In season: fresh, September and October; for pickling, July.
The Romans called this fruit the "Nut of Jove;" the Greeks dedicated the tree to Diana, and held festivals under its shade. With us, it is associated with pictures of rural life and repose; for of old the walnut-tree flourished on many a village green and by many a cottage door.
Our readers have, doubtless, heard the old adage: -
"A woman, a spaniel, and a walnut-tree, The more you beat them the better they be".
A third of truth is certainly contained in it, for beating a walnut-tree really does improve it, by breaking off the points of the too luxuriant shoots, and making them send out the short spurs which alone produce the nut. We may add, pruning answers the same end. Walnuts are an excellent nut, and the green walnut makes a good pickle. They are best when eaten just as they fall from the tree, when their green envelope breaks, and the ripe nut will open on the pressure of finger and thumb; but they will also keep well for some time.
A decoction of the leaves and husks of this tree will protect plants from insects if sprinkled on their leaves. It is also a powerful dye.
If walnuts become shrivelled, soak them in hot milk and water for seven hours before sending them to table. This will make them plump up and peel easily.