Chestnuts | Important in Appalachian History

IMG_3452-b IMG_3453 IMG_3455This past week I had an opportunity to pick some chestnuts with Darren Farquar at his Right By Nature Farm.   I had no idea what I was in for, but I was game.

When I first started, I remember wishing that I had worn my leather work gloves. The outer shell of that beautifully smooth nut is a virtual fortress of spines.

I learned that you wait until the nuts fall to the ground.  And on the ground, the nuts will continue grow to the point where the spiny outer shell pops open and the nuts simply fall out.  We found all these loose nuts under the tree.

Which leads me to the question, “Have you ever roasted chestnuts?” I never had until Jim introduced me to it early in our marriage. His parents had done it when he was a child. They also boiled the chestnuts, as an alternative.

Below is a video that gives you some tips on how to roast chestnuts.


The American Chestnut in Southern Appalachia: An Oral History

In the course of researching this topic, I learned that chestnuts played a large part in the history of southern Appalachia.  Enjoy these three videos of oral history on the subject.

Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire…

I know it is only October and “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” is something you usually associate with winter and cozy fires, but I couldn’t help but think of that famous song, written by Mel Torme, officially called The Christmas Song.  Enjoy this version sung by Nat King Cole.

Life is an Adventure