Harvest typically starts mid to end of September, lasting about two to three weeks and nuts are available from then through the end of the year (depending on availability).
We refrigerate our chestnuts at 32° F from the day of harvest to the day of shipment. This provides for fresh, delicious nuts that will last till Christmas (if you keep them in your refrigerator from day of receipt).
You will receive the chestnuts in a breathable (and reusable) cotton bag. This bagful of nuts should immediately go into your refrigerator’s crisper until you are ready to prepare them.
With each order we provide instructions for our favorite way to prepare, namely roasting. But many people prefer boiling and even microwaving them. We have instructions for all these methods posted in the article section of our website.
We are still a young orchard, but as harvest yields increase, we may add products like flour, gift baskets and other processed chestnut goodies. Let us know what you would like!
As USA Today stated (on 12/16/20), “Chestnuts were synonymous with Christmas in the United States even before the popular carol (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) hit airwaves. In fact, they were one of the most popular ingredients in American dishes throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, and for good reason: the Eastern seaboard was covered in chestnut trees.” So chestnuts, prior to the great blight, were a big part of American holiday tradition.
Studies show that our chestnuts are at their sweetest after about 72 hours of being exposed to room temperatures, starting with their falling from the tree. We harvest, rinse and refrigerate continually each day, so up to 12 hours of this 72 hour timeframe can be consumed during harvest. We then refrigerate them at 32° F until shipment (which essentially stops this ‘sweetness clock’). For our wholesale customers (to whom we deliver product) we can provide the number of hours left till maximum sweetness. For our retail customers which we ship to, the nuts will be at maximum sweetness upon arrival at your home. For those picking up product there is approximately 60 hours left on that sweetness clock.
Yes, chestnuts are gluten free and of course GMO-free as well.
We are herbicide and pesticide-free except for a springtime pesticide spraying of our young tree’s trunks (to combat the ambrosia beetle which burrows into the trunk killing them). Once a tree develops a good bark however, no more spraying is done. When our youngest trees are safe from this pest, we will be pursuing Certified Organic status.
We hand harvest, meaning we are on the slopes (which are steep, 20° – 35°slope) which is the natural environment of the American Chestnut tree. We use buckets, picking up the nuts as they fall. This means our nuts are not bruised by mechanical harvesting.
We are a small orchard and concentrate on delivering quality rather than quantity. Because of this, we cater to our wholesale customers (high end hotels, restaurants in our vicinity) as well as our faithful collection of discerning retail customers.