[permaculture] Re: acorns

robscott at freeshell.org robscott at freeshell.org
Wed Dec 17 18:32:05 EST 2003

Hi from Illinois,

The story here in the Prairie State (oops, formerly "the Prairie State",
now we're the "Land of Lincoln") is that the Oak Savannahs that used to
cover much of the prairie/forest edge had abundant crops of acorns which
could be easily harvested, especially after a well-timed burn on the
ground story. The Native Americans were reported to collect these in
cloth sacks, then take them to a nearby river and immerse the sacks in the
running water for upto a week. This would leach out unwanted tannins
without boiling which destroys some of the nutrition and taste. It's also
a passive strategy which has a built in protection from squirrels

Quercus alba, White Oak, and Swamp White Oak were preferred for their
slight sweetness here in Illinois. I hear OIKOS tree crops is coming up
with good tasting acorn cultivars.

Personally, I don't trust USA waterways so I boiled some Quercus alba this
year. I found that different specimens from the same tree had different
flavor, to a certain extent. Definately all were much better than the Burr
Acorns I boiled up the year before - yuck! I too could use some prep
alternatives. Also: storage?


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