Black walnut harvest provides sustainable benefits

Staff Reports • Updated Oct 18, 2017 at 7:00 PM

With the black walnut Harvest underway since Oct. 2, hullers and harvesters across the Midwest are busy collecting and hulling the natural treasure throughout the month of October. 

The black walnuts are collected by hand and sold to a nearby hulling station, where they are prepared for processing. 

Black walnut demand is higher than ever, so the opening price of $15 per 100 pounds (after hulling) is an all-time high for individuals and groups who take their black walnuts to one of the 235-plus hulling sites across 13 different states. To find one close by, visit black-walnuts.com. Prices can vary later in the season, so harvesters are encouraged to bring their nuts in soon after they fall to maintain best quality and value. 

However, it’s not just the nutmeat that people are after anymore. The entire nut – from the hull, to the shell, to the meat itself – provides valuable, environmental friendly benefits.

While the most common reason for harvesting black walnuts each year is for the bold, robust flavor of the nutmeat, they also serve critical roles across several industries. From oil drilling to water filtration and even cleaning, black walnuts are a true, sustainable nut with every part being used for unique, crucial functions.

Abrasive Cleaning

Black walnut shells provide a safe alternative to popular methods like sandblasting, without the risks included. Black walnut shells are effectively used to blast clean and polish soft metals, fiberglass, plastic wood and stone without running the risk of scratching. Black walnut shells were actually used by the U.S. Navy to clean ships and submarines and were also used to clean the Statue of Liberty. 

Black walnut shells are used in the oil industry to fill fracture seals. Due to their ideal particle size, they can be used for various scenarios that conventional materials may not fill. Their high strength yields strong results backed by their ability to withstand high temperatures. Their natural properties also effectively support an eco-friendly solution to oil-tapping cleanup.

Black walnut shells are an environmentally friendly way to separate suspended solids and hydrocarbons or oil from water. The shells strike out negative chemical-induced risks that are commonly found in typical filters such as zinc and harmful carbon materials. 

It’s more important than ever to harvest wildly grown black walnuts. Demand is at an all-time high as their diversity is used like never before. To learn more about black walnuts and the harvest, visit black-walnuts.com. 

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