On Sunday, August 14 a group of about 50 people; men and women of all ages and several children joined Hank Jones, from Allbirch Pollinator Garden who led them on a nut identification walk. The walk took them from Ottawa City Hall, along Queen Elizabeth Drive, and along some of the residential streets near the Canal. The walk, which lasted two hours, was intended as an introduction to the idea of nut collecting for people who wish to supplement their diet with nuts. As Mr. Jones pointed out, nuts are rich in oils, carbohydrates, and protein.
According to Mr Jones there should be many nuts on the trees, but for some reason, perhaps because of the extended drought in this area, or for other environmental reasons, there are very few nuts this year. The original idea for the walk had been to introduce the idea of nut gathering as a way to supplement a diet, and Mr. Jones arranged to give the walk early enough so that participants could go at a later date to collect the nuts; usually early in the fall. In some cases, with Ginko nuts for example, nuts ripen and fall only after a hard frost.
However, as the walk progressed, it became clear, as Mr Jones had warned before the walk began, that indeed, there were very few nuts this year. In fact it looks as if even the squirrels will have difficulty surviving on the very few nuts available on city trees.
The nut trees, Beach, Ginko, Oak, Buckeye, Shagbark Hickory, and even Black Walnut, which MrJones pointed out, were generally on city property, which would normally allow for anyone interested in harvesting the nuts, to do so. In past, Mr. has had an agreement with the city that when the city receives a complaint from a property owner about city nuts falling on private property, Mr. Jones will go and collect the nuts.
Mr. Jones was very enthusiastic about nut collection, and talked about not only eating nuts raw, but also about production of nut butters, oils, and even jewelry as being potentials for cottage industries, should people wish to collect nuts on a more serious basis.
The walk was arranged through Transition Ottawa. Transition Ottawa's goal is to help people to face the challenges of Peak Oil /Climate Change by encouraging practical solutions on a local scale, including creating community, learning, sharing,