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A Windfall of Walnuts

With roots embedded deep below the parking lot’s macadam, Hillsborough County’s largest black walnut tree happily drops its hulls on any unsuspecting windshield. This behemoth has resided on the Historical Society’s grounds for more than 200 years.

The largest black walnut tree in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire
The largest black walnut tree in Hillsborough County

It has survived winter storms, blustery winds and rain. Recently, however, a strong summer microburst challenged the walnut crop and forced our tree to drop over 500 hull-covered walnuts. What to do with this sudden windfall of early walnuts? Why… make ink, of course!

Bottle of ink with ribbon and tag labelled "Abbot Ink"
"Abbot Ink," made from black walnuts




The hulls and walnuts were collected and boiled in a huge pot for more than eight hours. The liquid was strained through a fine cheesecloth, bottled, and labelled as "Abbot Ink." The resulting ink is being sold in the Historical Society’s gift shop. Come purchase a bottle and start writing and drawing, courtesy of Juglans nigra.


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