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pseudo-conformist
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been gathering acorns and growing them with my son for a few years now, then planting the saplings the following year in stealth-like missions around the hedgerows of Devon & Cornwall!
Anyway, after reading up about it a bit I'm gonna try storing, drying, grinding, leaching (to remove tanning) and cooking with this starchy resource for the first time this year. Total experiment but potentially very useful as they're an abundant annual supply if you know your local tree's.
Has anyone done this before, any tips, advice, comments, cooking idea's?

I'll share my results when I do it but we've got a little while to wait for the moment, they're nearly ready to start dropping :)

Cheers
 

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pseudo-conformist
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Found this in an "emergency bread" thread...
Just as an aside, we made acorn meal about two years ago. It is a lot of work, but like putting up beans or making jam, is worth it.
We gathered acorns from Black or Rred oak, they were big, and therefore VERY tannic. Smaller ones from White oak (I think) were less tannic. Probably gathered 2 five gallon buckets-full over the season. We smacked each nut with a meat tenderizer, pulled off the shell, and ran the meats through a nut grinder. I put a bowl full of ground meats in the sink, and let it run on the slowest stream into the bowl, for 24-48 hours, stirring now and again. If I could eat some of the meats, they were leached of tannin far enough. I then dried them in the oven till brown and mostly dry (suggest dehydrator here). I ground the dried meats in a coffee grinder. The result was two five# honey jars full of a silky fine coca powder colored meal. 3-4 T per 2 loaf batch of bread was good. We have kept this deep frozen, still have some left.

The whole family could participate in this, and we watched movies on the idiot box whilst smashing & grinding. Some (black/red/pin?) oaks produce nuts every two or three years. I don't know if we hit an on year or just had a very good year (bumper crop), but I hope this year we can do this again.
OVC
...sounds promising :thumb:
 

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pseudo-conformist
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sounds like too much work for the return.
I was wondering that myself, but in a totally emergency situation or to use with my staple wild plans (shellfish/crabs/fish/seaweed/rabbits/sea-gulls/squirrel/all birds) it could be worth it for the bread type making benefit, I know I'm not gonna be growing wheat if tshtf, lol

A freshwater stream could leach it for me in a tee-shirt or something, its just gathering, shelling and pounding left, gotta try it out so I know myself!
 

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ruralist
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Good idea I will keep my eye on this, show us some pics of the process when it comes. There's lots of acorns round here and they are fat right now.. was wondering what good they could be. I have also planted many oaks over years, by way of removing grey squirrels :D: They are IMO the best looking of trees once they great really old, thick and twisty etc! Actually pulled some tall ones out the other week from brush and have them in compost pots. Next year I'll transplant to the ground.
 

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Semper Fi
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Sounds a good idea to me and also something that kids would enjoy doing.
Sounds like a great father son project. :thumb: I remember doing that as a kid. I had fun doing it. Yes, it's a lot of work, but it's nice to know you can do it. When your hungry, no such thing as too much work, especially if your putting food up for the winter.:D: Besides you won't look back in a few years and say "Gee I wish I had done more stuff with my son";)
 

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pseudo-conformist
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good idea I will keep my eye on this, show us some pics of the process when it comes. There's lots of acorns round here and they are fat right now.. was wondering what good they could be. I have also planted many oaks over years, by way of removing grey squirrels :D: They are IMO the best looking of trees once they great really old, thick and twisty etc! Actually pulled some tall ones out the other week from brush and have them in compost pots. Next year I'll transplant to the ground.
Will def share the results mate, like-minds with the oaks, I've bonsai'd a few as well, love them, and a full grown mature one is an eco-system of its own sometimes with a larder of squirrels, birds etc, help the oaks and they'll help you I reckon, even a place to hide off-ground with a hammock...should try it some time :D:

...if the acorns make an efficient bread/cake/flapjack option then they'll totally be in my mind if I've no other options left - one mature tree will provide kilo's of the stuff!
 

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pseudo-conformist
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sounds like a great father son project. :thumb: I remember doing that as a kid. I had fun doing it. Yes, it's a lot of work, but it's nice to know you can do it. When your hungry, no such thing as too much work, especially if your putting food up for the winter.:D: Besides you won't look back in a few years and say "Gee I wish I had done more stuff with my son";)
I'll back that big-time! ...all my prep/adventure stuff is father-son stuff that teaches useful skills in a top laugh fun way :) If we never have to use them for real thats excellent but life-skills/knowledge giving is my job as dad, and I love that my son loves it as well!
 

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What sort of methods are used to for leaching? You could practice doing it the way our ancestors might have done with other potentially dangerous but useful food sources.
 

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V
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They were a staple for certain Native American Tribes, harvested and stored for the winter (I believe).

Used to make unleavened bread, flatcakes with berries and a porridge meal/mush.

Ray Mears did an espisode in Wild Food where he made the mush cooked by stiring in hot rocks.
 

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Is it no wonder that some cultures consider the oak tree as sacred? They truly are majestic and regal, and provide food as well. What else could one wish?

btw, I've just remembered...my grandchildren 'climbing tree' on our property is an oak.
 

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Here is a link to an article that gives some general information about what acorns are better for meal, processing and a few recipes.

http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/clay79.html

If you want to find out if acorn meal is for you, Korean market places generally carry acorn meal.

Here is an article that describes using acorns for a grits like food, using lye to process the acorns. Lye is used in process many foods, like hominy.
And Lutefisk :xeye:.

http://www.geocities.com/nuttreegordon/ACORNprp.htm

Having a bag full of tricks to stave off hunger is as basic as it gets for survival. I believe it is the place to start when preparing, and should be a priority to those who need to eat. Many thanks to you who start threads like this.
 

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Looks like rain to me.
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ACORN made me sick, I couldn't resist.

Near my house is a place where the Maidu indians used to live. There are several grinding stones near the creek. One year during school, my kids gathered a bunch and used the stones to grind them up into a "meal". They leached the tannin out with hot water and made some biscuits from them, not too bad.
 

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pseudo-conformist
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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
thats a very interesting link, especially after trying this out over the weekend.
...very good link thanks vatrader, especially the first one,
and excellent result this weekend old tree man with living without shops, there are so many oaks out around my area, to me they're an important potential starchy resource to keep in my mind :)
 
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