I'm the worst squirrel ever

Ninjasquirrel

Crowing
May 11, 2018
1,819
4,349
286
Northwest Indiana
We have a ton of black walnut trees on our property. Every year I collect them. And every year I screw them up. Last year I left them in the husks to sit out in the sun and dry up. But when I removed the husks and the shell the nut meat was deflated. This year I watched a youtube video on it. I managed to screw it up again. I took off the husks and washed them. I let them dry completely in my sink and then put them in a bucket to dry the rest of the way. After about a week of them sitting in the bucket in my house I smelled something. They were covered in mold! Apparently moisture from the house had collected and condensated in the bucket causing the growth of mold spores. They're ruined yet again :barnieplease somebody tell me what I'm doing wrong so I know for next year! I feel like the worst squirrel in the world :hitits a good thing I'm not a squirrel or I would have starved to death.
 

six_chooks_for_now

In the Brooder
Jun 14, 2019
30
44
49
I don't have a lot of experience with walnuts, but when we collected them before we would only take ones that had fallen on the ground. We would step on them in a rolling fashion to get the outer hull off (watch out stains shoes!) and didn't have any issues with them drying. We were able to eat them pretty much right away.

The second method you described does not surprise me when they got moldy because they were in a bucket (little oxygen for drying completely) unfortunately. :/ I think it would be best if they dried in a single layer on a hotter week (if possible) and make sure to kind of rotate them.
 

Ninjasquirrel

Crowing
May 11, 2018
1,819
4,349
286
Northwest Indiana
I don't have a lot of experience with walnuts, but when we collected them before we would only take ones that had fallen on the ground. We would step on them in a rolling fashion to get the outer hull off (watch out stains shoes!) and didn't have any issues with them drying. We were able to eat them pretty much right away.

The second method you described does not surprise me when they got moldy because they were in a bucket (little oxygen for drying completely) unfortunately. :/ I think it would be best if they dried in a single layer on a hotter week (if possible) and make sure to kind of rotate them.
Its possible but we did it this way because I didnt want the squirrels to take away all my hard work.
 

CBorden77

Chirping
Sep 8, 2019
30
140
69
Lincoln County, Montana
Rule of thumb with drying/dehydrating anything is to lay whatever it is out as flat as possible and place someplace where air can circulate freely. (I "dry" herbs and some fruit pieces simply by laying on cookie racks and placing inside my oven for a few days. On higher humidity days, I will set oven to lowest heat setting for about 30 minutes to further eliminate dampness from the air in the oven). I hope your next attempt goes better.
 

Ninjasquirrel

Crowing
May 11, 2018
1,819
4,349
286
Northwest Indiana
Rule of thumb with drying/dehydrating anything is to lay whatever it is out as flat as possible and place someplace where air can circulate freely. (I "dry" herbs and some fruit pieces simply by laying on cookie racks and placing inside my oven for a few days. On higher humidity days, I will set oven to lowest heat setting for about 30 minutes to further eliminate dampness from the air in the oven). I hope your next attempt goes better.
I have a food dehydrator...can I just use that? I don't want to put them in my oven. I cook too often to have it backed up. I dont want them just sitting on my kitchen table either. Its a LOT of walnuts
 

CBorden77

Chirping
Sep 8, 2019
30
140
69
Lincoln County, Montana
I have a food dehydrator...can I just use that? I don't want to put them in my oven. I cook too often to have it backed up. I dont want them just sitting on my kitchen table either. Its a LOT of walnuts
I have never dried nuts/walnuts - so I can't say for certain, but I would think that even if you left the dehydrator off and just spread them out on the trays in the dehydrator for a few days drying naturally should work effectively, if your dehydrator is vented. (I have an old one that is vented on the top, so even with it just sitting on the counter, whatever I spread on the trays will slowly dry.) If you try that route, lemme know how it works for you.
 

trumpeting_angel

Free Ranging
Feb 6, 2019
1,601
5,876
577
Vermont
I would google “dehydrating walnuts” and probably use the dehydrator. On its lowest setting, it’s probably ideal, and will quickly (maybe 12 hours) get them ready for storage. But I’ve never done it.

My dehydrator would not be ideal if it’s not turned on. Too enclosed.
 
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