Preparing nuts for donation
Want to help us feed our wild patients this year? Many of the patients at the Center, including squirrels, turkey, crows, jays, ducks, woodpeckers and Band-tailed Pigeons, depend on acorns and other “hard mast” as an important fall and winter food.
We’re looking for cleaned, dried, local acorns and walnuts. Local nuts only please, in order to minimize disease transmission and keep nuts properly stored.
Acorns: We will take cleaned, bagged, quality acorns. To prepare:
- Collect acorns and separate from twigs, leaves, and other debris.
- Cover them in a container of water for five minutes. Throw away the ones that float.
- Remove acorns from water and dry with a towel, or allow to air dry.
- When fully dry, place acorns in a one-gallon Ziploc-type baggie and freeze. Keep frozen until you can deliver them to the Wildlife Center.
NOTE: Acorn quality quickly deteriorates, molds and rots if collected and left in buckets/bags where they get wet or hot.
Black Walnuts: We can take husked walnuts only.
- Collect black walnuts.
- Soak nuts in container of water for up to one week until the green or brown husk loosens and can be removed by hand.
- An alternative method is to fill a wheelbarrow full of walnuts with water. Let soak, and every few days, jiggle the wheelbarrow back and forth to agitate the husks off. Use multiple changes of water.
- Spread the husked nuts on a flat surface and allow them to fully dry in sun for a few days. Then deliver to the Wildlife Center.
NOTE: Black Walnuts do not need to be frozen prior to delivery.
Information compiled by the Wildlife Center of Virginia.