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Author Topic: Zero-Carbon Farming and Living via the Acorn Path  (Read 6566 times)

Reallybigbunny

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Re: Zero-Carbon Farming and Living via the Acorn Path
« Reply #50 on: September 30, 2017, 08:27:06 AM »
Hi Clare, please see my pot in Consequences, places becoming less liveable thread :)

Avalonian

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Re: Zero-Carbon Farming and Living via the Acorn Path
« Reply #51 on: September 30, 2017, 12:24:09 PM »
Just wanted to let you know that I've now started a local project in Mid Wales (Llandrindod) to look at using the acorns as part of local self-sustainability. We're surrounded by oakwoods, and some of them have quite low-tannin acorns. Others take a lot of leaching, but it's still doable.

We've only just begun this, but have a few at-least-theoretically-enthusiastic volunteers. Unfortunately we're away for the autumn, so are directing activities from afar! I'm looking at this being a relatively long-term project, but I think it's got a lot of potential. Certainly, the first experiments over the past couple of years have been rather delectable... and I do recommend simple acorn griddle-cakes flavoured with hogweed seeds!*

Anyhow, thanks Bruce for the inspiration.  :)

*Make sure you can definitely identify hogweed, and won't mix it up with, say, Hemlock...

Bruce Steele

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Re: Zero-Carbon Farming and Living via the Acorn Path
« Reply #52 on: September 30, 2017, 06:45:54 PM »
Dear Sidd, I put one cup of acorns ,ground into cornmeal consistency , into a quart jar and fill with water. I pour off about three cups of water a day and repeat about six or seven times over the period of a week.  When you pour off the water you will see a white layer of starch that rests at the top of the acorn meal that you should try to retain... This starch can be used as a thickener for various recipes like chocolate pudding or Dotorimuk.  The problem with flow through is you will lose the starch but I believe flow through would do a good job of removing tannins. All acorns have different amounts of tannin so the amount of water I use might be different than what your local acorns require.
 Maybe the most valuable part of the Acorn Challenge for both OrganicSU and I was learning that foraging and preparing acorns has the potential to get you through a tight spot . It is a confidence builder . The first year gave me some impetus to be better prepared  and inspired this years zero ff garden . I have been drying corn, squash seed and beans as dry goods for winter. I mean acorns are
O.K. and relatively tasty but variety is a good thing in the kitchen.
 So I am coming up with some preliminary calorie numbers. My dent corn crop produced the most calories which is probably why it is so important to so many Native American Indians. It is also fairly easy to dry and store...no threshing...no winnowing . The squash seed is labor intense but they dry quickly in a hot sunny window. The beans need picking , threshing and winnowing and for me they produced far less calories than corn on a similar sized planting area. I haven't started on harvesting the amaranth yet so I don't have a calorie count but as with the beans they require threshing and winnowing. I have been looking at bicycle threshing machines but that is a project for another year and for now I am using manual methods.
 Preliminary calorie count. 300,000 from corn, 50,000 from squash seed and about 10,000 from beans.
That and this years acorns, forage, and winter green vegetables should get the wife and I through two or three months . The chickens will provide another 5,000 calories and an acorn fed pig another 100,000 but we won't use anywhere near a whole pig in two or three months. Salted and air cured pork can last over two years without refrigeration.
 I believe Organic SU proved that an avid forager can get by on very few fossil fuel calories. Knowing which plants are locally available, knowing when and where to find them and learning how to make tasty meals with what's available is a challenge . If we had grown up in a hunter gatherer society we would have mentors to educate us but expert advice is hard to come by on this subject so the Internet is a handy backup. If the internet went down relearning how to do all this would be extreamly difficult .
Seek out good council, read, be careful and like Avalonian says know your hogweed from your hemlock.
 I am already making plans for next years garden efforts and harvesting tools. It will be awhile before I get spring fever but grain crops are next .
 There are some imbedded fossil fuel calories in my old 1960 Massey Ferguson ,my electric tiller and solar array but they can be amortized over several years. Direct fossil fuel use zero. Garden food calories from dried crops ~ 375,000 . Forage season for walnuts and acorns is just begining and I have started using piggy biodiesel in my Ford truck so collection costs will be from renewable energy.

~ 375,000 and counting

« Last Edit: September 30, 2017, 06:55:33 PM by Bruce Steele »

sidd

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Re: Zero-Carbon Farming and Living via the Acorn Path
« Reply #53 on: October 02, 2017, 07:42:48 AM »
Thanks for the water volume numbers. I think i definitely got enuf waterflow in a stream, but i may do well water for control reasons.

sidd