National Geographic : 1907 Dec
8oo THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Power Hoe-Recently invented for use in the cotton fields, and which it is believed will prove equally successful in beet culture NUTS AND THEIR USES AS FOOD TO the last Year Book of the Depart ment of Agriculture Prof. M. E. Jaffa, of the University of California, con tributes an instructive article on the uses of nuts as food. The early explorers of America were much impressed by the ex tended use of nuts by the American In dians. The native hickories, butternuts, walnuts, chestnuts, and many other nuts found in the United States were gathered by the natives and formed one of their principal sources of food. The methods of preparing acorns for food, still fol lowed by the Indians of northern Cali fornia, are shown in the illustrations on page 797. The shelled nuts are split, dried, and ground with a mortar and pestle. The sifted flour is then placed in a hollow in the sand, on a convenient river bank, and leached to free it from the bitter principles present. ,From the leached meal a porridge or mush is made, which to the ordinary palate is much im proved by the addition of salt. These typical Indian foods, when well prepared, are relished by many persons who have tried them, and it seems not improbable that improved methods of removing tan nin and the bitter principles present in most varieties of acorns might result in the utilization of the acorn crop, which is fairly large and is generally wasted. Lately the use of nuts has greatly in creased in the United States, with the result that many persons are now grow ing native and foreign nuts on a commer cial scale. The quantity of almonds, co coanuts, Brazil nuts, filberts, peanuts, walnuts, and other nuts, shelled and un shelled annually imported into the United States is, in round numbers, 90,000,000 pounds with a value of $6,250,000. In 1905 the total almond crop in California reached 4,200,000 pounds and the walnut crop 12,800,000 pounds. The richest yield of peanuts was reported from the South ern States, chiefly Virginia, Georgia, and Tennessee, and amounted to 225,000,000 pounds.