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Fall is one of the most beautiful times when the leaves change color and the foliage on the ground turns red and gold. Thousands of black walnuts are hidden in this beautiful display, a fact that most squirrels are well aware of.

Years ago, I asked a friend if they were planning on using black walnuts in their garden. He gave me a funny look and asked me “for what?” ”

“Why, to eat,” I replied.

“Are you crazy,” he said, “these things are poison.”

So I picked up enough nuts to fill two five gallon buckets and brought them home to process. That winter they came for dinner and we had chocolate cake for dessert. The rich chocolate frosting had black nuts mixed in.

“This cake is delicious,” he says. “I especially like the nuts in your frosting.”