Hulled a Half-Bushel of Walnuts

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Saturday, October 12, 1912:  Was busy hulling walnuts today. I estimated them to have amounted to about half a bushel. My work in that is not finished yet.

Black walnuts that fell on a country road

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

A half- bushel of walnuts is a lot to hull (remove the outer layer)—though it’s going to be a lot bigger job to crack them after they dry.

I also gathered and hulled walnuts this fall—though I only gathered a couple pounds.

This year I wore plastic gloves when I hulled them. Last year I stained my hands while hulling them—and it took at least a week to get rid of the ugly brown stains.

Walnut stains on my hands last year.

Previous posts on gathering and cracking walnuts

Hulling Black Walnuts

How to Crack Black Walnuts

12 thoughts on “Hulled a Half-Bushel of Walnuts

  1. We have a pecan tree but the squirrels eat all the nuts and throw the shells down. We did once have a black walnut tree and I remember we did get some of them. I remember the smell better than the taste.

  2. Now I know what that stain on my rug is! It’s from walking on these walnuts that have fallen all over the yard! Looking forward to those ‘new’ old fashioned recipes with walnuts! 🙂

  3. Oh, this brings back memories. My dad had a workshop out in a shed, and had a vice on one of the work tables. YEARS after he died, my nephews and I (as children) decided to crush black walnuts in that vice (unbeknownst to our moms). We had walnut stain all over our hands, and our moms didn’t find anything to take it off. Just time…!

  4. To hull black walnuts, I leave them in the garbage cans until they are real gooey. Then I put them in an elevated soil sifter made of 1/2″ hardware cloth. I don my rubber rain-gear, pants, parka and gloves, to power wash them. I blast them clean, dry them on the lawn and put them in the root cellar until I am stuck indoors with nothing else to do. (sometimes years)

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