October 4, 2023
Notes from the orchard. We regret that Chestnut Charlie's will not be opening its internet mail-order chestnut store this year due to our insufficient crop, which we estimate will be about one-third of our hoped-for normal chestnut crop.
Weather conditions have been unusually brutal for all trees in our area over the past two years. This has resulted in less flowering and lower production in the chestnut orchard. The nuts which we do have are good quality, disease and weevil-free as usual. We just do not have enough to sell on-line.
We have sufficient supply for and have agreements to sell our organic chestnuts through Kansas City area grocery stores, namely: Whole Foods Markets and 888 International Store; and in Lawrence: Checkers, and The Merc.
We will not have an open on-farm market; nor open for pick-your-own, at the farm this year.
We apologize to our customers, especially those who have come to rely on us over the years for their seasonal treat of fresh chestnuts. Chestnut Charlie has been selling organic chestnuts for 24 years, through both good years and lean years, and remains a vigorous leader, model, and advocate for chestnut farming in the American Midwest. We will continue as long as we are able.
Please, come see us next year at this time.
OTHER NEWS: In July we attended a joint meeting of Chestnut Growers of America and the Northern Nut Growers Association. These groups are reporting on the renewed interest in growing chestnuts as an alternative to conventional and chemically dependent annual crops. Some projects are ambitious and are planting trees on significantly large acreages. All growers are uniformly optimistic about growth in chestnuts.
Our History: Charlie started planting chestnut trees on the 20-acre field in 1995, following organic practices from the beginning. Chestnut Charlie’s has been certified organic since 1998. Being organic is Charlie’s uncompromising condition to farming—that he contribute no synthetic chemicals to the environment. The tree project is surrounded by conventional corn/soybean farms so we planted and maintain a buffer/shelterbelt of mixed tree species around the perimeter boundary. Our tree project now has approximately 1200 nut trees under organic culture within the protective buffer.Our Tree Project