Acorns are Awesome

Happy Food Day! To celebrate, let’s talk wild food! Acorns are something that are a great symbol of fall. Growing up in Virginia, there was always a lot of talk about acorns and how if lots fell early that it was going to be a hard winter. I don’t know the validity of this old wives tale, but I like it and it definitely gave people something to chat about. So, let’s chat about acorns now!

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I found these Live Oak acorns and leaves on the sidewalk. See how they are smaller than the caps from VA below

Acorns are fun because they are edible. They were one of the first things that my friends and I ate wild out of the woods, not that we were told we could eat them, we just did. Squirrels did so why not, right? I think we must have been eating white oak acorns because they weren’t really bitter. We made whistles from their caps, we collected and sorted them by size just for fun, and they were imagined into pretty much anything from currency to stew on the playground.

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Roast some up! photo credit www.littlethingsbringsmiles.com

Once when I was 10 or so a really big acorn fell out of a high tree and hit me right square on the top of the head. It hurt WAY more than you would even expect! Obviously so because I still remember it! The memory of that headache never stopped me from hanging out in the woods around my house in the fall though! In Florida around my house I don’t see many because I don’t have an live oaks in my yard, but they can be found around town, smaller than the ones I played with  in Virginia, but still great for all kinds of play and projects. I haven’t heard anyone is making weather predictions on them down here, but if I had an abundance of acorns right now I would have my students go out and collect them and we’d cook something in class with them for sure!

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Remember this heart I made from acorns I collected for the Hearts for Nature post last winter?

We would also make some crafts with them. These little oak nuts are just so versatile! When harvesting acorns to eat, it is recommended that you use the ones that still have caps attached or have sprouted, so use the capless others and the leftover caps for crafts.

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Photo credit Hello Hydrangea

Even Martha Stewart has something to say about acorns, so they must be a worthy art supply, “Nature is everyday magic. Take the acorn: Within this common seed resides the genetic material for a 90-foot oak tree that will live 100 years or more. A mature tree can drop millions of acorns in its lifetime, plenty for creatures to eat as well as for humans to collect — and to fashion into irresistible crafts with little more than twists of wire or dabs of glue. These, like the oak itself, last after many autumns have come and gone.”

So if you have the access, get out there and have some fun with acorns! Then email me some pictures and I will post them on the Wings, Worms, and Wonder Facebook and Twitter pages!

What are your favorite childhood acorn memories?

(Mine is making cap whistles–I still do that actually)

Do you have an acorn old wives tale? Share it on Twitter @wingswormswondr!

Seeds to Sprout:

Lore behind the Acorn and its many uses. This is a really fun blog post

Here’s a recipe to make some simple acorn pasta, maybe for Food Day today!!

Harvesting wild acorns

Acorns and Eat ‘Em-a full vegetarian acorn cookbook!

The Mighty Acorns– a Chicago based nature connection organization for 4th-6th graders

Acorn and acorn inspired craft ideas

Acorn cap jewel art activity

Martha’s acorn activities. These would make great fall gift projects for the students, particularly the frame

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