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  #1  
Old 09/29/09, 10:47 AM
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Adirondacks
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How to Cure Butternuts?

With all the rain we had this summer, we have a fairly large crop of nuts from our butternut trees. I just did some checking on curing nuts and some say to leave them in the sun after the hulls have been removed. Others say to leave them in the dark. Anybody know which is correct?

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Old 09/29/09, 10:59 AM
 
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I'm sorry I can't answer your question, but I had to say that upon reading the thread title my first thought was "what kind of disease is butternuts?"

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Old 09/29/09, 11:11 AM
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New York
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According to Mother Earth News you need to dry them, although it's probably that you can dry them in the sun or the dark!:

Butternut trees bear early-at just two or three years of age. The fruit is elliptical, like a long, narrow egg, and has a thin, green outer husk covered with fine, bristly hairs that give off a near-permanent brown dye. The inner surface of the husk produces an equally powerful orange dye. (Time to get out the old clothes and rubber gloves again.) The nut inside is oval, with a deeply ridged and pitted shell that's almost but not quite as difficult as 1. nigra to crack.

The thin, fragrant, oily kernel inside each shell can go rancid quickly, so it's important to shell and use butternuts soon after you've husked and dried them. No problem; butternuts are sweet and delicious straight from the shell, raw or roasted, or baked in cake or pastry.

Here's the whole article ("A Fall Field Guide to Nuts"): http://www.motherearthnews.com/Natur...ts.aspx?page=5

Wish I could help -- we have no butternuts but are on our way out to harvest hickory nuts -- the kids & I foraged 10 lbs of nuts (after hulls removed, although most were just sitting on the ground!) A heavy rain and some wind this weekend and it's raining hickory nuts here!

Good luck!

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Old 09/29/09, 11:15 AM
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Adirondacks
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Thanks offthegrid! I hesitate to try and cure them outside because of the squirrels that we battle with all summer. I think I'll try curing them in the basement.

Where are you at in NY? We get plenty of squirrel planted trees coming up here. If you are close to the Adirondacks, I could save you some in the spring.

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Old 09/29/09, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dente deLion View Post
I'm sorry I can't answer your question, but I had to say that upon reading the thread title my first thought was "what kind of disease is butternuts?"

I was thinking, "What symptoms does he have?"
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Old 09/29/09, 11:55 AM
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Smile

...same way you cure popcorn balls i guess.

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Old 09/29/09, 02:10 PM
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We process butternuts as well as hickory nuts from our farm.

You do need to dry them and can do it outside (we do it on tarps) as well as inside (We use racks made from the metal mesh used to back stucco).

When drying outside the main issue (apart from squirrels) is to avoid cooking the nuts. You should avoid putting them in the sun on high temperature days.

You should make sure the nuts are no more than a single layer and turn them frequently.

If we are drying the nuts outside on a tarp we bring them in at night to avoid dew. We just grab the corners of the tarp and then lift the tarp up onto a small farm wagon and bring them in the barn. If we have a lot of tarps and the weather is ok we leave the nuts on the tarp and set things (milk crates, whatever) with 2x2s to hold another tarp over the nuts and leave them outside. It all depends on how much we are drying at any given time.

If we are drying on racks inside we make sure there is plenty of room between the stacked racks (we use short pieces of 4x4s at various points around the rack) and use large fans to ensure air flow. Again, make sure that you are turning the nuts.

You absolutely want to avoid mold.

hope this helps.

Mike

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Old 09/29/09, 02:36 PM
 
Join Date: May 2002
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Thanks Mike!

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