Homegrown in Rockport, Illinois
OUR FAMILY IS NUTS
Our chestnuts are grown on our family farm in Pike County, Illinois.
We currently have 30 acres of chestnut trees in production high on the bluffs above the beautiful Mississippi River Valley. Our trees are planted and tended by hand, and thrive on the lush hillsides.
There is no “middleman” involved in our chestnut production. When you order from Chestnut Ridge of Pike County, you are ordering from us, the grower.
Many chestnut trees sold in the U.S. are not blight resistant! Blight resistance is extremely important, even in areas that currently do not have blight. Accidental outbreak can destroy susceptible trees.
That is why we only farm DUNSTAN CHESTNUTS
There has not been a single reported instance of Dunstan Chestnuts dying of blight infection in over 30 years. This includes research and breeding programs as well as the many other locations where the Dunstan have been grown throughout the nation.
Dunstan have excellent survival, growth and nut production in a variety of climates, from Zones 5 to 9. They produce heavy yearly crops of large and sweet nuts, better tasting than European, Colossal or Chinese chestnuts.
- SHIPPING -
We would love to be able to presell our chestnuts but unfortunately we cannot. Mother Nature decides how many chestnuts will grow on our trees!
Chestnuts are perishable and we recommend to eat them at their peak, within a week of arrival. The bottom crisper of your refrigerator is the perfect place. We recommend to keep them inside a brown paper bag at medium humidity level. Check them regularly to ensure temperature settings are optimal based on the type of refrigeration used.
- PLANTING -
YES! Our chestnuts are NOT heat treated, ergo are fully viable. If your goal is to raise a chestnut orchard, we recommend our best quality Chestnuts Seeds for planting.
Upon arrival, your chestnut seeds should be stored in the refrigerator bottom crisper at a temperature between 34°F to 38°F. Chestnut seeds require a period of cold stratification to sprout. We recommend beginning stratification at the end of October (or upon arrival if on a later month). Instructions on how to stratify, on our “Stratification Page”.
- COOKING -
You certainly may!!! Remove the outside shell, remove the furry skin and pop them in your mouth. Even thought they will taste delicious, the flavor and smell of a roasted chestnut is unbeatable & ten times better.
Chestnuts have a leathery shell which must be removed before eating. You may boil, microwave and baked chestnuts, however we prefer to roast them on open fire or over the stove on a cast iron skillet. The shell has to be scored before roasting to make them easy to peel and prevent them to explode during cooking. We DO NOT suggest hammers, chainsaws or food processor. If a squirrel can do it, so can you!
If you don’t know the answer play ” The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole. Everything tastes better on an open fire. However you can use two different methods.
⒈ Score the Chestnuts and place them on your favorite sheet pan and roast them in the oven at 350º F. Depending on the size it could take from 10 to 20 minutes. Test if they are ready by opening one up. If the furry skin still sticks to the nut, roast them longer.
⒉ Score and place the chestnuts in a Carbon Steel Chestnut Pan. Cook them at low heat over the stove or open fire until the shell comes open. Test if they are ready by opening one up. If the furry skin still sticks to the nut, roast them longer. DO NOT leave them unsupervised as the open flames going trough the holes at the bottom of the pan could seriously burn your chestnuts.