Hickory Nuts

| 11/4/2015 11:05:00 AM

Connie MooreWhile November is considered to be one of the harvest months, anyone who gardens and preserves crops for the winter can tell you, harvest and gathering and “putting by” as the old timers called it, began back in March and April with rhubarb and asparagus.

Those packages and jars of red and green have been joined with summer’s tomatoes and beans and then apples and pumpkins. So by now the shelves and freezer are pretty full. But there’s still room for the final crop to be brought in.

This last crop is free so don’t overlook it. Hickory nuts, walnuts and butternuts all benefit from a frost and a slightly windy day to bring them down. We’ve had both the frost and windy day here in Ohio so now is the time for gathering.

Of course, the beauty of the whole operation is in the autumn colors. Sitting under a magnificent golden hickory tree with hues of red-rose, orange and lemon-yellow dancing all around from sunlight in nearby trees will make you slow down and appreciate just what this last crop is all about. In the clear, crispy-cool air, well… it will stir your soul and leave you wondering if you just shouldn’t stay here till the snow flies.

golden hickory tree

Once gathered, don’t be in a hurry to process the nuts. Leave them in a bin or box so they can dry out and any unwanted tag-a-longs will have time to vacate the premises. They usually use a window that they built into the nuts. By giving them time to leave, you won’t waste time cracking spoiled nuts.

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