Saturday, July 16, 2011

Butternuts In My Forest Garden

 Weeding around the fence posts this morning,

I was working out on the far end of the paddock this morning.  Cutting the weeds that are around the fence posts, that are keeping the wire from being hot. Another morning of finding the horses sticking their head over and under the wire forced me to get out there early. The front corner bottom wire was already broke in half and laying on the ground. That is the one I just repaired the other day. So out we went........

I discovered this tree growing there........

I worked pretty quickly and when I got to the back line area, I saw this small tree growing. See what is on it?

See the little nut pods hanging all over it?

It is loaded with nuts!  Butternuts, I believe. What a find that is! When I was a child we had two butternut trees in our front yard. I don't believe my parents ever took the time to harvest them. My brother and I would have butternut wars with the neighbor kids.

Seems like they are plentiful!

One thing I know for sure, they are not easy to harvest! Well, maybe to harvest, but to process to use.....that is hard. Just like walnuts. You can store them in onion bags, and hang them in a dry place until you want to use them. One site I went to said they would stay good for 25 years or more that way. Or you can dry them, shell them and roast them. Then eat them or can them.

Butternut pod!

Whatever you decide to do with them, wear gloves when handling them! They can and were used as a dye and will definitely turn your hands brown for a period of a few weeks. Dark brown! Butternuts have been used as dye for homespun fabric and still is. So that is another good use for all those butternuts, if you are a spinner. I am not. So I am hoping to use them for food. I will keep you updated on them and show you what I do with them once they are ready in the fall for harvesting.

Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
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