2013. Another year has gone by and we are in our 19th growing season! Early indications are that the drought is easing and we're looking forward to our best year ever. The nuts will be available in September. Sign up below if you want to be reminded when to order.
Chestnuts still in your frig So, what about those nuts that you bought early in the season and are stuck in the back of your refrigerator? Well, if they have external mold, simply wash them. If they are dry, you can boil them, peel them, then use them in recipes, just like a dry bean. If they are mushy, dark, smelly, toss them and resolve to use them timely next year. If they are still good, you can roast, peel and freeze for use anytime.
"April in Paris, chestnuts in blossom" Another (slightly) misleading song with a chestnut reference;made famous by Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, to name a few. Hmm, but we know chestnuts blossom in June. So, for those of you lucky enough to visit Paris (in April or any other time of year) look closely at those chestnut trees. They are what we refer to in the midwest as horse chestnuts. (here's a link to a good picture of this tree in Paris http://wwwjanetrobbinsaudio.blogspot.com/2011/04/april-in-paris.html). You don't roast those "chestnuts". But Parisians and most Europeans certainly know eatable chestnuts and you'll find those roasting around the city in the fall. (Not that we know that personally, since we are always busy picking up chestnuts in the fall)
What do you do in the spring? That is besides preparing taxes and deciding if this is the year we buy a good tractor? Well, we prune the trees. Chestnuts like to branch low and we constantly have to keep them in shape. And, after 19 years, we are having to thin the orchard. Charlie keeps records on every tree! and decides which ones are worthy of keeping or grafting and which ones are turned into firewood. You might imagine how hard it is to cut a tree that you planted, nurtured & mowed around for 19 years.
We also have to deal with the piles and piles of burrs left from the harvest and the scattered burrs which finally blew down from the trees over the winter. Leaving too many spiny burrs in the field makes our hand harvest that much harder.
We appreciate your encouragement and hope that you will support tree crops, the soil-conserving permanent agriculture.
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