Rain crashed down, and we were thankful yet again, to have the warmth and security of the Pear Tree as our backup plan. A good few came, including two potential new Elders, and a few surprises. Kally served us her delicious curried parsnip soup.
It was Diana’s idea. We looked inside an acorn. In between showers we cracked a few open outside and found:
the bud (known as the Radicle) that will grow into the the Oak tree is at the tip not near the end where it was attached via its cup
inside one a couple of acorn weevils, who spend most of their life as a white larva that hollows out the kernels of acorns.
It was amazing what we collectively knew about oaks, without our knee jerk recourse to the internet. Oak Leaf wine, spring and autumn, one with without tanins awoken to combat the caterpilla, and one with. A surfeit of acorns killed A’s donkey, and gave constipation to M’s goats. Didn’t the Germans make acorn coffee during the war? Roasted we presume. To make flour the American Indian way, you have to wash the peeled acorns in running water – like a river – for about a year! Different kinds of oak: Holme Oak (evergreen), Turkey oak, Pedunculate (Quercus robur) and sessile oak Quercus petraea, Oak barrels for wine and whisky, Seva’s father used to make bread with acorn flour (£43 for a pound on Etsy! Rachel tried to describe how to tell oak wood from other wood in furniture. It has a de de de crossing the usual grain. I’ve since found out that these are called the longitudinal and ray cells, which sometimes grow in unusual patterns, especially on oak. A bit about wood grain here
It was a mast year for oaks – an abundance of acorns. What was mast? Old English word for Nuts of the forest trees that have accumulated on the ground, especially those used as food for fattening pigs. The oak tree tends to have significatnt mast years every 5-10 years, and this is certainly one. A bit more about mast and why oaks mast is here
Our words fo oaks: aged, beautiful, staunch and steadfast, hugable, drought resistant, sturdy,
We had some home work to do:
Peter was to collect hundreds of Acorns for us to make flour with perhaps.
We were to research the Oak more, find out
We will not meet next week, as it’s half term, but once again on 3rd November.
By chance I went to Staverton Thicks on Friday, and scoped out where we could park. Lets go. Here’s some photos of when I went in 2018.