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The Acorn Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree

Searching For Acorns

One of my grandchildren’s favorite things to do in the Fall is collect acorns. This year Mother Nature has given us an abundance of them. Aaron and Zoe were so excited to find so many that we had to get them coffee cans to hold them all.

As they found bigger and better acorns faster and faster, we started thinking about what they could do with them. My granddaughter, Zoe, was ready to sell some at the yard sale we were having the next day. Then they decided that they could make some unique gifts with them. As they ran further away from the tree, my husband laughed and told them that, “the acorns do not fall far from the tree.”

Many years ago, when my children were small, we bought 2 White Oak seedlings from the famous Wye Oak Tree in Southern Maryland. Only one survived, thank goodness, as looking at the remaining one now, they would have been way too close together. Mother Nature helped with pruning its branches this summer by way of the cicadas. Now when the wind blows, my husband goes out and picks up all the dead branch tips. And still, there are more.

Back to what projects they might make with all the acorns they were finding, I looked on Pinterest and found so many ideas. Just painting them seems like fun, but I also love where you take a fine tip Sharpie and draw faces on them for Acorn Buddies. You can see a few sites I saved on different ideas on our Kids Crafts Pinterest board. I am thinking about making a wreath. Not sure if it will happen, but I am thinking about it.

The first thing you need to do is dry the acorns. This is to kill any of the weevil larvae that can crawl out of them.  I read a few different ways of drying them and decided to go with the simplest method. First, you wash them in a bowl of water. Drain and place on a towel for a few hours to dry. Toss out any mushy ones.

Turn your oven to the lowest setting (mine is 200) and place the acorns in a single layer on a cookie sheet with a lip.(you don’t want them rolling off) It would help if you left the door to the oven cracked slightly, so moisture can escape. Leave the acorns in the oven for about 2 hours. It would be best if you stirred them around during this time. Let them cool completely. Now they are ready for your project, and you can enjoy them for a long time.

If you want to preserve them to last for years and years, you can get a can of clear acrylic sealer and give them a quick blast. Then, wait for them to dry, turn over and repeat.

Acorns in the grass
Collecting Acorns
Collecting Acorns

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. This is so lovely! I collected them as a kid, too. I had no idea you could preserve them. This would be a nice fall decoration for my current home.

  2. I loved acorns as a kid, and still do. Unfortunately they don’t love me – I’m allergic to oak pollen, so I just enjoy oak s in all their glory outdoors. This year has shown me how the periodical cicadas benefit the oaks and other hardwoods: Their exit tunnels have provided a deep watering, so the soil in areas with cicada holes has not dried out and cracked. During dry spells, the spots with no cicada holes have been markedly drier, and plants there have required watering. Nature is awesome in the most literal sense of the word.

    1. Nature is so awesome! There are so many wonderful things in our world. I am sorry you are allergic to oak pollen, that has to be hard. I love seeing all the colors in the Fall also. Our Red Oak is just now starting to turn.

      1. Really, it’s just an annoyance in the spring. The rest of the year I enjoy them thoroughly. I don’t roast and eat the acorns the way we did once as kids though. And when I read about acorn flour in books, I think, “Not for me!” Pretty sure that would be a bad idea now.

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