Friday, June 18, 2010

It's the Green Walnut time of the year - and a duck-update

© 2010 Joshua Stark

I quick update on the aftermath of the ducktastrophe.  All my greens were eaten down, and only the swiss chard, hardy as ever, is showing any signs of coming back.

However, much of the corn and squash and beans, though getting squashed by web-footed fiends, have sprung back well, as well as one cucumber.

I'll plant something else now in the big empty spot... any suggestions for an early-summer planting?

Of course, it is also time for green walnuts.  Last year, I made nocino (and Frugal Italian), as well as green walnut ketchup.  All were wildly popular, so I planned on repeating the endeavours, but the walnut crop looks much different this year.

First, I have fewer squirrels, so that's a plus.  Also, I've noticed that it looks like walnuts produce on 2nd year growth, so this year I expect a ton more walnuts, as we'd had the tree pruned when we first moved here.  However, the tree is dropping a very, very large number of walnuts early, and with the rains we've had, they are bigger than last year, and they are dropping on dirt instead of grass, too - so they are cracking when they land.  No bueno.  Also, I've seen a lot of walnuts with damage on them.  So, I have no idea how well the ripe crop will be, but the green crop of dropped walnuts isn't doing too hot.

Thus, I've had to use walnuts that were a bit more beat-up than last year, so we'll see how that turns out.

Anyhoo, I've got a batch for nocino ala a recipe sent to me by the Erratic Sewer and Crafter, Kari, and also my first attempt at my own recipe with brandy rather than vodka.  Plus, I've got a double-batch worth soaking in salt water for the green walnut ketchup:

Brandy nocino on the left, vodka in the middle, and green walnut ketchup

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