Oak nuts. Acorns. Or, as they say ‘round ‘ere – “Akerns”. Well, whatever you call them, we’ve got ‘em. Haven’t had a good crop in several years so it’s good to see so many on the ground. The deer aren’t even bothering with the corn in the feeder & suppose they won’t until they’ve finished up all the acorns on the ground.
Rhiannon & I have been picking them up & giving them to the goats for treats. Not sure what kind of nutritional value they have, but if it cuts down on my grain bill, I’m all for it. So I’m going to start bagging them up & storing them for winter treats. I’m thinking I may have to stick them in the freezer before storing them to kill any of the bugs -I don’t want to open up a bag next month and find a mass of grubs instead of a bag of acorns.
I pondered trying to attempt processing them into acorn flour. I tried several years ago with no success. Boiled them in about a dozen changes of water & just couldn’t get the water to run clear. So I just drained them, spread them out on some baking pans & put them in a low oven for a couple of hours until they dried. They were still horribly bitter. I’ve read somewhere that the Native Americans would tie them up in a bag & put them in a running river / stream for several weeks to leach out the tannins. Well, I don’t have access to a running stream, so I guess I’ll just leave the oaken bounty to the animals. It’s a bummer I can’t use them for us. They are so easy to shell & have a lot of nut meat to them. The only nuts we have around the homestead are the black walnuts (which I pretty much hate, even in cookies) and the hickory nuts. And the hickories are just as hard to crack open as the walnuts. I was hoping to get one of the outfits that come to the area during walnut season to shell a bunch of hickory nuts for me but I heard they only do walnuts. Bummer. Guess if I want to eat hickory nuts I’ll have to go outside on the porch with a hammer & a nut pick.
All this talk of nuts is making me want to browse some online nursery catalogs. I’ve been wanting to buy some hazelnut bushes for a few years. Maybe this will be the year.