What a fantastic year we have had for walnuts! I have never seen so many hanging off the trees. Here is some information on how to get the best from your harvest:
Check for ripeness. The nuts are falling fast now here in Suffolk and the nuts have split hulls. Break open a few sample nuts to check for ripeness. English walnuts are ready for harvest when the tissue between the kernel and the shell turns brown.
You can then harvest the nuts by gathering them off the ground as they fall or by shaking them off the tree.
When collect the hulls need to be removed to reveal the shelled nuts. The hulls should come off easily if you are collecting the nuts at the right time. You might want to wear gloves to keep your hands clean.
Allow the nuts to air dry for a few weeks and then test again. If you remove the nuts from their shell and try and break them in half if they break cleanly the nuts are ready to eat. The nuts are best stored in an airtight container. The will keep in the shell for several months if kept cool and dry. The shelled nuts can be kept in the fridge for up to 6 months and in the freezer for well over a year.