Edibles with Ease: When to Get Growing from Seeds or from Starts? Read more »
In my side yard which is mostly shade, I have tried a variety of perennials that thrive in a woodland setting. Read more »
Make your garden even more welcoming to birds and butterflies: turn it into a certified wildlife habitat. Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Keep your lawn and your shoes clean and free of clippings by adding our innovative, sturdy Grass Catcher to your StaySharp™ Ree... Read more »
The Salsa Rain Barrel System makes it easy to collect up to 58 gallons of water for your garden and lawn. Our rain barrel is ma... Read more »
Make the most of National Craft Month by preparing some craft kits for your children - let them explore color, texture and dif... Read more »
This is the second how-to in a series focused on getting the most out of your basic paper punches. Read more »
Spring brings in the most wonderful colors and here is a fun way to add a touch of color to your gifts! Read more »
Our ProCision™ Rotary Bypass Trimmer features a unique dual-rail system that stabilizes the rotary blade, eliminating wiggle fo... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
Available online and at your local retailer May 2014 Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with... Read more »
My idea is to show everyone that they can make something cute and fashionable without spending a lot of money. Read more »
Embellishing a plain shirt using a reverse appliqué technique is easy - and your kids will love their personalized outfit! Read more »
This year, it seems like spring is way overdue at our house. Read more »
Perfect for tight, precise cuts, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force the blades back togethe... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for users with larger hands or anyone who needs to make long cuts through multiple layers, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabr... Read more »
I always look forward to school being out for the summer (more so than my children, probably!) and the change of pace means we... Read more »
This fun project is a great way to send a little love note to your child. These lunchbox notes can be slipped into a backpack... Read more »
Here is a fun craft for St. Patrick’s Day that is not only adorable, it makes kids stop and think about how lucky they are. Read more »
Children love our Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the handle that’s shiny, bright and smooth, not “sticky” or “bumpy.” Teachers and... Read more »
Our Big Kids Scissors take the basic design of our teacher-recommended Kids Scissors and enlarge them for kids that are a littl... Read more »
Our Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those older children who ar... Read more »
Introduced to the world as a quality fabric scissors, the Original Orange-Handled Scissors redefined the standard for cutting p... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Super Pruner/Lopper, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear... Read more »
Our Comfort Loop Rotary Cutter with a 45 mm blade makes cutting a wide variety of quilting materials comfortable and easy. A cu... Read more »
Maybe, you want to build a more environmentally friendly garden with seasonal shade to reduce energy costs, piles of leaves for your compost bin, native plants, and some wood trimmings for your fireplace. If this sounds like you, nut trees may be the perfect addition to your garden.
Nuts – some are technically called “drupes” – are some of the most nutrient dense food crops available. Most are rich in beneficial oils and high in protein. Plus, they tend to be relatively low in carbohydrates. And, once planted, these leaf-shedding, shade-giving, woody, perennial crops can usually outlive the person who planted them.
North American gardeners can choose from a number of native and non-native nut trees for their gardens. Consider these options:
Walnuts: The delicious Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) comes from a tree native to North America. While its nuts are delicious, they can be incredibly difficult to crack. Instead, many gardeners opt to grow English Walnut (Juglans regia) trees instead. Their large, dissected leaves offer fantastic shade, and the nuts are probably more familiar to home cooks. Both varieties of the Walnut tree grow quite large, can perform in many North American locations, but also they are allelopathic – meaning they put off chemicals that inhibit the growth of other plants nearby. So, if you’re planning on the beautifully wooded Walnut, plan to give it lots of room all to itself.
Almonds: Although Almonds are not native to North America, they do grow well in many areas. Almond trees, like their close relatives peaches and apricots, can be relatively smaller nut trees. But some do grow quite large. Your garden will need to have a regular population of honeybees to pollinate them, or your almond nuts may never form.
Chestnuts: The American Chestnut (Castanea dentate) isn’t found in the wild as readily as it was in days gone by, but these large, beautiful trees are still a gorgeous option for the right location. Remember that the delicious parts are encased in prickly outer casings that will litter the ground beneath the tree, so tread lightly in bare feet under its canopy. If food is your goal, be sure not to plant a Buckeye or Horse Chestnut (Aesculus species), which are often confused with the true edible Chestnut and won’t provide the forage you seek.
Hazelnuts: There are several varieties of Hazelnuts for home gardens. In my own garden, the native North American Hazelnut (Corylus cornuta) pops up everywhere thanks to the care of gardening squirrels. This plant tends to take a suckering shrubby form more often than a stately tree form. If you do decide to grow one, plan for a small tree/large shrub location, and keep your Fiskars pruners and handsaw handy to
remove suckers regularly. Fortunately, the nuts are edible. Unfortunately, the squirrels tend to harvest them in summer before I do.
**Note: Hazelnuts are often confused with flowering WitchHazels (Hamamelis species), which do not produce edible nuts.
Pecan: Growing up in the south meant my Aunt Betty’s pecan pie on every holiday table, probably because this tree grows well in that part of the world. This North American native will live for many years and produce well – so long as you have a few of them for cross-pollination. Where you garden may dictate how well (or poorly) your nut tree will grow, so be sure to check with your local nursery or tree farm to pick just the right one for your location.
There are many ways to add nuts to your diet. If you have allergies or digestive issues or any other concerns, check with your doctor first. Remember that once nuts are removed from their shell, their shelf life diminishes rapidly. Soon they can become stale, rancid and bitter. Storing shelled nuts in the freezer can help extend how long they taste good. Also, know that if you choose to cook or roast your nuts, some of their beneficial Omega-3 oils may convert to Omega-6 oils as they are heated. In our house, that’s why we usually opt to crack nuts fresh from the shell to enjoy while they are raw, snappy, sweet and filled with loads of beneficial nutrients. On occasion, we will lightly toast and chop a few hazelnuts to sprinkle on a simple green salad with vinaigrette dressing.
Of course, I wouldn’t turn down a chocolate chip cookie with walnuts or a slice of my Aunt Betty’s pecan pie either!