Watch now: Backyard walnuts lead to growing nomadic business for Middleton man | State and Regional

J's Black Walnuts

Jesse Peterson spent 30 years in manufacturing and is utilizing that have in his J’s Black Walnuts processing facility situated in his city of Middleton storage.  He started harvesting black walnuts from his yard in 2013 earlier than beginning his business operation in 2015. 

Peterson, 59, grew up in Waukesha, graduated from UW-Whitewater and spent 30 years in manufacturing earlier than retiring. He works half time within the distillery at Wollersheim Vineyard close to Prairie du Sac and started accumulating walnuts at his residence close to Summers Christmas Tree Farm off Airport Street in about 2013. He tinkered round with recipes and processes to wash and extract nuts earlier than going business in 2015.

“After I discuss to of us on the farmers markets they arrive by they usually say, ‘Wow, that’s numerous work,’” Peterson stated. “It retains me sane and retains me out of hassle.”

He bought the Nut Wizard on-line for about $75 however used his manufacturing background to assemble a tool in his storage to take away the inexperienced outer husk from the nut. It’s primarily a spare tire from a trailer that’s powered by an electrical motor and resembles a pitching machine that squishes the husk off the nut when it’s pressed in opposition to a metal plate.

J's Black Walnuts

After the husks are eliminated by a home-built machine, the black walnuts are positioned in a trough of water. The nuts that sink are then pulled from the underside of the tank after which washed, dried and cured for six weeks. Peterson will spend a lot of the winter utilizing a vice and wire cutter to take away the meat from the nuts.

The nuts are then positioned in a water trough. People who float are discarded, since they aren’t totally developed, whereas those who sink are transferred to a home-designed, and hand-cranked, metal washer. After 5 minutes, the batch is eliminated, hosed off with clear water after which positioned on drying racks within the driveway. After a number of days, the nuts are cured in onion luggage and hung within the storage for six weeks.

J's Black Walnuts

Black walnuts air dry within the driveway of Jesse Peterson’s city of Middleton residence.

Then the cracking, choosing and bagging begins. It brings again reminiscences of his grandfather who lived in Eastman, close to Prairie du Chien, and who sometimes would decide up walnuts, unfold them out within the driveway and use the household automobile to drive over the fruit in an effort to take away the husks. On some events, Peterson, then a toddler, would sit in his grandfather’s lap and “steer.” However his grandfather’s love was hickory nuts, one other difficult nut to crack.

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