I heard one falling pretty

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excited to come out here and just see

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how they’re doing

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okay so there’s a shag bark you can see

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this one happens to be so shaggy

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it’s literally peeling off

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I will sustainably harvest some of this

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bark off of a shagbark hickory I don’t

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over harvest but I know where there’s

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enough trees that I can pull a little

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bit off of each tree so if you want some

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hickory shagbark hickory bark smoke and

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I’m not talking about getting high I’m

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talking about smoking your meats man all

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right man look I’m investigating look

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what we got

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signs of debris I’ll tell you exactly

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what that is that’s a squirrel

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stealing my hickory nuts I’m just

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kidding the hickory nuts are there sue

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I’ll share I’ll be happy to share these

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with the squirrels now when they start

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hitting the ground denim not as happy so

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when you see this kind of debris laying

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around that’s really green and broken

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that means essentially that the nuts

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inside there are good enough to eat

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they’re probably they probably have a

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lot of tannins and they’re really hard

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to get to unless you’ve got big squirrel

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teeth and you know you are a squirrel I

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found that it’s really not worth the

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effort to get to those green nuts so

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what you see now is just the shells

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basically I mean there I heard one and

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when they do fall the squirrels are

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roaming the ground looking for those

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green ones and and prying them open and

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here’s one they’re busy over here the

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squirrels so you see what I mean

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you can’t really get to that you can’t

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get to it

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in a couple weeks when they start

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hitting the ground they’ll essentially

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just they’ll be so dry that they

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essentially just hit the ground

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crack open sometimes they’re so dry that

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they actually just break while they’re

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falling there and then you go around

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with your nut wizard and you just pick

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them up I’ll show you that when they

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start falling but today these hickory

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trees are not giving me edible food this

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is just not worth the time but the good

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news is that it seems like there’s gonna

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be a lot of eat green nuts up in the

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tree

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so I’ll come back and check on these in

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a couple weeks so for now what I’m going

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to do is spend my time mapping these

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trees

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I’m gonna try to build comprehensive map

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of shagbark hickory nuts in Adams County

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Pennsylvania that’s my goal

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I’m gonna do it mostly for myself but

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I’m just curious to see what kind of

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trees are out here where they are see

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them on a map and then I can when

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they’re numbered that I can keep a log

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of which ones produce in which years the

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yeah I’d be I happen to be blessed to

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live in a nice little stand of them I

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think whoever owned this property a long

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time ago purposely put them here I know

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that hickories like limestone and

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there’s quite a bit of our soils very

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alkaline here a couple nice Oaks – that

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is a timber quality right there I

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wouldn’t cut them down they’re beautiful

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but I don’t have a say this isn’t my

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property so I can’t say what’s gonna

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happen

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but I hope they’re never developed

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they’re putting houses in across the

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street over there and if they cut down

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these hickory trees I will weep and weep

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actually what I would do is probably

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scrounge all my asses together and just

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try to buy it try to buy the property

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put it into conservation I hear a rumor

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that these shagbark hickory you can

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actually put them into conservation I’m

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not saying that I’m after the money but

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I know that these can be protected

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there’s a I forget the species of the

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bat but I know that there is a

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relatively endangered bat that will

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actually make its home inside the bark

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up under the bark and

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I like that idea like that idea

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protecting the bats they live in the

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trees I don’t know what it is I just

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have an affinity for the hickory tree I

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don’t know why I have such an affinity

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but I never really thought of myself as

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a tree hugger but I guess I am okay well

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the good news is that there’s nuts up

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there in the trees the bad news is

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they’re not quite ready they’re gonna

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need another my guess is probably

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another week to ten days before they

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start being worth my time to come out

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here and harvest there’s no reason to

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try to take those holes off when you can

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just get your nut wizard and pick them

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up so I’ll be back out here check on

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these trees in another week or so

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and I’ll get some more footage peace

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You Bought Some Hickory Nuts. Now What?

You just got some hickory nuts. Good for you! Your mouth is about to explode with the delicious nutty flavor. In my humble opinion there is no better nut!

I want you to get maximum enjoyment out of these nuts. Here are a few tips.

How to Get that Goodness in You

ekco nut cracker

It’s an age old problem: cracking nuts and getting that delicious, wholesome nut meat in your body! Back in the stone ages

they used stones to crack nuts. Just hit the nut with a stone. I image they used something like a porcupine quill or stick to dig the meat out.

Thankfully, today we have nut crackers and nut picks.

Hickory nuts aren’t especially hard, so a regular old, hand-held nut cracker is just fine. If you’re sitting around watching a movie or hanging out with friends then that is the best way. Just crack and eat.

If you are doing a lot of nut cracking then you  might want to get something more heavy-duty like this nut cracker.

How to Prepare Hickory Nuts

Raw

Raw is the most simple. This is how I eat them. Just get your nut cracker and pick and start eating! You can bake with them or eat them straight.

Roasted

Roasted are the next simple and they take the taste to new levels! Simply spread out the nuts on a cookie sheet. The don’t have to be shelled. Put them in the oven at 300° for 60-90 minutes. If they are shelled then you can sprinkle a little tiny bit of veggie oil and salt.

Once they are roasted then you can bake with them or eat them straight.

Pies

Use hickory nuts in place of pecans in pecan pie! So good

Milk

 

You can make a hickory nut milk. I mix it into smoothies and ice cream, but you can drink it straight. It is so good for you and tastes amazing.

Hickory Nut Milk

How to Store Hickory Nuts

Hickory nuts last quite a long time. Especially when they are whole. There are a few things you can do to make them last even longer though!

How to Store Hickory Nuts

Cracked

If your hickory nuts are already cracked then they may not last as long, but they will still last for a long time. If they are cracked then we recommend you put them in a zip lock back or vacuum sealer and put them in the freezer. if you don’t do that then keep them in a zip lock bag at least.

Whole

You could just put them on the counter and come back and eat them a year or more later and they would taste just as amazing. Likewise if you put them in a zip lock bag or vacuum seal and put them in the freezer they will last you years.

A Few Quick Points

  • Be careful of the shells! They can drive in between your teeth like a wedge and split a tooth. I had this happen to a friend. Just take a little extra time to make sure you got every little piece of shell out before you pop back a handful
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Best Black Walnut Cracker

Do you have a black walnut or any kind of nut tree? Every year you dread when they drop into your yard. They are so hard to crack that it’s not worth it. Maybe you do have a black walnut cracker, but it only does one at a time. Yeah right!

pick of best black walnut cracker operated cracker

Those black walnuts are money! They’re free nutrition falling from your tree!

Don’t just dump them into the creek. Get the Best Black Walnut cracker!

Obviously I sell nuts, so I needed a way to crack a lot of nuts quickly. I did a lot of research and kept coming back to the Best Black Walnut Cracker. So I bit the bullet and bought this nut cracker. I’m super glad I did!

I’ve been using this nut cracker for a season. I can’t say if it’s the best crank; because, it’s the only one I’ve ever used. Either way it’s a game changer!

Here are a few things I love about it.

  • It’s fast! I was cracking each nut one at a time. I have a lot of nuts to churn through and this lets me do it fast.
  • It’s solid! I can tell that it’s well made. I suspect if I use it correctly then it will last me the rest of my life.
  • No electricity. I know not everybody sees that as a good thing. It means you have to actually turn that crank with your muscles. I see it as extending its life. If the grid ever goes down this thing will still crack the nuts in my yard. Also, motors are complicated and there’s a lot more to go wrong.

I’m certain it will pay for itself. I sell my nuts, but even if all I did was eat the nuts myself it would pay for itself.

Of course this nut cracker cracks more than just black walnuts. It will crack basically any nut that is round. I use it for my hickory nuts and I’m certain it will work for macadamia nuts and maybe even acorns.

If you want to process lots of nuts, especially the notoriously difficult black walnut, then you should definitely purchase this nut cracker.

I made it easy. You can purchase directly from the manufacturer by using the PayPal link below. Please tell them The Nut Job sent you!

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Beware Falling Hickory Nuts!

Today I had the luxury of lying in my hammock for a good while. I was tied up to a shagbark. Right now the trees are self-selecting and dropping nuts. I brace myself every time I hear a nut hitting leaves on its way down. Thankfully I didn’t get hit by any today, but I’m pressing my luck.

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So shaggy!

Look at these fine specimens of shagbark hickory trees.

Yesterday I went for a walk to inspect the trees. They seemed as happy and shaggy as ever. Right now there’s not much I can do but wait for the glorious nuts to start falling in the fall. I like to take a stroll to visit the trees a few times throughout the year.

These are only a few of the trees that I harvest from. They happen to be the closest to my house.