I am just about to purchase a old chest nut farm it has 26 producing trees scattered over 12 acres. My dream is to turn it into a eco friendly clamping retreat with a few acres of food and permaculture based lifestyle for people to come and enjoy , learn and hopefully make them think a little more.
And suggestions on what to do with chestnuts? I even considered running pigs underneath routes to get the beautiful buttery flavour through them....
I'm sure hogs and maybe turkey's would do well on them. They might have more value as people food though. If there are other chestnut farms in the area, you might find a grower who will harvest them on shares. They do that with pecans here. No chestnuts here except the tiny trees in my yard.
Thank you for the recipes that's most appreciated.
Thank you as well for the suggestion of selling to another farmer.
The problem with chestnuts is the literal painful harvesting process is labour intensive and the market has dropped considerably in Australia. I am exploring flour options and dukka and will Perdue these further.
The beauty of running pigs is that the hardwork will be done by the pigs(I think) and I will be left with husks.... These aredry and brittle spiky things which I believe will take some time to break down.. I was thinking of investing in a heavy duty chipper to chew these up for mulching. Thoughts? And if I slash the leaves once there fallen is this a better start for mulch?
Love the article thank you....
So I think until I find a viable market for chestnuts I will run pigs to eat the nuts the at the end of the season run the slasher over the whole lot chopping the nuts to help them mulch easier into the ground...
what you can do with chestnuts is a lot. at our farm, we've roasted them for folks, ground them into flour and made cookies, cakes, and breads. We've also dehydrated them whole and added to soups. Of course, you can let animals eat them, but they are way too valuable to me to do that with. I suggest experimenting with as many ways to prepare chestnuts as you can. There is a tremendous market for gluten free foods right now. The flour is pretty easy to make, I use a regular corn grinder. I shell them after drying them by crushing them in a dave-bilt nutcracker.
I don't find the harvest to be painful, I either stomp on the burs with boots or pick the nuts out wearing leather gloves. I can harvest about 20 lbs/hr by hand, I find it to be well worth the time.
Twisted Tree Farm and Nursery