For the next couple of weeks you might find our chestnuts in (some) stores! The Community Mercantile and Checkers Grocery in Lawrence, Terra Health & Wellness in Independence, MO, People's Grocery in Manhatten, 888 International Store in Overland Park and all the Whole Foods stores in the KC region. These stores are great about keeping chestnuts in good storage in the cold area of produce. Some of the Whole Foods stores in the Rocky Mtn region also carry our chestnuts.
Chestnuts at your grocery Thanks to Mel Torme and "The Christmas Song", this is time of year is when many Americans think of chestnuts. Actually, chestnuts in the Northern Hemisphere are all harvested earlier in the fall and have been stored until they hit the grocery shelf. Chestnuts are best stored refrigerated at about 32° with high humidity, and even then there is some drying and perhaps some molding. Some farmers, many shippers and even more grocers do not store chestnuts correctly. They treat them the same as walnuts and pecans, when they should be treated more like pears. Add to the problem, most U.S. suppliers are sold out of this season's crop and your grocer is likely bringing in chestnuts from Italy or Asia.
So, if you are at the grocer and buying chestnuts, we highly recommend that before you leave the store, cut into a few of them with the produce staff. We've heard story after story of internal mold and/or completely dried up nuts in late season purchases. There is no reason why you should pay for bad quality.
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.
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