Chestnuts are in (some) stores! The Community Mercantile and Checkers Grocery in Lawrence now have our chestnuts on their shelves. Both stores have been great about keeping chestnuts in good storage in the cold area of produce. Our order page is open for those who are further away.
A note about sizes. Chestnut growers do not have standard sizing. One grower's medium may be another's small. For 8 years we have used our sizer with holes graduating in 1/16" increments from tiny and smaller at 7/8" to our jumbos at anything larger than 1 1/4". Our large size has always included 1 1/8" to 1 1/4". This year we are separating out the 1 1/8" nuts and setting up a new size catagory of medium large. At this date we do not have enough of the larger sizes to open them up for general sales. Once the harvest is complete we may be able to add them back to the order page.
Pick your own chestnuts Saturday pick your own is FULL. I am sorry we cannot accommodate everyone who wanted that date.
The dates for pick your own chestnuts are October 11th and 17th & 18th, if there are still nuts on the ground. Our parking is extremely limited and the size of our orchard too. We ask that you request a specific day & time and tell us the number of cars in your party. Hopefully we can schedule and accommodate all who wish to pick.
The weather update Is weather ever "normal" in Kansas? Charlie thinks normal here means we are breaking some sort of record. This summer was no exception. It rained constantly from May through most of August. We have areas in the orchard that never dried out and as a result we have lost some of our oldest, most productive trees. They simply drowned. That is the bad news. The good news is the trees in the drier areas look great, full of large burrs. We trust that will translate to great nuts.
The summer project--a new cooler and packing shed!! Charlie really hates cutting down trees or adding pavement to our paradise but we know that timely refrigeration of harvested nuts is one of the most important steps to being able to deliver quality chestnuts to our customers. And we have outgrown our old cooler and our post harvest inspection and packing area is crazy small. So we are building a new cooler and shed. The footprint is as small as we can make it while ensuring it will take care of any remaining growth in our orchard. Chestnut refrigeration can be tricky. Ideal is 32°F with high humidity. Not a freezer, but much colder than a standard refrigerator. We drive our refrigeration experts a little crazy!
Contact us if you wish to receive an e-mail when chestnuts are available or when the pick your own harvest is ready.
Charlie started planting chestnut
trees in 1995 on old farm ground north of Lawrence, Kansas. Following
organic practices from the start, the orchard has been
certified organic annually since 1998.
Growing up around wild black walnut trees in eastern Kansas, and being inspired by the visionary economist J. Russell Smith, author of Tree Crops, a Permanent Agriculture, Charlie has always been driven to plant trees that produce food. Whether talking about erosion, water quality, dead zones or global warming, trees are part of the solution. "The more we learn about modern petrochemical-based agriculture,
the more convinced am I that tree crops offer a lifesaving, sustainable
path to the future."
Since cancer rates began to increase in the 1950s and '60's,
and pesticides and other synthetic farm chemicals showed up in ground
water and were implicated in the the poor health of farmers, it has
been Charlie's bedrock conviction that we would farm organically or not at
all. Chestnut Charlie's is certified organic by Midwest Organic Services Association (MOSA).
We are proud members of the Chestnut Growers of America