Gathering Acorns… Which Acorns Are OK?

If you aren’t used to gathering acorns, the pretty little brown things lying on the ground look just fine but an experienced gatherer knows otherwise. Last years worm eaten, faded and empty acorns often remain lying on the ground. Once you pick up a fresh acorn, feel its weight and admire it’s brown beauty and compare it to an old one, you’ll understand. There’s a huge difference. Early in the season, an oak may begin dropping acorns that aren’t quite ripe or developed. It will also begin dropping green acorns. Wait for the fully developed acorns to fall and wait for the green acorns to turn brown. When the rain comes, heavy storms sometimes bury the acorns in a little dirt. This is OK. They are fine once they are rinsed off. If you wait long enough and the animals don’t cart away the acorns, these rains may bring the acorns to sprout. This is OK too as long as there is no green on it, for example, beginning to grow into a baby oak. So for young sprouts, just a little sprout is fine. If there is any nutmeat left in a sprouted acorn that has a sprout up to an inch, break the sprout off and proceed as you would with un-sprouted acorns.  Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

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