Fall’s Fruitfullness

  • Post published:10/14/2010
  • Post comments:3 Comments

Lots of people in Heath have an old apple tree or two. Sometimes the apples aren’t beautiful, but they certainly can make good eating. I’ve been using the generous harvest from this unnamed tree to make apple sauce and apple butter.

Apple butter and apple sauce (L-R)

French toast with apple butter or apple sauce makes an easy  and nutritious breakfast.

Black walnuts in their hulls

My neighbor called me to say he and his wife had collected three big buckets of black walnuts from their two back yard trees. They had never gotten a harvest like this. Usually the squirrels got what nuts there were. So, they didn’t know how to handle the nuts, but they knew they could stain hands badly.

Black walnuts hulled

I didn’t really know how to handle them either, but I knew it was hard work. I found out that Iowa State University had good directions, and slightly humorous, on their website. If you want to know what to do with your black walnuts, click here.

Black walnut with its split hull

After putting on good rubber gloves and  three hours of splitting the hull, pulling out the shelled nut, and scraping away ‘stuff’, then washing the nuts, and setting them out to dry, my neighbor gave up. The other two buckets are up for grabs. Not for the squirrels.  In two or three weeks, when the nuts are dry they will get out their little sledge hammer and shell them. According to Iowa State University they can be kept in the freezer almost indefinitely.

Grapes climbing an old apple tree

The dark tangle is the grapevine, with many grape clusters, that is climbing an old apple tree. I can’t get a good photo but the grapes are climbing at least 15 feet or more up the tree.

Wild grape cluster

The grapes are not very big, although there are a lot of clusters within reach. They are not terribly sweet. Will that change if we get a hard frost this weekend?  And of course, there are the thick skins and big seeds.  What to do? What would you do?

That’s my Three for Thursday – apples, black walnuts and grapes.  To see more threes visit Cindy over at My Corner of Katy. Thanks for setting this up, Cindy.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Lisa at Greenbow

    Those walnuts remind me of my Mother. She loved to get at least one bucket full of these nuts to make candy and cookies each autumn. I don’t care for that flavor. I always enjoyed the collecting though as a child.

    This past weekend my DB’s Uncle gave us a milk jug full of Beech Nuts. They are about as bad to open. Their shape is oblong. I had never had them before. I got out my hammer and cracked a few to see if I like them. They are not a strong tasting as BlackWalnuts. Yummm.

    I think if I had enough wild grapes I would try making jam. They must taste good. The birds eat them up around here.

  2. Pat

    Lisa – I am considering jam. I am sure I have more than enough – within reach – to make at least one kettleful.

  3. Andrea

    I haven’t seen wallnuts fruits yet,just the corrugated shell and of course, the seed ready for eating. Wow i love your jam, if only i am nearer, and i can also eat the fresh grapes. We dont grow them here, have only the imported ones.

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