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Pinyon Pine Pickin" ~ Friday Foods

Hi Everyone!
Pinyon Pine Nut Harvesting is one of the activities I truly enjoy in Fall. The cones above are on a Pinyon pine, link below for more information:

Pinyon pine (Pinus edulis) extent, North America

 Pinyon Pines grow in Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico.

Pinyon Pine areas in Utah, Colorado, Arizona & New Mexico.   SOURCE
This is the area we picked and even though the land management office said that it was late in the season, as you can see from the photo of the pine cones and nuts still on the trees, it was a good harvest.


Do be careful when harvesting pine nuts. 

Wear something to cover your hair. *pin back long bangs as the pitch seems to really cling to hair!

Wear gloves & old clothes.
Watch out for the cactus!

I also harvested Juniper Berries for my teas.
This adventure took us to the Uncompagre Plateau BLM Land. BLM Land is Public Land that has been called "America's Playground". The BLM manages 8.4 million acres of public lands in Colorado and that's a lot of play area!

We have decided to come earlier next year and bring a big blanket to lay down under the tree as we are picking and shaking so it is easier to collect the pine nuts.


I used 2 bags doubled and tied them to my belt loops. Then I just dropped the pine nuts and berries into the bag. I thought my way was much easier that Matt's way of just carrying the bags. 

I plan on making a pouch that velcros to a belt loop for just this purpose. I have thought it a good use for an old jeans leg. Just sew the hem closed, make a hem around the "top" of the leg and add a strap with velcro sown to both ends. secure the ends around your belt loop, insert a bag, and wa la! You have a harvesting bag! Photos soon! 

There was a controlled burn going on just south of where we were picking, so check with your local Office of Land Management to see if there is anything like this going on or scheduled before you go into the BLM areas. Also, since it is now hunting season, Wear Your Orange so that you can be seen! And that goes for the doggies too!

We did a good harvest and were able to share the loot! There are several videos on YouTube to view pine nut picking, so take a look and give it a try.  Also there are videos to help you shell the pine nuts. I tried with my fingers... OUCH!  Not recommended! Then I tried with a hammer, but the nut meat got smashed too. So I ended up putting the pine nuts in a bag and using a rolling pin on them. Slightly wacking, but not hard, rolling over them too. Then pick out the nut meats and rinse in cold water. I put mine on a baking tray and roasted them a few minutes in the oven.

If you love pesto as much as I do, there is nothing better than fresh roasted pine nuts in a basil pesto!  Gotta try it! It is worth the time and effort for the delicious end result!

I will be making some Pesto to can next week. So look for the back link soon!

Pesto Recipes to try:

 Italian Food's Pesto Recipe from Rachel Ray

Herb Flower Pesto

Canning Pesto from Ball Mason Jars Recipes 

 25 Recipes on Yummlylife.com for Pesto

Hope you enjoyed this trip to the Pinyon Pines!

Enjoy!

CJD.Sign

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