Wiped out by blight in the early 20th century, resistant hybrids of the American chestnut tree are making a comeback. Their rapid growth and productivity make them an excellent addition to any homestead.
Chestnuts are unique among nuts in that their nutmeat is high in carbohydrates rather than oil. The nuts are somewhat bland at harvest, but after a few days in the refrigerator, some of the starches change to flavorful sugars.
Prickly, formidable burrs protect chestnuts from hungry squirrels, but they can also make harvesting chestnuts a thorny task.
Chinese chestnut trees need little to no pruning to achieve their picturesque form.
A chestnut orchard at Delmarvelous Farms in Townsend, DE. Whether you're growing American chestnut trees or a related species, give each tree about 40 feet of space in all directions.
PHOTO: RONALD SALMON
The unique, sweet flavor of roasted chestnuts is just one of the delights you can look forward to following each fall’s bumper crop of chestnuts.