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.