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Pinon/Pine nut harvesting

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posted on Oct, 30 2009 @ 07:49 AM
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One of the best ways to learn how a thing is done is to go back and learn how it was done... here is how the indigenous people of the great plains did it...

Washoe Pinyon Nut Harvesting Traditions

Humans have inhabited the Great Basin, which includes all of Nevada, western Utah, and small portions of southeastern Oregon, southern Idaho, and eastern California, for at least 12,000 years. Until the early 1900s the seeds of the singleleaf pinyon, Pinus monophylla, were a critical food source for the peoples who lived in this desert environment. This example describes some of the traditions surrounding pinyon nuts among the Washoe people as recounted in oral histories recorded by researchers at the University of Nevada in the 1990s.

Pinyon nuts from the singleleaf pinyon can easily be picked off the ground after the cones fall. However, often the nuts are consumed by birds, insects, and small mammals before the cones are ready to drop. The Washoe and other Great Basin peoples thus developed technologies for harvesting green cones, as well as methods for removing the nuts efficiently. Harvesting and processing nuts from the singleleaf pinyon was complicated work and typically involved the entire community.

For the peoples of the Great Basin, including the Washoe, the pinyon harvest was the year's most important social event, bringing together the many dispersed bands into the lowland pinyon forest. The Washoe set up camps in these forests in the early fall before the cones had fully ripened and dropped. Prior to the harvest, they held a "first fruit" celebration, showing their respect for the forest and acknowledging the sacredness of the pinyon tree.

Once the harvest was in full swing, there was plenty of work for all. The men removed the green cones from the trees using tools made from large willow branches. The branches had a V-shaped hook at the end to remove the cones. As the men brought down the cones, women and children piled them into wicker baskets.

When removing the cones, the men selected cones just ready to open. These green cones were usually full of pitch, making harvesting a sticky task. Women and children carried the baskets of cones back to camp for processing. They first roasted the cones by placing them near hot coals to open the scales and expose the nuts. Then they beat the cones remove the nuts.

To remove the soft brown shells, the processors placed the nuts on a basketry tray along with hot coals. They tossed and swirled the nuts and coals together until the shells became hard and crisp.

After placing the hard nuts on a grinding stone, they pounded the nuts lightly to remove the shells without damaging the seeds. At this stage in the roasting process, the seeds are translucent, soft, and ready to eat. However, they do not store well.

To make use of the abundant nut supply, the Washoe women processed the nuts even further. They placed the nuts back in a winnowing tray, and tossing them in the air to remove the shells. After winnowing the soft nuts, they added hot coals and repeated the roasting process until the nuts were dry, hard, and dark in color.

Once dried, the Washoe stored the nuts in large storage baskets for later use. Although the dried nuts can be eaten without additional processing, generally the Washoe ground them into pinyon nut flour. They then mixed the flour with water to make a thick paste, adding berries, leafy plants, and ground meat or fish to make a delicious and nutritious mush.





Source: Tah-Gum, The Washoe Pine-Nut Harvest. 1999. Produced by Tom King. University of Nevada Oral History Program.

By the way the harvest predictions for 2009 look very good this year
Pinon nut dot Org

I should add as a child we kids would search squirrel nests and come away with the biggest fattest nuts there are... one warning, never do this before the second snow fall or when you pull your hand out of the nest you might find it covered in flea and tick bites

[edit on 30-10-2009 by DaddyBare]




posted on Oct, 30 2009 @ 09:39 AM
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I still have 5 pinon nuts, saved as reminders of a better time in my life.

these pinons came from Northern Arizona, not way up there in the NW.

these pinons also were gathered during the national scare of the Hanta Virus over in the '4 Corners Area'...

authorities tried to say that squirrels were one source of carrying the virus, and that nobody eat pinon nuts .... sometime in the 1990s



posted on Oct, 30 2009 @ 10:16 AM
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Originally posted by St Udio


I still have 5 pinon nuts, saved as reminders of a better time in my life.

these pinons came from Northern Arizona, not way up there in the NW.

these pinons also were gathered during the national scare of the Hanta Virus over in the '4 Corners Area'...

authorities tried to say that squirrels were one source of carrying the virus, and that nobody eat pinon nuts .... sometime in the 1990s


Udio, if you can irradiate these 5 nuts, you can kill the virus and enjoy the taste



posted on Oct, 30 2009 @ 10:23 AM
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reply to post by buddhasystem
 


There's no Hantavirus in the nuts... it's spread through mouse poop... in fact the most common way people get Hantavirus is by sweeping up the mouse dropping putting the poop dust and Hantavirus in the air where folks breath it in...
read more here

Strange side note: Korean hemorrhagic fever (Hantavirus) was one of three hemorrhagic fevers and one of more than a dozen agents that the United States researched as potential biological weapons before suspending its biological weapons program.



posted on Oct, 30 2009 @ 08:07 PM
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Up in the foothills above Fresno California we would see what were called "Grinding stones" Granite boulders that a group could stand on were used to grind the nuts into flour. People would set nuts down and grind a rock on top of the nuts to create the mush, after what must have been thousands of nuts ground there are little round holes in the rock.




posted on Oct, 30 2009 @ 08:16 PM
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We sometimes buy a bag of raw pine nuts from Costco and toast them in the oven. Mix them with a little maple syrup, and you can enjoy them hot and sticky, or make sticky balls and put them in the freezer for an amazing frozen treat. One of the best flavor combos on the planet IMO, toasted pine nuts and maple syrup.


[edit on 30-10-2009 by tjack]



posted on Nov, 1 2009 @ 02:45 AM
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Originally posted by Happyfeet
Up in the foothills above Fresno California we would see what were called "Grinding stones" Granite boulders that a group could stand on were used to grind the nuts into flour. People would set nuts down and grind a rock on top of the nuts to create the mush, after what must have been thousands of nuts ground there are little round holes in the rock.



You were on the wrong side of the Sierras pinon pines are found on the east side and in the great basin(the big empty)

What the native Americans used on the west side of the sierras was acorns.


[edit on 1-11-2009 by ANNED]



posted on Nov, 1 2009 @ 04:12 AM
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Originally posted by tjack
We sometimes buy a bag of raw pine nuts from Costco and toast them in the oven. Mix them with a little maple syrup, and you can enjoy them hot and sticky, or make sticky balls and put them in the freezer for an amazing frozen treat. One of the best flavor combos on the planet IMO, toasted pine nuts and maple syrup.


[edit on 30-10-2009 by tjack]


I bet that would be great as a cracker jack recipe. Just add popcorn to the above recipe.


Pine nuts! Oh do I love pesto!

fresh basil leaves, toasted pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, and fresh grated parmesan cheese. Spin it in food processor. Serve over spaghetti.


I never could figure what Euell Gibbons was referring to about nuts from pine cones. I looked everywhere. I finally gave up. Years later I realized what they actually were....and they don't grow on the pine trees here.

[edit on 1-11-2009 by Alethea]



posted on Nov, 1 2009 @ 07:00 AM
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reply to post by Alethea
 


All pine trees produce some kind of nut but some of them might not be worth the effort (Too small or to few)
Up in the high country we have the stately Lodge pole pine... their cones will not open unless you throw them on a fire... happens to be the same reason folks say a wildfire is healthy for the forest... lodge poles don't drop their nuts/seeds without... now the pinon pine tree only produces nuts every five years... when you find an area producing nuts you know not to go back there next year... you'll have to find another spot... It maybe your trees work on a similar cycle and you were to early or to late...

I found another article on E how

Pine nuts are full of protein, fiber and zinc. Their flavor is delicate and distinct, and they are rumored to be an aphrodisiac. They are expensive to buy, due to a labor-intensive harvesting process and the destruction of many pine trees. Bring some family or friends along for the harvest, since it's difficult to do alone, and try the pine nuts raw---or take them home and make pesto.
E How

I know a lot of you will read that part ..."and they are rumored to be an aphrodisiac."... then rush off to the forests to start picking



posted on Nov, 3 2009 @ 08:23 AM
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Originally posted by DaddyBare

Strange side note: Korean hemorrhagic fever (Hantavirus) was one of three hemorrhagic fevers and one of more than a dozen agents that the United States researched as potential biological weapons before suspending its biological weapons program.




The US bioweapons program never stopped. It just put on some camo.



posted on Nov, 3 2009 @ 08:32 AM
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Pinon is awesome!

Out here in New Mexico you can just go up to the mountains and harvest them for free. It's a pretty fun process to.



posted on Nov, 3 2009 @ 09:35 AM
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reply to post by theendisnear69
 


Amen buddy.. I take the family down to Chilili Used to be south 14 now its like 337 the road to Mountainair... we set up our sheets under a tree and spend a great day filling sacks...

They never last long though...
once your friends find out you got some you suddenly find you have more friends than you remembered having



posted on Aug, 30 2011 @ 09:07 AM
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It's getting close to harvesting time so I guess it's time to give this thread
a little bumppity bump...



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