Today we went to a fall foraging class. We skipped out on study hall to drive to Prairie Farm- the town where Donna lives and where we went on Farmstay 3 for the Re-skilling event. We walked into the small high school and found the room we were supposed to be in. We felt a bit awkward as we walked in, being the youngest people there by a fairly wide margin. There was also the fact that it seemed like absolutely everyone knew each other. Even with those complications, the class was amazing.
The first thing we learned was how to make acorn flour. We crushed acorns with hammers (a nice chance to get out your pent up anger, if you have any). You then get the meat out of the acorns (the yellowish white part) and put it in a bowl. We then put it in a blender with water (coincidentally the same way you make soymilk, which I will learn about in a few days…). You then leach the acorns, because, as you will know if you have ever eaten an acorn, they are very, very bitter. The leaching process entails putting the water/ acorn mixture into a cloth and squeezing the cloth while running water over it so that the bitterness ran out. Once you get out all of the water, you can use it immediately, or, preferably, let it dry so that it is actually flour.
We also learned how to make sumac-ade, which some people might make for the Halloween event. You take non-poisonous staghorn sumac (the red berries) and put it in cheesecloth or something of the like. You then put it in hot tap water and move it around for 2-3 minutes. This results in a very tasty product.
Those were the two main things that we learned about. We also learned about cattails and plantain seeds. The other important events of the day were a sighting of a tufted titmouse at the bird blind, along with a very cute chipmunk.