Want to help with the harvest?? We are looking for help with our 2015 harvest. The harvest period is about mid September to mid October; a great time of year to spend a few hours working out doors. Check out the details and the application form at the "Harvest Help Wanted" tab.
The summer project--a new cooler and packing shed!! Charlie 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!
Chestnuts still in your refrigerator So, what about those nuts that you bought late last year and are stuck in the back of your frig? We intentionally kept bags of nuts in our home refrigerator and the small dorm frig in the basement. In plastic, even if vented, many had external mold, some were sprouting and a few were mushy. Kept in mesh, the nuts were dry and hard. But all in all there was still a lot of good food represented in those bags. This is what I did for everything except the sprouting and obviously mushy nuts: Wash off external mold. Peel using the boiling water method. Separate the dry hard (which will be reconstitued in soups, like dry beans) from the plump (which we use in stir fry or our oatmeal or ice cream) and freeze.
"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)
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