Today's Quote

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Acorns are Falling! The Acorns are Falling!

I love it when the acorns are falling and so do the goats. The run around from oak tree to oak tree snarfing up the little nuts off the ground. If they feel that there are not enough on the ground then they are hopping around on their hind legs trying to get more off the tree. Of course, the really smart ones stand around and wait for the ones doing the hopping to knock them off the tree...then they eat them off the ground. We have mostly red oak varieties which have acorns that are high in tannins. This is a good thing for raising goats...not so much of a good thing if you want to use the acorns yourself. Tannins have shown themselves to be a natural de-wormer (Auburn university studies). So the higher the tannin level the better they are for the goats. I will gather some of the acorns dry them and store them and then periodically feed them through the winter. They can be dried in a low oven (200 degrees) for a couple of hours and then stored in something that seals well with DE. They can also be gathered, dumped in ziplock bags and stored in the freezer, then thawed out and fed through the winter. If not put in the freezer though they must be dried first as acorns have a high moisture content and will mold. Mold is deadly so we don't want that. Humans can use acorns also. White acorns have very little tannin in them and some can even be eaten without leaching the tannins. They are actually a very good nut. Red varieties take some work to get to the edible stage. The tannins must be leached out. This can be done by putting the acorns into a pot of water and bringing to a boil then changing the water and repeating the process. Do this over and over again until the water is clear. Or they can be soaked in a bucket, changing the water 3-4 times a day for 3 or so days. Then they can be dried and stored. You can grind the acorns and use them in place of corn meal. They are gluten free so a good addition to a gluten free diet. They are very high in fat though and pretty low in protein. So get out there and find out what acorns you have. The goats sure love them. Blessings, Kat

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