The trees are almost bare, which means one thing for all the bunny lovers here in Michigan. It is time for the final harvest of pinecones! Grab your basket or bag and get outside to supply your buns with the best homemade toy. Collecting and preparing your own pinecones is not only a great way to save money, those store bought pinecones are so expensive, but it also eco-friendly.You are saving on the shipping and production of a new toy.
Here are a few tips and tricks.
- Always consider the source of the pinecone. Was the tree treated with pesticides or other chemicals?
- Look for the fat round cones instead of the long skinny ones.
How to prepare:
- Give your cones a good scrub under hot water to remove all loose dirt
- Fill sink or container with hot water and add 1 cup of vinegar
- Soak cones for 30 minutes, periodically scrub and turn cones in water/vinegar solution
- Rise with fresh water
- Lay out to dry on towel for 2-3 days
You can also use an oven to speed up the drying process:
- Set oven to 200 degrees
- Spread cones on a flat surface, I have used a cookie sheet
- Watch cones and oven carefully! Smoke is bad.
- When cones are dry remove them from the oven
- Let cool before giving to rabbit
So keep your eye out for these seasonal gems as you are walking around town. I have been known to end up with a purse full at the end of my day.
If you live in an area that does not have pinecones, Pineconesplus is a great dealer based out of Montana.