Ok, no, I know the sky isn’t falling, but acorns are dropping from the trees like rain. I got hit in the head by one the other day and felt like Chicken Little. My lawn is so full of the little things that it’s not fun to walk in the yard barefoot anymore. Of course, this is one of the signs nature gives us that winter is coming and it’s time to put our shoes back on anyway. Now is when nature begins to plan for spring by releasing a lot of nuts. Nuts come in all shapes, sizes and usefulness. What to do with them all?
Uses for All the Autumn Things That “Fall From The Sky”
Nuts can be more than a nuisance. Getting inspired by all the things that can be done with them might help motivate you to get to gathering.
Eat – From acorns to walnuts, you may be surprised how edible some of the things falling in your yard actually are. They are a lot of work, no doubt, but with a little research you can find a recipe or directions for how to use the nuts in your backyard. There are more than 60 species of oak trees in the U.S. and all of them produce acorns that can be eaten by humans. They can even be turned into acorn flour. I saw a recipe for black walnut bitters. Another friend even enjoys the spiny beechnut as a snack. After drying for 2 weeks, the meat of hickory nuts can be used in any recipe calling for pecans.
Create – Some crafts with things from nature can be a little silly, but this website has 16 wonderful things to make with acorns that will change how you view all those little guys laying in the lawn, and turn the chore of gathering them into a treasure hunt!
Replant – Many people help the ecology of their state by collecting and donating tree seeds. Nuts are valuable to extension offices who often desire the seeds from local species trees in order to propagate the species. Contact your local office to find out what they are looking for this year. Often they need to be gathered as quickly as possible, kept cool and dry, sorted by kind and labeled.
Share – If you don’t want to eat them yourself, collect the nuts and set them out for other animals to enjoy.
Repel – Hedge apples are pretty chartreuse orbs that my mother-in-law says keep away spiders, so she places them around her house. It’s a common home remedy that science has not necessarily advocated, but they do look pretty in a bowl nonetheless.
Distract – It has been said that keeping a stockpile of nuts for squirrels in a location away from a garden can help keep the squirrels busy and distracted from eating what’s in your garden.
Your Nut Gathering Assistant
Whatever you decide to do with your nuts, the most miserable part of the job is gathering them up. There’s nothing worse than trying to rake up nuts that keep slipping through the rake tines. Oh yes there is: having to bend over and gather them by hand. That is why I highly recommend our Weasel Nut Gatherer to make the job fun and easy.
Weasel Nut Gatherer – A rolling stone may not gather any moss, but a rolling Weasel Nut Gatherer – or the Gatherer Pro, seen above – sure picks up a lot of stuff! For the gardener, this wonderful tool is almost like a toy. From a standing position using the long handle, it’s easy to pick up pecans, acorns, walnuts, butternuts, hickory nuts, chestnuts, filberts, gum balls, seeds, nuts, fruits, small pine cones and seed heads with the simple roll of the silver gathering basket at the end of the pole. What is normally time-consuming, back-breaking work becomes play-time! Kids love this magical tool so much they will be offering to do the job for you. We’ve even heard reports that the Weasel Nut Gatherer can also pick up items around the home including golf balls, small balls, shotgun shells, reusable paintballs and even Legos! The solidly-constructed tool has big, heavy nut and bolt construction to form the collection cage. The wires are easy-flex stainless steel, and don’t easily misshape. To empty, simply spread the tines apart and shake. Quick and easy. No knee or back pain from kneeling and bending, and even comes in two different sizes. This video demonstrates how easy it is to use! So after you decide which useful you’re most excited to do, grab your Garden Weasel Nut Gatherer, put on your helmet, and go gather up some pieces of the sky fallen in your yard…and know that you won’t have to worry about a back ache or stiff knees afterward!