Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, May 23, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 9


Mountain Views News Saturday, May 23, 2020 


Pet of the Week



 After her last three owners passed away, 11-year-old 
Lucy ended up at the shelter. Understandably, Lucy 
has some anxiety from losing three of her people, so 
she needs someone who’s willing to be patient with 
her, help her work through her anxiety, and give her 
stability. Lucy is a happy, affectionate dog who loves 
cuddling and being near her favorite people. She'd 
be a wonderful buddy for someone who works from 
home or enjoys a quiet weekend reading books on 
the couch. She just needs someone to take a chance 
on her!

 The adoption fee for dogs is $140. All dog adoptions 
include spay or neuter, microchip, and age-
appropriate vaccines.

 New adopters will receive a complimentary health-and-wellness exam from VCA 
Animal Hospitals, as well as a goody bag filled with information about how to care 
for your pet.

 View photos of adoptable pets at and fill out an online 
adoption application. Adoptions are by appointment only.

 Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters 
by phone calls or email.

[Nyerges is the director of the School of Self-reliance, who teaches and writes books 
on self-reliance and wild foods. He can be reached at Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA or

Before the pandemic lockdown, 
Kat High of Hupa descent, shared her 
knowledge of the diverse use of acorns in native 
American culture at a lunchtime talk at nearby 
Eaton Canyon Nature Center.


Los Angeles residents might remember the few 
hundred shows on Native American culture that 
High produced for public access TV, usually 
filmed at Highland Park’s Southwest Museum. 
Over the years she conducted many programs 
for the Southwest Museum, and was a consultant 
for their California Room, among other things. 
More recently, she has been a consultant at the 
nearby Autry Museum in Griffith Park for their 
native plants garden at Autry, and the California 
Continued exhibit.


Her presentation to the docents could have been 
titled, “Everything you ever wanted to know 
about acorns.”


She began by showing a few examples of the 
many diverse acorns produced on the various 
native oak trees. Native people would go to the 
higher elevations in the old days to collect the 
larger canyon live oaks, even though the coast live oaks were abundant in the valleys. The reason 
is that the canyon live oak is about four times bigger than the tiny bullet-shaped coast live oak. 
“If you had a family to feed,” asks High, “what would you pick?”


For all food uses of the acorn, the acorn is first shelled, and then the tannic acid must be removed. 
The traditional way is to grind the acorns to a flour, and then put the flour into a container 
akin to a coffee filter, where water can be poured over it to wash out the bitter tannic acid. 
Or, the whole acorns can be boiled, changing the water at least three times, or until they acorns 
are no longer bitter.


Before she continued, she had everyone try some of the acorn foods she brought. There was 
acorn “coffee,” a brewed beverage made from leached and roasted acorns. I found it tasty plain, 
though others added sweeteners to the hot drink.


She also served some “wii-wish,” which is a traditional mush made from the finely ground acorns. 
Wii-wish is an old food, made by many Native Americans, and is somewhat plain. Many times 
others nuts and dried fruits are added to it.

“Think of it as a ‘cream of wheat’ breakfast dish,” said High, “to which you can add milk, or 
honey, or raisins, or whatever you like.” Though High didn’t think her wii-wish had turned out 
well, in part because she tried preparing it in a microwave, I found it tasty and satisfying.


She also served a large loaf of acorn bread, made mostly from acorn flour. This was delicious 
plain, and it seemed that everyone enjoyed this semi-traditional food from the acorn. High had 
some cream cheese that could be added as a topping. I tried some plain, and with topping, and 
both were good.


Kat High pointed out that acorns were often eaten with meat in the old days, because the high fat 
content of acorns was a good supplement to the low fat content of game meat. 

She described the granaries that were constructed by native people of the past for storing acorns. 
Since acorns could only be collected in the fall, anytime between October and December, depending 
on the season, families would collect all they could during this time. A single family 
might collect up to a ton of acorns for the year, and store them in containers that looked like silos 
or large baskets, made from the willow branches. The salicin in the willow was a pest-repellant, 
said High, and the bay leaves used to line the silos also helped to repel insects and rodents.



“When the Spanish came here,” High told the group, “they described Southern California as 
looking like a well-tended garden. That’s because it was,” she told he crowd. The land had been 
managed for millennia by a series of practices that only-recently have been more studied and 
described in such books as “Tending the Wild” (by M. Kat Anderson).


What now? Asks High. How do we regain our balance with the land? 


Her advice is to learn about the Native uses of plants, and to use them with respect. “Always offer 
a prayer when you gather,” says High. “Ask permission from the plant, don’t deplete an area, and 
give the plant your intent for picking it.” 


Kat High now teaches classes and workshop on Native skills and caring for the land. She can be 
reached at 

All Things By Jeff Brown

AOur country was born in rebellion against authority, so it’s no surprise Americans 
have always a strong libertarian streak. We bristle at being told what to do , especially 
by the govt.-even when it’s demonstrably in the public interest. Millions of American 
angrily objected when health officials and the govt. began warning that cigarettes 
could them, and banned indoor smoking, and required motorist to wear-ugh-
seatbelts. Such bondage! Each of these impositions on personal freedom saved 
immeasurable suffering and many, many lives. Govt. can overreach, of course; finding 
the right balance between individual liberty and the common good is a perpetual 
struggle. Now, in the midst of a catastrophic pandemic, it is masks, social distancing 
, and the closures of public places and businesses that have provoked cries of nanny-
state tyranny from such diverse voices as a Dallas beauty salon owner and Elon Musk. 
Infectious diseases, however, have a strong anti-libertarian bias. Without knowing 
it, a single infected person shed billions of viruses and can spread illness and death 
to any standing near him or even sharing the same enclosed space. And if Covid-19 
lands that that free spirit in the hospital, the cost of a typical,

20 -day fossilization is $30,000 and up, which all of us pay thru higher insurance 
premiums and taxes. The freedom to ignore the virus isn’t free. Several countries 
have used strict closures, testing, contact tracing, and masking not only to flatten 
their curves-but also to crush them. Taiwan(24,000,000)has had just 440 cases and 
7 deaths. Densely populated Hong Kong has had just 4 deaths. The U.S. may be 
stumbling in the worst of all worlds: repeated waves of infections into 2021 and a 
devastated economy paralyzed by ongoing, legitimate fear. This is not a good time 
to act like a 5-year-old shouting:” Your not the boss of me!” William Falk, Editor in 
Chief “The Week” 

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