The Mighty Oak

I’ve been harvesting some of the bajillion acorns we have in our yard to roast them and process into acorn flour.

First you have to soak them to release some of the bitter tannins, though white oaks are known it be milder than most other acorn varieties. You can soak them for days, even weeks, rinsing the water regularly, soaking until the water stays mostly clear instead of turning dark brown like a tea. Then you can crack them open to get the nut meat out and roast those kernels before grinding into a flour.

We have predominantly white oaks in front of the house here. Huge old trees planted on contour on the steep front slope. Probably over 100 years old.

Acorn production levels happen in cycles every 2-5 years, the peak production of the cycle is called the Mast Year, but it seems science still does not know how or why the trees fruit in these cycles. One single huge oak can drop up to 10,000 acorns in a mast year… I’d say this was a mast year on our property, and we had about 5 oaks dropping acorns to boot. Needless to say, the squirrels and chipmunks have been happy.

 

Sept 2015 - acorn harvest

 

[October Update: I tried shelling some but they are tough, it stained and tore up my finger tips. As I waited for my hands to feel better and for the nuts to hopefully soften up by soaking, I got half done and continued letting them soak. Then time started to get away from me, I kept putting off finishing the processing and/or not having enough time in any given one day to finish it all. They ended up getting too old and slimy from the soaking, even with my changing the water out. After all of that work I just ended up just tossing them all out into the bushes. No acorn flour to try this year… on a mast year no less. So far this was my one and only attempted homesteading project this year that I failed in.]

 

~e.

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