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Welcome to the 2017 harvest season! Our orchard has received a LOT of rain this summer so the chestnuts should be nice and fat. It is too early to tell for certain, but we are likely to begin picking around mid-September and will begin shipping at the end of the month. We will open the order page later in September.
We will have pick-your-own days sometime in October after we fill our contract orders. Due to the popularity for pick-your-own, we have to ask that you sign up to reserve a time. If you fill out the feedback form below, we will let you know the days and times once they are available.
A Message from Charlie
Thank you for making our chestnut project a success. Twenty-two years ago, when we started planting at our Lawrence, Kansas, 20 acres, we possessed only the barest knowledge and no experience of chestnut culture. We trusted that growing trees was a righteous labor and chestnuts were a healthy, sustainable food crop that could be grown organically. It was more work than we had imagined and there have been some bumps along the way. But the enthusiastic customer response to our organic chestnuts, both locally and around the country, is reaffirming. Many people miss having good-quality fresh chestnuts and are delighted to find our farm. We have received many spontaneous expressions of praise and gratitude, which is our best reward. Thank you so much!
In J. Russell Smith's Tree Crops, a Permanent Agriculture, first published in 1929, chestnuts were the prime example of a "soil-saving tree-crops type of agriculture." Since then we have also learned that trees reduce global warming by capturing and sequestering CO2. This triple benefit: soil conservation, environmental healing, and food production, motivates our continuing efforts to improve our chestnut orchard. And we are also proud that our orchard has provided supplemental employment for our local harvesters, without whom we could not bring our chestnuts to you.
Although our production was a bit less this year after last-year’s bumper crop, we expect the overall trend of increasing harvests to resume next year and for years to come. Demand is growing for American-grown chestnuts. A big thanks to our customers for making it possible to continue this work. We hope to hear from you in 2017.
Have a wonderful winter!
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