Eric and Rick talk about Olive tree problems due to climate change. Flies are ruining the fruit because it no longer frosts in Southern Italy. Listen on the GastroPod podcast
Andrea asks on our Facebook Discussion Group about growing apple and pear trees from seed. We suggest checking out the Fedco Seeds Tree catalog for great info and plants.
Instant Pot issues Eric is having with cooking Pork Shoulder. What are we doing wrong?
Kathlean suggests sending Acorn flour for Eric to experiment with.
Rick and Eric love the 99% Invisible podcast and their blog posts. And Eric likes the WebUrbanist site
Urban Farming In Your Front Yard & Workshop Organizing – GF Radio 456
Hi, Eric. A few answers to your acorn questions / comments:
The grubs in the acorns are Curcuio grubs, and they're funny little creatures. I know far too much about them for a normal human, but I'm more of a mad scientist, as you'd conjectured. Next year, I plan on making a very small race-track for these grubs so we can have grub-races. In their search for dirt to burrow into, they will galump-galump-galump along at an amazing five feet per hour! Obviously, if grub-racing does become a real sport, I'll share video.
I have several favorite oak trees that I "groom" during the acorn season, to reduce the number of grubs falling into the soil. After three years of that, our favorite two trees have gone from having about 90% of the crop spoiled by grubs, down to half. Another one of our trees has no grubs, since I've been harvesting every acorn that falls since its first year of reproduction. Oak trees used to not have so much trouble with these grubs, because turkeys, deer, humans, and passenger pigeons all ate nearly every acorn a tree dropped. Now that there are no passenger pigeons and humans keep deer out of many places where oaks grow, many more acorn grubs survive to become weevils, which lay their eggs in the next year's acorns.
Having a few trees that I claim for our family is also a fairly effective way of avoiding those dangerous squirrel-wrestling contests. I stick to my trees; they stick to theirs. When I do stray into the territory of some committed squirrels, they've been known to perch in the branches right over me; they'll eat the fatty end of the acorn and then throw the rest at me!
Astringent was correct; the bitter chemicals in acorns are collectively called "tannins" (same chemicals involved in leather tanning) and they have to be washed out before eating the acorns or acorn flour. In fact, part of squirrels' strategy with burying acorns in caches that will be covered in snow is to let the snow melt around them and wash out a little bit of the tannin. In the springtime, those acorns are much more tasty.
wow thanks Kathlean! what cool info.
Great show, thanks.