The woods around the farm are filled with Shagbark Hickory trees. I often find the shells opened, the nuts eaten by animals. Today I found these two green nuts side by side. I’ve never eaten the nuts although I’ve been told by some of my readers that they’re tasty.
I just read that the wood from Shagbarks is very hard and was used to make tool handles and wheel spindles.
It made me think about how the trees were probably harvested, around the time our farmhouse was built in the 1840s, for these purposes. There are a few very big ones growing in the meadows where animals used to graze. I’m sure they nuts were harvested too.
Like the apple trees that grow wild in the pasture and woods, the stone walls, piles of rocks and even the dump filled with bottles and tinware, the woods are filled with signs of the people who used to live here.
6 thoughts on “Shag Bark Hickory Nuts”
I have a hickory footstool I bought in Alabama. Boy, is it ever heavy and hard as nails. Never ate a nut though.
Oh I bet Carol!
Each year my mother in law gathered walnuts, put them in a bag and placed the bag in her driveway. She drove the car back and forth over the bag to crack the walnuts. Then each evening cleaned the nuts out of the shell. What wonderful history you have with your farm. Our great niece lived on her husband’s family farm that was built in 1870. I got to see it last summer before they sold it. The people who bought the farm was going to remove the old farm and build a new home. I was said to hear that as it had stood on that spot for so many years and was still in good shape.
Love that story Marsha about cracking the nuts. I wondered how to get the nuts from the shells they are really thick and tough. Seems to wrong to me to knock down the old farm house. I understand that’s what people do now, but I can’t imagine it myself.
Growing up I used to go with my dad and my brother in the fall to look for hickory nuts in the woods. We would bring them home, crack the shell with a hammer and put the nuts in a bowl. My mom made the best butter based cookies loaded with hickory nuts and black walnuts. The aroma was a little scent of heaven 🙂
I keep hearing that they are really good in cookies Josie. Thanks for your story. I love to hear them all!