What kind of equipment do I need to forage nuts?
A ladder can be a big help to reach tree nuts, and it is a good idea to have a basket to carry your harvest.
How do I pick nuts?
It is preferable to pick the nuts directly from the trees, since they quickly develop mold and mildew once they fall to the ground. Ripe nuts will effortlessly separate from the branch when you pull them.
How do I clean nuts?
If you have gathered the nuts from the ground, they might be dirty and wet. Rinse them in hot tap water, and use a nail brush to clear any persistent dirt. Finally, give the nuts a bath in lukewarm water mixed with sodium benzoate to ward off fungus and mold. Let them dry on a kitchen towel for a couple of hours.
How do I store nuts?
Due to the moisture in fresh nuts, they don't keep for very long. To extend their shelf life, you should dry the nuts you don't plan to eat within a few days. Find a dry, warm place with good ventilation and hang them in a nylon stocking for two to three weeks—depending on the type of nut, and the level of humidity. Taste the nuts along the way, and stop the drying process when they have the right bite. Dried nuts should be stored in a cold, dark, and dry place.
What do I do if the nuts become moldy?
Storing nuts in an environment that is too cold will raise the risk of mold (especially with walnuts). Mold on the outside of a nut can be removed with sodium benzoate, but if there is mold on the inside, you have to discard it.