Pine Nut Harvesting Season:
The Pine Nut Harvesting season is from November to April. There are different seasons for each type of pine nuts. For example, the best time to harvest black walnut nuts is during winter. You will have less chance of getting them if they were harvested before spring or summer. On the other hand, you might get some at any time of year if you harvest them early enough in the season.
When To Harvest Pine Nuts:
There are many reasons why you want to harvest pine nuts. Some of them include:
You don’t like the taste of pine nuts. You want to save money and want to buy cheaper pine nuts. You need to eat them immediately. They’re too expensive and you’d rather not spend your hard earned money on them. You don’t have enough space in your freezer.
For one reason or another, you want to harvest pine nuts earlier than others do. If you’re just starting out with pine nut harvesting, then it’s better to wait until later in the season. However, if you’ve been doing it for awhile and want to save money, then there is no harm in harvesting them now because they’ll cost much less than what they would cost after the season ends.
How To Store Your Pine Nuts:
The best way to store your nuts is to freeze them immediately. If you have a big harvest, then you might need to buy a freezer just for storing them! You can also dry them, but it takes up much more space. It’s also more time consuming because you’ll have to continually check on them.
If you don’t have money to buy a freezer, then it’s best to dehydrate the pine nuts. They can be stored for up to ten years, unlike frozen ones which only last one to two years.
Make sure that when you’re dehydrating them that you check on them regularly and rotate them. This prevents them from getting stuck to the bottom or top of the dehydrator. If this happens, then you’ll have to throw out the ones that are stuck! It’s truly a waste of time and money.
This might be the most important thing when you’re dehydrating the pine nuts. It’s easy to burn them, so keep a close eye on them just as you would if you were roasting them. This is the only way to know that they’re done.
How To Tell If Your Pine Nuts Are Done:
Pine nuts are done when their outer shell becomes brittle. At this point, you can easily break it with your hands. This is the signal for you to put them in your dehydrator or freezer. Don’t wait until they become completely black because then, they’ll be ruined!
As long as you follow these instructions, then you should be able to harvest and store your pine nuts so that they last for a very long time. You’ll save a lot of money if you do it this way instead of buying them at the store!
What To Do With Your Pine Nuts:
Here are some examples of what you can do with your pine nuts after you have stored them:
You can make pesto sauce with them. You can incorporate them in a salad or use them as a garnish. You can also top pastas and other dishes with them for a delicious taste. They’re great for snacking, either by themselves or with some bread. You can incorporate them into many cuisines.
Harvesting pine nuts, while easy, is a time-consuming process. You need to put in a lot of time and effort if you want to reap the benefits. This is why it’s important to know how and when to do it so you don’t mess up your entire crop.
The methods for harvesting pine nuts are different from each other. The most common one is to “strip” the cone from the tree. This is almost like how you would strip a banana from a tree. You hold the pine cone stalk at the base and pull upwards with a twisting motion. The other way is to shake the nuts out by holding the pine cone stalk and then shaking it sideways.
In any case, you’ll need to be very careful when doing this because you can easily hurt your fingers or hands on the pine cone barbs. It’s important to be slow and patient when doing this because a slight mistake can ruin your entire crop.
The most common mistake that people make is that they try to remove the pine cone from the tree prematurely. They think that the cones are ready to be harvested, but in reality they aren’t. You need to wait until the scales of the pine cone loosen before you can safely remove it from the tree. You can test this by trying to twist off a scale from the pine cone. If it comes off easily then you can start harvesting, if not then the pine cone isn’t ready yet.
Making sure not to damage the scales is important because that’s what holds the pine nuts in place. If you break too many off, then there will be nothing left to protect the pine nuts and they’ll all fall out when you try to remove the pine cone. This will make harvesting them a lot harder, and in some cases impossible if too many scales break off.
The best way to get around this is to do it slowly and carefully, one pine cone at a time. Be very gentle and patient when doing this and try your best not to rush. Rushing will only lead to mistakes, so take your time. The pine cone harvesting period should last anywhere between 2 weeks to a month or until the cone starting drying out.
Your goal is to gather as many pine nuts as you can within this period of time. You should be able to gather at least 50lbs of pine nuts in this time period and possibly even up to 200lbs. After the time period is over, you’ll need to let the pine cone scales harden before you can store them properly. If you try to do it before then, then the scales will start to dry out and they’ll be harder to handle because they’ll stick together.
How to Store Your Pine Nuts
When you’ve gathered your pine nuts, you need to make sure that you’re storing them properly so they don’t spoil. The best way to do this is to shell all of the nuts and then dry them completely. While the drying process can take a few days, it’s better to be safe than sorry since an uncleared crop can lead to a massive loss of your food supply.
The drying process can be done in a few ways. The first way is using a food dehydrator, which costs around $100 and is fairly easy to use. You just put the pine nuts in the machine on the lowest setting and leave it on for at least 48 hours. This machine will suck all of the water out of the pine nuts making them last longer and giving them a longer shelf life.
Sources & references used in this article:
Pine nuts: species, products, markets, and potential for US production by L Sharashkin, M Gold – Northern Nut Growers Association 95th Annual …, 2004 – pinenut.com
Stone Pine and pine nuts production in Lebanon by P Sfeir – … Meeting on Mediterranean Stone Pine for …, 2011 – networks.iamz.ciheam.org
Chemical composition of pine nut (Pinus pinea L.) grown in three geographical macrozones in Chile by M Lutz, K Álvarez, V Loewe – CyTA-Journal of Food, 2017 – Taylor & Francis