If the tree is by the side of the road then the nuts are for anyone who wants them. Or so I have been told.
Apparently, local municipalities plant walnut trees because they are low maintenance and people can be counted on to do the harvesting. I guess the grocery stores aren’t that thrilled, but maybe the just don’t sell walnuts.
My wife came home with a bag of the things the other day. She and one of our neighbours had been in a nearby village and had stopped at a nut tree on the way home. The walnuts must be air-dried for 10 days before they are ready to eat.
That gives me 10 days to buy a nutcracker, something I didn’t think to purchase when setting up the apartment (and that isn’t in our local grocery store either). Back home we do have a nutcracker, but we use it exclusively for lobster; we get our nuts pre-shelled. Since I have never seen lobster for sale here it didn’t occur to me I might need a nutcracker.
Walnuts have always struck me as a lot of work. When I was a child I would open them at my grandparent’s house (they always had a dish of nuts on hand) and the appeal was in the cracking, not the eating. In my teens we had a Japanese walnut tree in our yard, but I don’t remember eating any of the nuts it produced.
Getting walnuts off the tree is more work than cracking them. All the low-hanging ones get picked first. To get the others you must wait for gravity to do its thing. Windy days help. Of course, probably someone else will have gathered the nuts off the ground before I get there. My wife found a long stick, which has improved her reach somewhat and increased her harvest.
On the way home from church this past Sunday, with the same neighbour, we spent almost an hour moving from tree to tree. After the first one I figured I had reached my limit, so I sat in the car and recorded these observations for you.
If it was cashews I would be out there harvesting, but walnuts have never been my favorite.