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When to pick pine nuts?

When to pick pine nuts?

Old Sep 21st 2022, 1:07 pm
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Default When to pick pine nuts?

Having planted a small tree in 2012 we have, for the first time, got some lovely looking cones, most green some already brown. I've looked on the net but have found very little on when to harvest and what there is, is conflicting - eg. one site says it's only legal in Portugal to pick them between December to March by which time I'm sure they will be brown, another says pick them green and ripen in a sack. Does anyone else have knowledge on the bast time to pick? - thanks
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Old Sep 21st 2022, 1:39 pm
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Default Re: When to pick pine nuts?

I am in Italy.

The pine nuts are ready for harvesting about 10 days before the green cone begins to open. The cones are dried in a COTTON OR canvas bag in the sun for 20 days to speed up the drying and opening process.
They are then crushed (in order to release the seeds) and the seeds are separated by hand from the cone fragments.
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Old Sep 21st 2022, 3:03 pm
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Default Re: When to pick pine nuts?

Which is why they cost a fortune!!!
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Old Sep 21st 2022, 3:55 pm
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Default Re: When to pick pine nuts?

Thanks pugliese, it's obviously not illegal to pick between Dec and March in Italy but how can you possibly know when they are about 10 days from opening?
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Old Sep 22nd 2022, 10:09 am
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Default Re: When to pick pine nuts?

Originally Posted by Listen Very Carefully View Post
Which is why they cost a fortune!!!
Commercial growers use machines to separate the seeds.
Another machine peels them.
After that they have a limited shelf life unless they're processed.

Even with mechanization, it takes a lot of trees and a lot of work to produce pine nuts.
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