Our final module of the year offers a full day of working with acorns. Two species of acorn will be our main focus: southern live oak (Quercus virginiana) and bellota (Quercus emoryi), the former we’ll be viewing the tree and gathering its acorns. The latter acorns will be available, and we'll work with them as well. We may also view another non-native, cork oak (Quercus suber) from Spain. Southern live oak is found in abundance in both Tucson and Phoenix as a locally landscaped oak, and the bellota is our prominent wild acorn, locally. These delicious and tremendously abundant local food resources will be looked at in depth during this class, and we will also go through all stages of processing from dry acorn to fully leached flour. Food prep will be involved and we'll feast on what we've made at the end of the day!
Although processing acorns does take some time, there are ways to manage it rather well. Instructor, John Slattery, will be sharing from his own experiences taking you through the process of preparing our local acorns for consumption in a fun and easy to accomplish way.
Acorns have fed more humans than any other food throughout our history, although many still believe them to be inedible. This workshop brings to light that not only are acorns edible, they can be made into delicious creations and done so efficiently.
Foraging for our own food is an invigorating and nourishing activity that brings families and communities together while drawing our awareness more deeply into our natural environment as we follow the cycles of nature. And it’s fun!
In this workshop, we’ll begin with a discussion of oaks and acorns whilst in a grove of oak trees, then spend some time foraging. Here is where the magic happens. After gathering some acorns we’ll take these indoors where we'll delve into the process of creating our own food from what we’ve gathered, rendering the acorns into an entirely edible and delicious flour. Then we'll create some bread, acorn burgers, and perhaps some brownies for dessert!
Read more about the Age of Acorns in Indian Country Today.
All participants should bring water to drink, a packed lunch to eat on site, cloth bag or small bucket for gathering acorns, comfortable footwear, and appropriate attire for the weather (we'll spend most of our time indoors or under a covered area). Information handouts be will available, however, you are welcome to bring a notebook and camera.