Black walnuts are round nuts 2 inches wide. They can be used in baking or to plant future walnut trees. Before anything is done with the nuts however, the husks must be peeled off. These walnuts are best harvested from summer to fall season, which is usually after they ripen.
Figure out if the walnut is ripe by pressing on it with your skin. If they are ready to be peeled, the nuts will show an indentation. Handle the walnuts only with tongs or gloves, since they can stain your hands.
Combine three parts walnuts to one part water and a generous handful of gravel in a large bucket. The water will soften the husk so you can peel it off more easily. Vigorously stir the walnuts, gravel and water together with a sturdy spoon for about five to ten minutes.
Remove the black walnuts from the bucket. Lay them on a towel to dry. One by one, put each black walnut on a sturdy surface and pound the side with a hammer. Do this until the husk cracks open, then peel it away with your hands. Throw out any walnuts that are oily and black, since these are not edible.