The problem, however, lies in the shell. It is TOUGH, TOUGH, TOUGH to crack. A very hard, stony pit, and no matter what methods I've tried, hammer, nut cracker, etc., the kernel tends to shatter with the shell.
If I had more time, I would consider gathering them, but generally just leave them. The squirrels will take them late in the winter, I guess when other food sources are low, but don't bother them before that, probably too bitter. For my money, just too hard to crack and too time consuming.
For nut production, I'd look into some of the more hardy, true papershell almonds like Titan. I've got that going, but its only been in the ground 2 years, tree looks great but no blooms this year, perhaps next.
FWIW, Halls Hardy is truly a beautiful spring blooming tree. I would replace mine when they went just as ornamentals if some better, dual purpose variety weren't available. As I said, still waiting to see how Titan compares to Hall's Hardy.
I would hope that nurseries would mention that this is a bitter variety. I did some google searching on this, and it seems that some trees are less bitter than others. I know mine are NOT edible in the raw state -- you definitely spit them out after a couple of seconds chewing them.
Yes, the vise idea would probably work, it just would be time consuming
The bulk of the almond industry is in zones 8-9 in California. I would be thrilled to be able to grow some in z6.
Any pistachios grow in Z6?
Like you, I'm determined to make this work. We bought the tree before reading all the mixed reviews on the actual edibility of the nuts. I'm really hopeful that we've got one of the good ones.
I too will plan to return in the fall with a report.
Rachell Koenig wrote:It's now September 11th, and all the fruits that were on my Hall's hardy almond tree have either ripened and fallen off, or have been eaten like peaches by my neighbor! I can not convince him that it is an almond tree. They are like firm peaches, I have even eaten a few myself. Is this because I have 3 peach trees also? My tree was loaded, and I refused to prune... sadly almost all the branches snapped. But I'm betting that it will be fine after I just chainsaw prune it. I plan to collect some of the pits off the ground and see what can be done with them. So far I have cracked one open and it was exactly like a peach pit... which I like. But I know everyone will want to know if you can make them taste like almonds from the store. I'll do one more update when I learn more.
Was the fruit part good tasting? The idea of a peach with an edible (or semi-edible) seed really appeals to me.
On most nights before I turn in for bed, that's the last place I visit --- to take a leak around the drip-line of the tree. As you can imagine, all that nitrogen has caused that tree to grow amazingly this summer, and with our hot Southern California evenings, it shows no sign of slowing down, even through we are now in September. Our crop this year was 3 almonds. Whoo hoo! But I'm sure it will bear abundantly in the years to come.
I hope to re-plumb my upstairs bathrooms soon (both upstairs bathrooms are on that side of the house) to create a grey water system to keep that thirsty tree satisfied. When life gives you hot days, warm evenings and grey water, make lemonade . . . er . . . make almond brittle.