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October 15, 2014
Sweet Chestnut - Castanea sativa

Sweet Chestnut – Castanea sativa



The race is on.  It’s a rare year when the burrs on the trees open and let the nuts fall.  We have to work in conjunction with the Steller’s Jays and the squirrels to get the nuts.  They cut the burrs off, and we wait at the bottom of the trees.  Not a commercial venture for sure.  Just nutty and prickly.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. October 15, 2014 8:49 am

    They look gorgeous. I’m so jealous, but I understand we don’t have the right growing conditions here

  2. October 15, 2014 9:29 am

    Beautiful nuts. If there are chestnuts here in NJ I haven’t seen them. Do you roast them on an open fire? Sorry…I just couldn’t keep them pun from running from my brain through my fingers. 🙂

  3. October 15, 2014 9:48 am

    Treasure hunting! I love it!

  4. Bromus permalink
    October 15, 2014 11:48 am

    Tater nuts I call them; they are so starchy. I too am curious about your favorite preparation of chestnuts… Just roast and eat?

    • October 15, 2014 11:56 am

      I like them raw best, unless someone else cooks them for me…much easier to scrape off the inner skin with my pocketknife and then eat the nut than going to the trouble to cook them. I have to little patience to cook them, but gathering them, that’s a different story 🙂

  5. May britt permalink
    October 15, 2014 1:21 pm

    I remember these from my childhood in Copenhagen . The trees grew at my aunts house and we’d run down the street collecting them. She also had a plum orchard across for. Her house and a cherry tree to huge I could not see the top. I’d eat myself sick on plums and cherries.

  6. October 15, 2014 1:22 pm

    I got hooked to chestnuts the first time I ate them when I moved here. Very delicious. I tried preparing them myself but I cut my finger badly when trying to cut them before roasting. Needless to say, I gave up and now only by already roasted one.

  7. Ben Hewitt permalink
    October 15, 2014 4:17 pm

    “Nutty and prickly”… hey! I resemble that remark!

  8. October 15, 2014 5:56 pm

    Stellar’s Jays and squirrels – yep, driving me crazy ’round here – no chesnut trees on my place, but they got most of my walnuts and I’m betting my hazelnuts (better go check). And they’re not quiet about it either. My hubby roasts them when we can get them.

  9. October 15, 2014 7:46 pm

    Is that a Chinese chestnut or an American/Chinese hybrid?

    • October 15, 2014 8:30 pm

      TV, I’ve always thought it was Chinese, local lore and all, but it’s probably European. These are actually seedlings from the original tree by our house. Tasty whatever it is.

  10. October 16, 2014 10:51 am

    I heard a suggestion to make sure you are planting heavy-bearing genetics by always planting chestnuts with a dent on both sides. I think that was part of Phil Rutter’s first interview for Permaculture Voices. I have found a few burrs with only two nuts in them.

    Good idea opening them up with your boots.

  11. October 16, 2014 1:03 pm

    How wonderful! I’ve never seen an edible chestnut tree around here (bellingham, WA) all we have is horse chestnuts – which is also a lovely tree and has it’s uses.

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