Monday, 26 September 2011

Walnut Wrangling

Folowers of the Urbane Forager keep saying to me things like,
“Apples/Pears, yada, yada, yada! When are you going to take us walnut picking?”
I’m paraphrasing of course but you get the gist.

Walnuts are very healthy to eat and according to nutritional scientists, they are the king of antioxidant supplying food stuffs. They can be used in a myriad of recipes (including a forager’s family favourite - Chocolate Brownies). In the Middle-Ages, Europeans believed walnuts would prevent illnesses, witchery, malevolence, and even ward off lightning.
It Is A Very Big Walnut Tree
My daughter and I zoomed over to our favourite tree, to check out the seasonal scene and YES, the walnuts were ripe, at last they are dropping! This is a huge tree, bang in the middle of town and you will always get competition from the local children when picking walnuts; there were plenty of sticks on the ground which had been previously used to throw up. Last year we collected about 16Kgs of walnuts in two quick trips to this tree.
Fill Your Boots - Well OK, Hat Then
We bagged a quick basket-full but there are still piles more up there just waiting to ripen or for a good wind to give them a good shake-down.
Ripe Walnuts
The big tree is not on my map at the moment J but some other walnut trees are. This one is in the middle of a residential area – so probably not good for a big gang to descend upon. There are many other walnut trees about the place, you need to be able to recognise their distinctive leaf pattern (a bit similar to ash) and then keep your eyes open to locate them, unless you notice the crunching of shells underfoot. I have seen them in Chandlers Ford and of course in Walnut Avenue in Swaythling.
Walnuts and Plenty of Them
However, if anyone is interested in a Walnut Picknik– I think I know the perfect venue. I need to check first but sign up here if you wish to enlist – be warned though it will require a steep walk up a grassy Iron Age hillfort...


  1. Great site! Just saw you on TV and glad you won the right to pick on the Common after all!
    Am I too late to join the Walnut picknik?

  2. Hi
    Glad you like it and thanks for your support.
    We checked out the walnut trees on St Catherine's hill but they were all gone, there are other trees about though.
    If you look at the fruit map at the bottom of the blog or on our Community Website there are some other walnut trees marked on this; you might be lucky to find a few left but you'll need to be quick.
    Last year we got 16 Kgs!
    Alan aka the Urbane Forager