Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Failure to Forage

When it comes to sustainable living projects, I'm a bit like an eight year old on Christmas morning when I discover one I haven't tried before.  I have salivated over DIY solar collectors for south facing windows, pondered backyard chickens, and calculated how much herb gardening I can sneak into the front yard under the guise of decorative plants.  So naturally, when the Old Farmers Almanac posted a link to Facebook last week detailing how to process acorns to make acorn meal, I was irrationally excited.

"I have oak trees; there's food out there for the taking!" I thought, grabbing a bowl and heading to the side yard.  Since one of my food goals for the 2011 growing season is to do more "suburban foraging," I thought this would be a great pre-season kick-off.  I no time, I had a heaping bowlful, which I placed in a sunny spot in the nearly-completed sunroom for drying while I took time to investigate my next steps.

Now, I should note that our suburban back yard is like no other I've ever experienced.  In spite of living on a corner lot near a fairly busy road, the fenced back yard typically looks like a Disney film on crack.  At any given time, you have no problem locating squirrels, chipmunks, and rabbits -- and most of them are completely unfazed by humans.  This spring -- I swear I'm not making this up -- I saw a mother rabbit lead three young bunnies to the edge of the garden fence and practically show them how to crawl through the spaces.  Last year -- and I'm not making this up either, nor was I on large doses of cold medicine at the time -- I watched a pair of squirrels chase one another across our fence, only to take a flying leap to land on our window awning.  They did this repeatedly for a good 15 minutes.  Our creatures are insane, and they seem to view me more as pest than predator.

So, it should not have surprised me when I went out to the sunroom Sunday and found two acorns, well-nibbled, in the corner of the room.  I assumed I had dropped them, and I cleaned them up.  Yesterday, I went out to find the opposite corner now totally filled with shredded acorns and discarded shells, along with a very much emptied bowl of acorns.

Long story short, I stormed out to the compost in my homemade fleece socks (too mad to put on flip flops) and got rid of my sustainable acorns, then my poor husband spent the evening taping any likely cracks in the house that might be an entry point for nefarious chipmunks who think I have put out a buffet for them.  Hopefully, that will indicate the point of entry, and we can deal with it.

I don't think we'll be living on acorn meal any time soon.
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  1. Too Funny! We have chipmunks that hang out on our brick wall beside the cherry tomatoes. I was puzzledthat I wasn't getting many cherry tomatoes, then I saw the little bugger. Seems he was taking them to our drain pipe, so when it rained, our backyard would have tons of cherry tomatoes in the lawn. This fall, the squirrels (I'm watching one now) are enjoying the all you can eat salad patch that I planted. I only have TWO plants left. I doubt they make it before they are big enough to harvest. GRRRRR.

  2. Just goes to show that we may be smarter, but the critters just plain have more time. If they want our gardens, they will get them!