‘Twas a year of not much planting, as other work during the spring took up most of the time. I don’t like the phrase when one door closes one door opens – I think it suggests a balance that while it may exist in the aggregate, like flipping a coin, tells us very little about the likely sequence of events. I could, were I to believe in what such a phrase suggests, believe that the not planting of the usual contingent of seeds and seedling led to this harvest of acorns. I do not choose to believe that.
Many was the year I would gather acorns, never in great quantity, but always far more than for which I had use. It was that each somehow seemed by itself a desirable thing, justifying the gathering. I’ve had that feeling all my life – I don’t know why. I romantically speculate that it has something to do with ancient genes. They say that humans have eaten more acorns than all the crops ever grown since we became farmers. Verify that!
In 2012 there were a lot of acorns where I live, and, compelled as I can be by them, I gathered quite a few, even taking my younger daughter out on a gathering mission. What intrepid hominids we were. We shelled them, leeched out the tannins with multiple soakings in water, roasted them, ground them, and made both acorn butter and acorn chocolate chip cookies. it came out very well, but to say that there was little demand would be to radically exaggerate the demand. Nonetheless, I wanted to do the acorn harvest/make food thing now that I have (since June 2013) a comfortable posting place. I could be that demand was so low because the message really only got to about twelve disinterested souls. Now it can get to thousands of disinterested souls and be memorialized forever wherever it is that internet bits go when they no longer live where first imagined, somewhere where some Spock in future times will say “Computer – tell me the first known internet publication concerning the harvesting of acorns and the making of acorn chocolate chip cookies” and of course, this will pop up like magic and the Federation will glide further toward glory.
Okay, okay – here is a bowl of them. Gathered in about an hour. Perhaps five pounds. A post will soon follow where I take them them through the transformation to foodstuff.
On this gathering mission I took my faithful companion, to see if he had the disposition to perhaps train as an acorn hound.
To and fro he ran with great excitement, never once stopping for an acorn. Even as I scrounged the forest floor picking up acorn after acorn. Even as they fell at times nearly right upon us. He was not interested.
Since this post is nominally about the harvest this year, let me also share the radishes, spoken of here originally.
For them a special fate awaits, to become half-sour Daikon spears. Will advise on that. Also I saved some 75 of their seeds, so next year is at least secure on the radish front. On the one hand, this is not the sort of a harvest that will contribute much to getting through the winter. On the other hand though, well, perhaps this prototyping of fringe nutritional pathways will prove to be just the thing somewhere far down the road.