Tag Archives: walnut

Basic Plan for Small-scale Black Walnut Food Source

From Tree to Nutritious Food; Cheap, Storable, Regenerative

By Robbie Coville with guidance from Edible Acres and Finger Lakes region tree folks
First draft November 9, 2019, last updated July 2020

Creative Commons License
  1. Introduction
  2. Gathering
  3. Processing for storage
  4. Storage
  5. Cracking and use – tools, method, time, and culture


This is a basic plan for small-scale black walnut food sourcing. From gathering to use this entire setup can easily cost under $50 for black walnuts as a perennial food source, not including time or recommended ergonomic $100 Master Nut Cracker or better equipment to facilitate tree crop use and enjoyment. Many parts of this process are mulit-purpose and reusable.

This guide is intended to help the formation of small-scale black walnut cooperative enterprises, where people can work together to realize the abundance of tree crops. There are also farm-scale methods of cracking, sorting, and processing black walnuts, and value added products made using these nuts open many doors to enjoying this abundant nutritious food source. In some regions like around Hammons Black Walnuts in Missouri, there are more industrious scales and businesses for enjoying this tree crop. These nuts can be enjoyed simply as is or with enhancement – naturally suited to be sweet or savory – storing well and connecting us with age-old beings and traditions that are in our blood. A food for good living in good or bad times. May our relationship with this food source be accessible, equitable, and harmonious for all.


Black walnut trees are common in Central New York and thrive in a wide range. They provide timber and nutritious food. They begin fruiting in 5-10 years of age. Conserve those tree allies and their diverse communities that are present with us, propagate and cultivate future generations and enjoy them honorably. We can live in mutual benefit with the source of this regenerative food and with each other.

Gather nuts from a prolific and ideally free source, which are common in many places. Nut gatherers in the Ithaca, NY area reported that while in season, they stopped and visited trees when they’d see an abundance of nuts on the ground and were able to gather 10-15 gallons per minute. With various short visits to different trees, hundreds of gallons of nuts can be gathered. An abundance of medicinal and regenerative food growing on beautiful timber trees.

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