Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chestnut Picking

---------------the following pictures are a compilation of different visits------------------

So... for those of you who don't know, I'm Korean.
I was born here, and probably 100% american... but there are innate animal insticts that come out on occasion.   One of these insticts are finding and eating chestnuts.

As a child, I remember my parents would boil chestnuts.  Every fall, we'd have some chestnuts in the house, and for some reason, as I got older, I'd notice more and more bad ones in the pot. There were ones you cracked open to find they're fuzzy and blue.  BLEAUGH!
Or you find worms in them DOUBLE BLEAUGH! A few years ago I said, "there's GOTTA BE a better way!"  and I googled chestnut farms.   The result was a newfound knowledge in the case I ever wanted to raise my own chestnuts, and the Adkin farm in South Haven, MI.  Linda and Roy Adkin have been growing their own chestnuts, and chestnuts for the University of Michigan for many many years. 
(Pepino at Adkin Farm.)

I called him up out of the blue, and he seemed surprised.  I told him I googled him up on the internet...
He had been quoted in an article by the Univeristy of Michigan on Chestnut production.
I asked if I could go to his farm to pick chestnuts. He said OK.
So fast forward... this year is the fourth year or so that we have been going to his farm for Chestnuts.
I'd love to keep it a secret, but there's plenty of nuts.   In fact every year, I refer people there... and as a retired couple, who doesn't like to make some side money!?

The first thing I was surprised to find were, the burrs are like sea urchins. And they REALLY HURT!
Years of trial and error goes to show the correct technique is to stomp on the burrs and then pick up the nuts from the ground.   Or one could just look on the ground and pickup the nuts that are littered everywhere. It's like children picking up candy from a pinata.  Except the burrs.

The first year we got 8 pounds... 
This year we got 30+ pounds for ourselves,
and 75 pounds in CSA orders. Wooooo wee!!!

For the following weeks, we'll be eating nuts raw, baked, broiled, or microwaved.
The kids are addicted already. It's the korean Genes....

Roy was nice enough to give me a few seedlings which I've planted at my parents house (and the deer ate them)... and I have a few planted at my home... so we'll see what happens in the next few years :)

If you go after reading it on this blog, make sure to let him know that Holly sent you there
They'll get a kick out of it!!

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