When Hank Jones of TreeNuts Canada (left in photo) visited Champlain Park neighbourhood to see what the acorn bounty might be this year, he soon found himself chatting with the Kot family of Cowley Ave.
Mr. Steve Kot, try (right) and his wife Kay Kot (centre) have lived 57 years in the house that plays host to the second-largest bur oak in Champlain Park. This magnificent oak, shown behind the group, is about 200 years old, which is about 100 years older than the house built to accommodate it in 1903. According to Mr. Kot, the oak has produced more acorns this year than in any year of his tenancy.
While Mr. Kot was raking leaves from the lawn in anticipation of a party last weekend to celebrate his 91st birthday (congratulations!), he noticed copious acorns among the leaves. Willing to share the bounty, the Kot family gave Mr. Jones and Daniel Buckles (an animator of the Champlain Oaks) permission to gather acorns from the property. The goals? To preserve and propagate genetic material of this potent bur oak, and to make acorn meal that will find its way into scones or cookies. If the squirrels don’t hide them, humans are happy to eat acorns!
Hank Jones and other supporters of nut trees believe that people can be diverting acorns, black walnuts, chestnuts and other tree nuts in Ottawa from landfill for a variety of reasons. Hidden Harvest is keenly encouraging people to gather black walnuts this fall. Meanwhile, Permaculture Ottawa has launched a project to uphold and create a community urban food forest.
Don’t be left out. Find out how you can prevent food protein from entering the waste system in Ottawa. The acorns are plentiful!