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Fall foraging — The Grow Network Community
Everything you want is on the other side of fear.

-Jack Canfield

Fall foraging

One of the things I have on my foraging list for fall is acorns. I’m interested in making acorn flour and was curious if anybody would like to share their tried and true recipes using acorn flour? Also what are your favorites to forage for in the fall?


  • LeediafastjeLeediafastje WA State, Olympic Mtns, Zone 8Posts: 68 ✭✭✭

    Hello Miya,

    I'm in the Olympic Mtns of the Pacific Northwest. I'm currently foraging for Oregan Grapes, Salah berries and Yarrow. I make sparkling wine and jams from the grapes/berries and flour from the Yarrow. I haven't gathered acorns, so good luck and I look forward to hearing what you do.

  • Obiora EObiora E Posts: 519 ✭✭✭✭

    @Leediafastje I did not realize that flour could be made from Yarrow, what part of the plant do you use and how do you go about doing it?

  • Obiora EObiora E Posts: 519 ✭✭✭✭

    @Miya I have not foraged for acorns yet but it is on a list of my things to do for this Fall. I found some interesting recipes for it am interested in trying some of them:

    This Fall I plan to harvest wild grapes for jam, wild rose hips to dry and use for tea (possibly even for jelly), Chinese Chestnuts (to roast and grind as flour), Black Walnuts, Hackberry, Goldenrod (flowers and leaves), acorns, and more.

  • ArleneWoodsArleneWoods Posts: 13 ✭✭✭

    Yarrow is one of my favourite herbs. I'm sure most people on this site know it as "The nosebleed plant". It is the plant that medics carried onto the battlefield to stop bleeding wounds. It is an excellent diuretic, flushing out the kidneys and it purifies the blood. I find the tea bitter, but honey and lemon help. I have Native American friends who take leaves with them to the dentist - chewing on a few leaves numbs the mouth so they don't have to get a shot!

    Yarrow is a good source of potassium and is good when cooked like spinach, added to a salad, or add young leaves to soup. But I, too, have never seen a recipe to make flour from it! Please do share!

  • MiyaMiya Posts: 8 ✭✭✭

    @Leediafastje yarrow has been on my list also. I have yet to find in the areas I’ve been foraging so far. I’m thinking I’ll add it to my garden in the spring. I also did not know you could make flour from yarrow, I will definitely be trying that as soon as I harvest some. The grape/berry wines and jams sound yummy too!

  • blevinandwombablevinandwomba Central PaPosts: 454 ✭✭✭✭

    My favorite fall forage item is wild grapes. However, I haven't had them in years. They do grow in my area, but not where I have access to. Wild rose hips are yummy, though!

    We have a large black walnut, and every year I say I will harvest some and every year I either forget or chicken out- the green outer hulls are so wormy. I don't necessarily mind worms, but smashing them when I take off the husk is more than I can stomach. Ten years ago when we first moved hear, I did husk(?) a bunch, but then couldn't figure out how to get the shells off.

  • LeediafastjeLeediafastje WA State, Olympic Mtns, Zone 8Posts: 68 ✭✭✭

    I've been on vacation but, now that I'm back ... I owe everyone an apology. I said I make flour from the Yarrow when I should have said powder. I apologize. Please forgive my human error.

  • merlin44merlin44 Posts: 441 ✭✭✭✭

    The persimmon trees are loaded this year with fruit, watching and waiting. It's like a race when they ripen, getting to them before the deer do.

  • Obiora EObiora E Posts: 519 ✭✭✭✭

    @Leediafastje Oh no worries. What part of the plant do you use for your powder?

  • VickiPVickiP Posts: 427 ✭✭✭✭

    Watching persimmons also. I hope to beat the deer to the hazelnuts and the rose hips are plentiful but not ready yet.

  • sarah121sarah121 Cornwall - United KingdomPosts: 129 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2019
  • probinson50probinson50 Posts: 51 ✭✭✭

    We have wild grapes growing throughout our property. Yummy!

  • probinson50probinson50 Posts: 51 ✭✭✭

    I recently came across a book on our bookshelf called "Acorns and Eat'em" by Suellen Ocean, a how-to vegetarian cookbook with complete directionss for harvesting, preparing and cooking acorns. I never used it, but my sons did when they were into foraging.

  • LeediafastjeLeediafastje WA State, Olympic Mtns, Zone 8Posts: 68 ✭✭✭

    I'm now knee deep in harvest, canning and preserving so I'm slow on the answers. Obiora E. I use the flower.

  • LeediafastjeLeediafastje WA State, Olympic Mtns, Zone 8Posts: 68 ✭✭✭

    @Obiora E I'm just learning how to do this (ole dawg ... new tricks). It took two posts to answer your question. I use the flower.

  • Obiora EObiora E Posts: 519 ✭✭✭✭

    @Leediafastje No worries and thank you for getting back with me. I am going to try it next year and see how it comes out. I dried some flowers this year but they will be used for teas.

    @probinson50 Thank you for sharing the book. I am going to have to check it out.

  • gardneto76gardneto76 Posts: 207 ✭✭✭

    I love to harvest prickly pear and yucca fruit in the fall. I am also watching my neighbors juniper bushes, hoping to be able to harvest some berries from that for the first time! There are many items I. Pull harvest during our fall, but some make me nervous such as Mullen.

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,206 ✭✭✭✭

    @gardneto76 I have prickly pear and yucca on my property. How do you process and use the fruit?

  • nksunshine27nksunshine27 IdahoPosts: 259 ✭✭✭

    Hang some human hair around the tree i've herd that stops the deer

  • gardneto76gardneto76 Posts: 207 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2019


    I use tongs to pick the prickly pear fruit. I have tried many different ways to clean and process it. One way is to put the fruit in a bucket of water and use a long handed bristle brush to swish and scrub the needles off the fruit, another is to rub fruit with plastic bags from the grocery store, and a third way I tried to clean was to torch the needles off of the fruit. I still seem to find needles after cleaning so always be careful. Processing depends on what you want. I have pealed the outer thick skin off them to eat the softer insides just know the seeds are hard. I have quartered and boiled the fruit or blended them all up in the food processor or blender. Then you have to strain all the juice just Incase there are any of the needles left. The juice can then be cooked down and made into juice, sauce, or jelly. Add sugar just to taste. I typically cook mine down and either just take a tablespoon daily for health or add it to fresh squeezed lemonade.

    You can also harvest, peel, and cook the young pads (Napoli’s) of the prickly pear plant. Many people use it in chili around me, but I have not ventured to eating pads yet.

    I have only processed the yucca fruit one time and I didn’t get much as most of the fruits I collected had worms in them. Inspect the fruit carefully to look for no holes in it. You can then cut off the ends, remove the seeds and bake the fruit. I sliced mine into rounds, baked in the over at 350* until they were soft, sprinkled them with cinnamon and sugar and we enjoyed them warm for dessert. Some people say you can bake and grind the seeds for flour, others say there is a toxin in there and not to do it. I didn’t have time to research it so I tossed the seeds.

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,206 ✭✭✭✭

    @gardneto76 Thanks for the information, especially the processing lessons learned. I may hike down the slope and harvest a few prickly pear fruit. My neighbors wouldn't mind me removing their fruit either if I ever find a favorite way to use them. I see the napolitos (??) at the grocery store but don't buy them because I don't know what to do with them.

    I just had the weird idea of letting the fruit stick to something like foam that would hold it while I slit it and scooped pulp out with a spoon. I don't know if the fruit is soft enough though. I'm sure that is the first of many odd ideas that will occur to me on this subject....

  • gardneto76gardneto76 Posts: 207 ✭✭✭

    @shllnzl if the fruit squishes with the tongs it is ready! I used the tongs again to hold it still while I slit through the skin on one side and just rolled it to get the center out. It may be helpful to cut off just the top part of the fruit making it easier to get close to the skin. Color is also a good sign of ripeness. Depending on the type of prickly pear you have the colors will be different. I like the larger ones that turn almost a dark plum or red in color and the small ones that turn bright pink (I call them strawberries, because that’s what they remind me of).

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,206 ✭✭✭✭

    @gardneto76 The fruits have been plum color for awhile. I will have to check them out. Thanks again for the inspiration.

  • KarenBeesleyKarenBeesley Posts: 14 ✭✭✭

    field mushrooms are popping up everywhere here in the pacific northwest!!!

    i make flour out of the yellow sperm at the top of cattails, but earlier in the year.

    always read about acorn flour making process. good luck!!

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 1,249 admin
    edited September 2019

    I've never tried making acorn flour, but I want too! My big foraged edibles are wild grapes, hickory nuts, apples, rose hips and various mushrooms. W usually get a nice flush of chickens and oysters about this time of year.

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 1,249 admin

    Oh, and soon will be prickly pear cactus and persimmons!

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