I’ve got Northern Red oak saplings growing everywhere in our field after our few oaks had a bumper acorn crop last year.
There are some fantastic old Burr oak at a horse cemetery near here (yes, a horse cemetery!) that I make acorn flour out of most years. The acorns are huge, about an ounce each, which makes them quick to gather and process. Our favorite dishes are acorn gingerbread and gingersnaps and spaetzle (German noodles) with venison.
Looks like another good acorn crop this year.
One of the ‘Sweet Idaho’ bur oak seedlings is already dropping its crop…they’re totally non bitter this year…just a little dry…not really astringent, just dry after chewing them.
I gathered some white oak acorns, as we also have a bumper crop. I shelled them and soaked them in water in the fridge. I found you have to put them into water as you shell the meats, as they will turn dark like potatoes otherwise. The cold water didn’t seem to get out any tannins, so after several days, I heated them on the stove and rinsed repeatedly. That turned the water like tea. Finally I ground them in liquid in the blender and baked some bread. Delicious! Sort of a buttery flavor without any butter on it. Now I have trays full of acorns in the house drying, so they don’t get moldy. Yes, I would like to hear more ideas on how to prepare and use them.
What I heard about oak trees is that they fluctuate to assure that squirrels have starvation winters after a bad crop then when they have a big crop the squirrels aren’t around to eat them all. Makes little sense to me because it seems the squirrels are an asset to the trees as they always forget some. Oak trees are always sprouting up in the containers I grow fruit trees in- like most creatures, squirrels prefer doing as little work as possible, I suppose. Easy digging that potting soil!
At any rate, there were already a lot of squirrels around here and they were a particular challenge this season. This may mean next year will be completely nuts with squirrels without nuts. In other words an explosion of an already excessive population and the likely light crop next year will result in frantic squirrels eating every piece of fruit they can reach in orchards and woods in a futile attempt to survive winter.
There’s always something to worry about when you have an orchard.
Interesting, very light crop here this year (NE Tennessee). Also almost no native black walnuts this year, but the biggest crop we’d ever seen last year. Odd how things go in cycles like that…