Chestnuts vs horsechestniyts

Harvesting and preserving your fruit & veg

Moderators: KG Steve, Chantal, Tigger, peter

Stravaig
KG Regular
Posts: 885
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:59 am
Location: Glasgow(ish)
Has thanked: 162 times
Been thanked: 117 times

I've always assumed that horsechestnuts (conkers) are inedible. Are they really? Are they poisonous? Yeah, I know I could Google it but I thought you guys would be more informative.

Is there anything one can usefully do with them?
User avatar
retropants
KG Regular
Posts: 2075
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 3:38 pm
Location: Middlesex
Has thanked: 124 times
Been thanked: 124 times

I think you can make laundry soap out of them. Ref: Nancy Birtwhistle
User avatar
Primrose
KG Regular
Posts: 8071
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:50 pm
Location: Bucks.
Has thanked: 44 times
Been thanked: 292 times

I know somebody who collects them and stores them in bowls around the hiuse over winter. She loathes spiders and swears they help to keeps them away. I think it,s old wives tales.

I believe they have to be boiled for ages to remove toxins Sweet chestnuts are lovely and edible of course. Until a few years ago there were several ancient trees in the front garden of a house near us and I used to collect those that fell onto the street verge as the owners never bothered to make use of them.

They were lovely old trees but were suddenly felled without warning one day as the owner had secretly arranged to sell out and have 3 smaller houses built on the site. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Had I known I could have applied to try and put a tree preservation order on them.

Acorns of course are edible after roasting. I believe they were a common source of alternative flour in Germany and Eastern Europe during and after the Second World War when severe food shortages were a major problem.
Stravaig
KG Regular
Posts: 885
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:59 am
Location: Glasgow(ish)
Has thanked: 162 times
Been thanked: 117 times

Spiders are the good guys especially if, like me, you loathe flies. Dirty unhygienic nasties. I also kill mosquitoes on sight. When we lived in Bangladesh we had a resident spider the size of a man's hand. I was terrified of it but tried my best to ignore it. Then we had a guest for dinner and a film he was quite a religious man (we're not religious). He spotted the spider. WHAP!!! That was the end of it. I was quite shocked.

These days, with a shortage of flies and mosquitoes in the house, if we get a spider then husband catches it with a postcard and a plastic cup and puts it outside. They tend to not be very big but I'm still a bit scared of them - irrational!
User avatar
Primrose
KG Regular
Posts: 8071
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:50 pm
Location: Bucks.
Has thanked: 44 times
Been thanked: 292 times

We have an enormous one which regularly appears in our bath. He has to be carefully relocated temporarily and then if we can still track him down, replaced when ablutions have finished so that he accidentally doesn't get trodden on. I,ve grown quite fond of him. He seems to have survived multiple drownings whilst snoozing hidden down the plug hole! I have not yet resorted to feeding him. - not sure what would tempt his appetite!
Westi
KG Regular
Posts: 5984
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:46 pm
Location: Christchurch, Dorset
Has thanked: 777 times
Been thanked: 293 times

This chap just appeared Friday evening when I was on the computer, put an end to my online chat with my mate in a blink! I used to be terrified of them as most are poisonous in OZ except for the Huntsman that is huge but it stays on the ceiling & moves real slow. We even had Red Back's in our loo which was just outside in the laundry room, you always knew when someone was going to the loo as lots of stomping & slamming the door a few times so it moved. I am much better with spiders now, but I'm never going to stay in their vicinity.
fullsizeoutput_1100.jpeg
fullsizeoutput_1100.jpeg (968.96 KiB) Viewed 14591 times
Westi
Stravaig
KG Regular
Posts: 885
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:59 am
Location: Glasgow(ish)
Has thanked: 162 times
Been thanked: 117 times

Urgh! What the heck kind of spider is that, Westi?

Latest on that big tree, and I am not kidding, an Irishman knocked on the door (unsolicited) and asked for a job to cut back the big oak tree in our back garden. The fact that he didn't know the difference between an oak and a horseradish (even I could do that) did not inspire confidence.
Westi
KG Regular
Posts: 5984
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:46 pm
Location: Christchurch, Dorset
Has thanked: 777 times
Been thanked: 293 times

You did the right thing, but more interesting is he is obviously canvassing your area as you don't randomly drive past & note a tree even if you're a tree surgeon! You will probably hear something untoward has happened in your area.

I got lucky once from a cold call, well wasn't totally cold as they did a leaflet drop before. They dually came back & were respectable so I asked for a quote to pave the back garden. It was a keen price but not stupid. They turned up when they said they would & it was like the united nations, Polish, British, Ukranian & even had a Maori guy. They were really thorough & did an excellent job factoring in the slope for drainage etc. & even paved a path to the front door with the left over bricks free. I keep hoping they will return down here soon as have a few other jobs for them.
Westi
Westi
KG Regular
Posts: 5984
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:46 pm
Location: Christchurch, Dorset
Has thanked: 777 times
Been thanked: 293 times

PS Stravaig! No idea what type of spider, as the critters found it. I would rather have been brave & did the glass & card removal but that is a step too far for me!
Westi
robo
KG Regular
Posts: 2809
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:22 pm
Location: st.helens
Has thanked: 9 times
Been thanked: 57 times

I don’t have a problem with flies in the conservatory we’re I spend most of my time I have 2 tropical plants that live off them one is quiet large no flies hence no spiders sorry I’ve changed the topic
Stravaig
KG Regular
Posts: 885
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:59 am
Location: Glasgow(ish)
Has thanked: 162 times
Been thanked: 117 times

Robo,

What a brilliant idea!!! Dunno why I never thought of it before. I shall buy a carniverous plant ASAP.

:D
Colin2016
KG Regular
Posts: 953
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 3:33 pm
Location: North Norfolk Coast
Has thanked: 6 times
Been thanked: 59 times

Can you recommend carnivorous plant that will eat flies?

If there is a fly in our house the dog goes outside and refuses to come inside until it's gone.
Westi
KG Regular
Posts: 5984
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:46 pm
Location: Christchurch, Dorset
Has thanked: 777 times
Been thanked: 293 times

I have the opposite problem Colin where the cat trashes the place chasing flies!
Westi
Colin2016
KG Regular
Posts: 953
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 3:33 pm
Location: North Norfolk Coast
Has thanked: 6 times
Been thanked: 59 times

Substitute me for the cat as I try squatting the flees with tea towel, which upsets the dog even more when she comes in to see what I am up to.
Stravaig
KG Regular
Posts: 885
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:59 am
Location: Glasgow(ish)
Has thanked: 162 times
Been thanked: 117 times

Simon's Cat in Fly Guy
I think this is really funny. But maybe Westi won't find it so funny.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_jFD9ICTaY
Post Reply Previous topicNext topic