Oh Nuts!

Last year Elizabeth and our students harvested pounds upon pounds of acorns. After a lengthy leeching process, they ground the nuts into a fine flour that was used in many of their school-day recipes.  Fast forward one year to an impromptu visit from former-teacher Tim who told Elizabeth about a rare grove of chestnut trees in Sleeping Giant State Park, and off Elizabeth and her pupils went to Hamden to explore and harvest.

Exploring the chestnut grove at Sleeping Giant State Park. This grove of Asian and American chinquapin hybrid species was planted in the 1930s as a private, American Chestnut restoration project.

Collecting chestnuts

 

The spiky shells were a challeng to handle!

Shelling the chestnuts in preparation for roasting

Getting to know the distinctive leave shape of chestnut

Scoring the shell before roasting makes it easy to remove

The chestnut roasted beautifully in our open-fire bread baking oven

Yum

Ready to eat
 

Making chestnut paste

Chestnut weevil grub. There were lots of these little guys. In fact, between the mold and the grubs we only got about 15% edible nuts from our harvest. The students munched some of the grubs, too.