Walnuts

Nants credits the walnut trees at Quicksilver Farm for the awakening of her interest in the farming life. As a busy, successful Realtor, she would come home after a day of hurry, rush, stress, challenges, phone calls, faxes and the like. One day she pulled into the driveway and her imagination was captured by the beautiful color of nuts which had dropped from their withered hulls to the dark ground below the trees. She picked up a handful, amazed by the bounty which had literally dropped at her feet. The trees had been planted by the previous owners, and she had never truly noticed them in the 5 months they had been in residence. But here was a miracle! Lovely food grown right under her nose without her raising a hand.

Squirrel eating walnutAfter that day, it became her ritual to unwind with a daily routine of collecting walnuts in baskets. The fall is one of the nicest weather times in San Benito County and it was extremely peaceful out among the trees. When it became apparent Quicksilver Farm produced not enough nuts to sell, but too many for the Foleys to consume, Nants and Tim had an inspiration. Each fall, they celebrate their bounty with a “Nuts About You” party. Participants come prepared to crack nuts and jokes, eat heartily, partake in Tim’s fabulous walnut pie and generally have a good time. Guests are invited to take home nuts for their holiday baking needs. How cool is that? Guests are invited to share whatever they are especially grateful for that year.

Quicksilver Farm has Hartley walnuts. Hartley is an old, terminal bearing but productive cultivar. It produces large nuts with light kernels and attractive shells, and leafs out late enough in spring to avoid walnut blight.

Juglans regia (known to you as the walnut!) has its origins in Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, and eastward to the Himalayan Mountains. However, there are native Juglans in North, Central, and South America, Europe and Asia. Although native to Europe, it probably was not utilized there until improved forms were imported from Persia. Those ubiquitous Romans spread cultivation throughout southern Europe. The species came to the New World with English settlers, and then on to California via the missionaries. Today, walnut production is almost entirely located in the San Joaquin/Sacramento valleys of California, where over 5,000 growers and 52 processors (marketers) make up a highly organized and productive industry. Well, and of course, there are our six little trees on Quicksilver Farm.

Come stay with us and enjoy the Hartleys with the Foleys!