Black walnut trees drop hundreds of large nuts that, unlike the English walnut, are incredibly difficult to crack without a specialised tool. Black walnut trees might be messy, but if you're entrepreneurial you can sell them to make a tidy profit. Black walnuts have a musky flavour that differs from their English cousin; these nuts are popular among chefs and in ice cream. There are tools you can purchase for easy harvesting, but the most common way to gather black walnuts is to pick them by hand.
Wait until your walnut tree begins to drop black walnuts. Walnuts typically ripen in the mid-fall, between August and early October.
Check around your neighbourhood for other black walnut trees. Many homeowners will be glad to have help removing the walnuts from the tree. You will make a larger profit with more walnuts. Ask before the walnuts drop from the tree so you don't miss out; you can exchange phone numbers so your neighbours can call you when they're ready to clean up the yard.
Gather nuts that have fallen and fill the paper sack. If you want, place the sack on a scale and weigh it so that you have some idea of how many pounds of walnuts you have.
Continue to gather walnuts from your black walnut tree and any others.
Research nut companies that may be interested in buying your crop. Hammons nut company buys black walnuts from individuals, according to the WCFCourier.com. Other nut companies may purchase black walnuts. Ask a representative at the company how to arrange to see the nut crop.
Contact local farm markets, organic markets and health food stores if you're unable to find a nut buyer. Also contact fine dining restaurants and speciality food companies in your area. Let them know you have black walnuts for sale.
Store the walnuts in a clean, dry area while you are trying to sell them. Do not leave them outside where squirrels could eat them.
Tips and warnings
- Store the walnuts in a clean, dry area while you are trying to sell them. Do not leave them outside where squirrels could eat them.