[birding] Off topic -- What to do with those acorns

Joel Geier jgeier at attglobal.net
Tue Oct 17 19:51:32 PDT 2006

Hello All,

You have probably noticed the extraordinary "mast" crop of acorns from 
the Oregon white oaks this year.

When I went by First Alternative Co-op today on the way to pick up our 
son Wil from Lincoln School, I noticed a booklet on how to make food 
from acorns. The author's name, Don Boucher, may ring a bell. The 
booklet explains how to grind acorns and leach out the tannin, then 
gives several recipes for cooking which I am anxious to try out.

Wil tells me that cyclic mast crops are more of a survival adaptation by 
the tree species, than a function of the weather. The theory is that 
species that feed on acorns or otherwise parasitize the crop will die 
back in low-acorn years. Then, in a year when numbers of acorn consumers 
are depressed, the oaks come back with a huge mast crop, so this 
increases the number of acorns that survive to sprout young oaks.

Nice to have kids in school so I can learn these things.

Happy birding & acorning,

Joel Geier
jgeier at attglobal.net

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