New England Acorn Cooperative

A Gathering Place for the Acorn Community

Category: Events and Workshops (page 1 of 2)

Happy Arbor Day & New Moon to all you Nutty Buddies

If you can’t plant a tree, at least go out and hug one – they literally make it possible for us to breathe – among other things.

Thanks to Bill Whipple, Tom Celona and the folks of the Nutty Buddy Collective, the New England Acorn Cooperative has 18 special oak saplings to plant this spring. If all goes well, they will be producing acorns the size of golfballs in a couple decades.

In honor of Arbor Day, two of these special oaks are going to the Eleanor Bradley Estate to be planted as part of an educational walk on the grounds tomorrow with Tim Ryan and Danielle McDonald. The rest are shared out to cooperative members throughout New England, along with a plethora of acorns collected and shared by Trustees Horticulturalist of the Ames and Bradley Estates Jeff Thompson –  thank you Jeff!

Permaculture students of one field or another, we are following suggestions that it is also the “right” time (lunarly)  to plant ’em for the planet. Thanks to Myles Green and Alvin Kho for sorting nuts (and sharing acorn bread, fresh juice, and lovely yummy cheeses)  last week in preparation.

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“Between New Moon and Full Moon… you can plant any plant that produces fruit and seeds. In the orchard, plant trees. Planting by the moon phases Calendar for April 2017

Cycles of the moon have influenced planting historically in cultures all over the world… Permaculture co-originator David Holmgren’s writes:

“good design depends on a free and harmonious relationship to nature and people, in which careful observation and thoughtful interaction provide the design inspiration, repertoire and patterns.”
 

New moon also the time to plant ideas… What do you think?

Thoughts become things…get growing!

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Check out what the Nutty Buddies are up to with their Acornucopia project, indeed a go!

 

Celebrate Arbor Day – Plant an Oak!

Saturday April 29th 10am – noon.

Join New England Acorn Cooperative Educator and Massachusetts Certified Arborist Timothy Ryan in planting a special Oak sapling on the grounds of the Bradley Estate. Learn the benefits of planting a tree while we show you the proper way to plant and care for it during the first three years. We will also take a light hike through the grounds to learn the basics of identifying different species of trees and their part in the local ecosystem. Meet at 10am at the Main House and we’ll go from there. Dress for the weather!

Trustee Members $5 Non-members $10 Children FREE
508-636-4693 x 5003 bradley@thetrustees.org

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2017 NOFA Winter Conference Workshop, thanks!

Belated and BIG thanks to acorn aficionado Myles Greene for this expert and enthusiastic acorn processing workshop at the 2017  NOFA Winter Conference in January:

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Dispelling Myths of the Acorn: From Tree to Table
Ever think to yourself, “I wish I could eat all those acorns littered on the ground?” Learn about North America’s most under-utilized wild food, how and when to harvest, and most importantly, how to process the acorn in this workshop. This workshop will be a combination of introductory lecture and hands-on: We will utilize ancestral and modern methods to process acorns.
Myles Green – Forager, beekeeper, gardener

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Myles has delivered educational programs and workshops to young folks for years  and is working with the Cooperative to develop curriculum for middle school students.  He also makes an amazing acorn banana bread!

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The Longest Night…

…and pretty cold too, HAPPY SOLSTICE! A perfect time to catch up on all the news that is fit to print since the October Workshop.   Its been a busy and abundant  acorn harvest season.

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NUTS
Maine friends brought down many bags in early fall, Rusty Acorn Farm experienced an acorn mast year in New Hampshire, Oaklore in Vermont reported good gathering there  (though a short season), and the Commonwealth’s Cooperative members are still doing well, particularly around the ponds – where there are still some to be found. Tim one-upped us on the acorn weasel and is now driving an 18″ bag-a-nut ( making short work of nuts on lawns and pathways). He and Danielle also contributed drying racks  to the Coop, thank you both!

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EQUIPMENT
The Cooperative’s Acorn Flour Mill is in operation!  We were delighted and humbled by the outstanding support and service we received from C.S. Bell Co. (online and over the phone) to make the mill ready for acorn flour production.  They were knowledgeable,  thorough,  respectful of our budget, and had excellent suggestions for optimizing what we had. The mill  is our first industrial piece of equipment (& she is loud) and is available to members who have 50lbs or more of dried (leached or unleached) acorns that need milling. What a little workhorse she is, and what a great company to work with – thank you Dan and Kiki at C.S. Bell Co! We are happy, happy customers.

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NEW PEOPLE
More recently, through  meet-ups organized  by the Resilience Hub we’ve connected with new Maine and Massachusetts based acorn hunters, foragers, and food forest advocates. Thanks to Lisa and Elaine for opening and creating the opportunities, big ups to Evan Morgan for delicious Corn Acorn biscuits.

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MORE PEOPLE …and life changing loaves of acorn bread for  a potluck with  Boston Food Forest Coalition members.  These folks have and are doing amazing work in Boston neighborhoods – check them out!  So much to learn and share as the days grow longer now..

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Finally!  First batch of 2016 flour is milled and ready to send westward in thanks for Harvesting Howard’s Acorn Chips and Bye You Bug :-)!

 

UPCOMING WORKSHOP
Our newest Cooperative member Myles Green brought folks together for a jam (and turkey) packed Friendsgiving, centered around hulling an enormous and beautiful basket of acorns.

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Myles has been working with acorns for a number of years ( studied with Arthur Haines among others) and will be doing a workshop on acorn processing at the Northeast Organic Farming Association NOFA Winter Conference, January 14th. Registration is through NOFA.  More details will be posted on the Events page when the final schedule is set.

myles-acorn-workshopPeace and plenty.

Come see Seed: The Untold Story

We missed the needed number to bring this to Hingham December 5th :-(… YET, here’s another chance to see it Thursday February 9th at 7:30pm  in Hanover, MA –  if you help Norwell Farms efforts to book it  by visiting  http://bit.ly/2dArEks  (link to Gathr Films)  & reserve a seat today!

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SEED: The Untold Story is a feature-length documentary featuring Vandana Shiva, Dr. Jane Goodall, Andrew Kimbell, and Winona LaDuke, following passionate seed keepers protecting our 12,000-year old food legacy.

THEATRE LOCATION: 

Hanover Mall Cinemas 10
1775 Washington Street
Hanover, MA 02339

For Good Nuts Sakes!

Thank you to all who participated in the acorn gathering walk  at the Cabot Bradley estate on National Nut Day, and to the lovely Danielle for capturing great images of the intrepid gatherers out in the rain, doing an acorn float test, and discussing the health and wealth of the oak ecology in these parts with Tim, the Acorn Arborist.
image2Acorn quality discussion & gathering in the rain.

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Test driving a New England Acorn Cooperative “acorn weasel”  (behind Tim).

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The “Float Test” process (and customized Acorn Gathering head gear).

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More Acorn information, demonstration, and inspiration than you can shake a stick at.

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Recipes will be shared with the participants through the Trustees :-)

Thank you everyone for Joining Us!

 

 

Acorn Gathering Walk on National Nut Day

Come for a walk at the Trustees of the Reservation’s Bradley Estate on Saturday October 22 (National Nut Day!) and collect a food that spans human history – acorns, from our mighty oaks! We will identify, gather, and talk about how to store food grade acorns.

New England Acorn Cooperative member and arborist Tim Ryan will guide the walk and discussion of the ecology and health of the New England Oak/forest, and impact for wildlife of human harvest of this crop. Registration through the Trustees.

Acorn processing (hulling, leaching, milling) workshop on Monday October 24th National Food Day.

Happy Arbor Day (and then some)

New England Acorn Cooperative members have a lot of pots on the stove right now and  we gathered  for Arbor Day to put a couple of those pots in the ground in honor of the mighty Oak – a tree that shelters thousands of species and produces more nuts than all other nut trees in america combined (1) and the amazing Acorn – that modest nut that feeds over 100 U.S vertebrate species (2) among other things…

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Its a great day to call attention to these amazing beings…but far from enough, so  we’ll be stretching the celebration out over the rest of the spring – with seeds and seedlings to share, please let us know if you have a spot for a baby Oak!

 

 

We are students, and are grateful to be learning from the incredible folks at The Resilience Hub in Maine, D Acres in New Hampshire, and the Boston Food Forest in Massachusetts. We’d love to meet you at any one of their gatherings, and we welcome any oak lore you’d like to share with us or the Acorn community we are planting for the planet.

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We hope this site is (among other things) a launch pad for your exploration into Oaks and Acorns. Below are just a couple of sites we have learned and shared information from.  A “Resource” page with additional links are in the works…

 

 

 

(1) http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/acorn-facts

(2) http://blog.nwf.org/2013/10/the-wildlife-benefits-of-acorns-and-oaks/

 

O,  & did you know?…

Oak National Tree poster

 

Yes, the Oak is the national tree of the United States, per congressional vote!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earth Day – Plant it for the Planet!

Happy Earth Day Everyone!

Our celebration this year involves sprouting some of our favorite acorns to plant for future acorn gatherers – feathered, furred or other (human) forager. Oaks are one of the most important trees in the New England area for providing habitats to  wildlife… and all those who know the magic meals acorns can make 😉

For now, the acorns that have sprouted have been transferred to pots for gifting, next week (Arbor Day) we will be planting with friends. Hope to see you out there too with your plans to plant!

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Thanksgiving for Acorn Dinner

A wealth of ideas and acorn dishes were shared at the New England Acorn Cooperative dinner this weekend.

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Thank you to everyone who participated, including Josh Trought of D Acres Farm for bringing new (to us) folks Bree, Ali and Dunstan (plus delicious D Acres Cider and neighboring wine); Peter T and Amy for sharing their gourmet micro-batch rhubarb and macoun apple schnapps; arborists Tim and Matt  and our outstanding support team of tasters and wood fire stokers Peter L, Dave, Ella and Opal.

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The menu included 100% acorn crackers,  acorn seeded”life-changing-loaf-of-bread”, spaghetti squash stuffed with acorn meatballs, Shinnlinger pasture raised chicken with acorn gravy,  acorn birthday cakes, (Happy Birthday Tim!) and snowball acorn cookies.

Our guest chef Dunstan went home with  a few pounds of flour and by the next morning had created acorn ravioli and spaetzle. We’ll post more soon about his innovative and delicious dishes.

We are so grateful for our growing network of acorn enthusiasts and look forward to more mutually beneficial collaborations in the future!

Our very best to all of you,

Deb and Daniela

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