From Tree to Table: Gathering and Processing Acorns for Food

  • Nezinscot Farm 284 Turner Center Road Turner, ME 04282 USA

The fruit of the oak tree has been used as an important staple by aboriginal people across North America. The people of each region had their preferred species and detailed methods of collecting, storing, and processing the acorns for use in different types of dishes. Although rarely eaten today, oak trees still produce large numbers of fruits in many years and represent an under-utilized food source. Given their nutritional profile, low glycemic index value, and ability to be stored for long periods, acorns make a wonderful wild food that can be enjoyed throughout the year. Further, New England is blessed with a number of oak species that produce large acorns. This class will introduce students to methods of preparing them for food (primitive and contemporary methods will be mentioned). Some of the important details concerning acorn collection will also be noted. Discussion will include some life history strategies of the oaks that are relevant to foragers and some important myths found in wild food literature. A freshly made acorn food will be enjoyed at the end of the class.  This class will be offered from 12:00 to 4:00 pm in Turner, ME, at the Nezinscot Farm (an organic dairy, café, and fiber studio).  The tuition is $60.00.  The event will be restricted to 18 participants.  To reserve a spot in this half-day class, you may visit http://www.arthurhaines.com/registration-policies, select "Day-long Event" in the drop down menu, and click "Sign Up" (this is an on-line registration using PayPal, you do not need a PayPal account to use the online system).  The remaining tuition ($10.00) will be due the day of the class.  Alternatively, you can contact Arthur Haines at arthurhaines[at]wildblue.net and discuss a registration that works for you (e.g., mailing a check or money order).