Where to Find Acorns?
Acorns grow on all varieties of oak trees. Here in Eastern South Dakota I find the Bur Oak tree the easiest to identify because it has wide reaching tangled limbs that make it look like a tree out of a spooky movie. As an example, Good Earth State Park is going through a program to bring back the bur oak forests that have disappeared due to a lack of wild forest fires (apparently they can handle the fire better than competing trees so it actually helps them). This was told to me by the park ranger so please forgive me if I relayed the information incorrectly!
When to Forage Acorns?
Going into fall the ground will be covered with acorns as long as you can beat the squirrels to them. My oldest kid and I can fill up a small bag in about an hour of hiking!
How to Eat Acorns?
Acorns are high in tannins which make them incredibly bitter when raw. Luckily tannin is water soluble so boiling the stripped acorn “meat” (meaning, remove the shell first!) in multiple changes of water until the water stops turning brown will make them edible.
At that point you can dip them in sugar for a yummy treat or mash them into a flour. Stay tuned for a video guide of this process!