Before moving to our small acreage, I didn’t even know what a walnut looked like outside of the grocery store. I was amazed when I learned they are a little green husk-covered nut while growing on the tree. Now that I have my own walnut trees and I know how they grow and what it takes to dehusk them I needed a way to easily remove walnut husks.
in green husk
When the walnuts are ripe in the fall, the husk splits, dropping the nut to the ground. Sometimes though, the husk will fall down with the nut and dry on it making it labor-intensive to get to the walnut. If you crack it through the dry husk there is a lot of husk “dust” cracked with the nutmeat. It really makes a mess, which no one is fond of.
in dried husk
I used to give these dry husked walnuts to my chickens since it was just too much work and far too messy to deal with. That was until I talked to a friend of mine who had a great trick to easily remove walnut husks.
A cement mixer is the BEST tool to easily remove walnut husks that have dried on the shell. I know not everyone has one laying around but depending on the number of walnuts you are processing it may be worth picking one up. We happen to have a mixer for the variety of concrete projects we do around our property. I was amazed just how amazingly well it works for this purpose.
box of dry husked walnuts
All you have to do is place the husked walnuts in the tumbler. (Not too many. They need room to move.) Tip the tumbler to the side so the nuts move more when it spins but not so much that some fall out and let it tumble for 15 minutes.
When you come back you will find 3 things: dehusked walnuts, husk “dust”, and broken walnut shells.
Broken shells of bad nuts
The shells are from bad nuts that you wouldn’t have wanted to crack anyway so are no loss.
I sift out the clean walnuts and take the husk “dust” and the shells and sprinkle them under my fruit trees as they discourage grass and weed growth.
walnuts in bucket
The walnuts are now ready to be cracked and used in all kinds of lovely recipes with very little effort on our part.
Thank you Monte for the fabulous tip. Let us know if you try this and how well it works for you.