I always thought the hardest thing about growing nuts is getting any for yourself, before the squirrels clean out the tree. They must be tough little nut crackers, because they can open anything, even black walnuts. Someone nearby must have a tree, because I see the cracked, empty husks littered about and staining everything they touch.
If you're luckier than I and you've managed to collect some black walnuts, you wouldn't be alone if you were wondering how the heck to get them open. Steve Nix, About.com's Guide to Forestry, has five old black walnut trees that all together have the potential of producing about 3,000 nuts, so he's cracked a few in his time. Steve has put together a photo how-to on collecting and husking black walnuts. If you've been puzzling how to get the nut out of the husk, here's your answer.
Photo: © Marie Iannotti