Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Acorns

Acorns, a.k.a. Oak Nuts.  There is no shortage of them this year....at least here at the house.  And not small ones, but very large!  For the past two weeks it sounds like someone throwing rocks on top of the house.  If a good wind happens to blow, it sounds like you are under attack.  Needless to say, I have not been sleeping very well.  I spent the day getting up buckets of them that were already beginning to sprout.  Every spring it seems I have hundreds of young oak trees starting to grow.

Have you ever noticed that squirrels tend to eat only one half of an acorn?  I tried one and indeed, one side does seem to be a bit sweeter.

Acorns play an important part of the diet for several birds, squirrels and deer.  Depending on the type of oak tree, the degree of tannin differs.  The more tannin, the more bitter.  Native Americans and several other cultures would leach the tannin out by soaking in water then drying in the sun..  The nut can then be toasted which gives a sweeter flavor and ground into a flour like substance.

During the Civil War, acorns were often used as a substitute for coffee when there was none available or limited due to rationing.

So what else can you do with an acorn?  Did you know the top can be made into a whistle?  It works! Sort of a cool thing.  It drove my dog nuts while I was trying it.  Here are the directions.  It takes a little practice to get the hang of it but just purse you lips and blow.

4 comments:

ME2NC said...

I've always heard that lots of acorn mean a nasty winter. Sure hope that is not true.

Looks like you have been bored - arranging acorns. *smile* They do look pretty neat though.

Coppertop said...

Last year our backyard Red Oak was loaded with acorns but this year just a handful. I'm hoping what Gladys heard about winter weather and acorn falls true for us in Maine!
What do you do with the acorns, Paula? I usually gather the fallen ones daily and store in the shed. Then throughout the winter I ration them out for the deer.

Paula said...

Hey Gladys, I have always heard that too. Looking at several websites, it seems everyone's prediction of what the 2014-15 winter will be varies. I guess we just have to take what comes. During one of my breaks....I thought the acorns looks sort of cool and played with arranging some.

Paula said...

Hi Liz, looks like your area is going to get hit fairly hard this winter. But like I said to Gladys, every weather forecaster has their own prediction. I took the buckets outside the fence and spread for the deer. That is a good idea about stashing some back for later in the winter. I think I will do that with the new ones still falling. The deck is covered every morning.