Acorn Camp


#1

Hey All,

I’m going to organize a weekend Acorn Processing camp in Portland this fall. Might end up being two weekends in a row so that we can do one grind and then let it dry before the second flour grind. This will be a camp for just rewilders.

I’m not sure when yet, but it will probably coincide with the Rewild Portland acorn processing skill series (which will only be a few hours and will be open to the public).

I’m curious who is interested in taking part? I have some meat grinders that are great for the first pass through, and a Country Living Grain Mill for the flour grinder. We’ve got some screens/tubs for leeching. Anyone have a set up for the process? Ideas to experiment with?

Who’s in?


#2

When you say camp, do you mean a gathering, or camping? Cause I don’t think Irving City Park is very conducive to actual camping!


#3

I’d be interested if the timing fit my schedule…


#4

It’s not looking like a full on Acorn Camp will happen this year. However, our skillshare will be going off!

I made this here Acorn Percolator based on Abe Lloyd’s blog.
http://arcadianabe.blogspot.com/2013/12/percolation-leaching-red-oak-acorns.html


#5

I’d be interested to hear how the skillshare goes, or how it went if you did it already. Been thinking of doing the same kind of thing over here, but unfortunately it’s an ‘off’ year for the oaks. Might have to try the percolation method next time. Let us know how that works out too?

One question that’s been nagging me for a long time and would love to hear an answer for: what does an acorn-based culture (or any other culture using tree crops for their main subsistence) do when the trees don’t produce, or only produce a little? Are there special pruning techniques that ensure a yearly harvest? Do they rely on surplus crops stored over from previous years? Or do they simply move their efforts to other plants/animals to see them through until the following year?

cheers,
Ian


#6

Hasn’t happened yet. This is an “off” year here too… A bit concerning actually. Seems to be an off year everywhere. We will be advocating planting and restoration rather than harvesting this year.

I know that some of the Native American acorn-based cultures here on the west coast had Granaries and caches. Sometimes the cache also served as a leeching pit. Here in the Portland area, Chinookan peoples would bury the whole acorn in cedar bark baskets in the bank of the river for like 6 months then come back. I think this probably extended to off years as well. I know in California they had more standard, giant “granary” baskets for off years.

There is a lot of this information in Nancy Turner’s books, as well as M. Kat Andersons books. :wink:


#7

I’ll have to get my hands on N.Turner’s stuff then, I guess. Not sure how I might implement some of that in my current circumstances! I might stick to keeping a load of grounds in a paper bag at the back of the cupboard for now…

‘Off’ years are depressing. This one hasn’t been so bad because Beech, Walnut and Sweet Chestnut have been quite abundant, but a few years ago I had the ‘no nut blues’ for about six months after only Chestnut gave a tiny harvest. Hard not to take it personally! Cool of you to focus on other aspects of the relationship. Hope it goes well.

cheers,
I