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environment | genetic engineering | indigenous issues

Native Oaks and Rice over GMO

oakOak trees are exceptional living beings that could be considered both nature and food. The first peoples of the Sacramento River Valley relied on the oak's acorns for baking flour. The great Valley Oaks (Quercus lobata) that live along the floodplain of the river drop thousands of protein packed acorns every fall. The bitter tannins (also medicinal astringent and coloring dye) in the acorn are leached out and after a few times the acorn becomes edible, usually ground into flour for bread. The Pomo make bread by adding a little red powdered clay and baking the 2" leaf wrapped loaves in coals overnight. Acorn bread would last throughout winter, giving the people strength and health. Oaks are indigenous to their habitat, adapted to the wet winters and hot dry summers of the Sac Valley. As part of nature, oaks support diverse ecosystems on their branches, many types of moss, beneficial insects, lizards, lichens, birds and small mammals. On a cold windy night, there's nothing like having the nook of a stout oak branch to curl up in. For permaculture gardens, oaks can provide greater benefits if left standing alive... Read More