We grow Colossal Chestnuts, a premium varietal prized for exceptional flavor and size. Chestnuts have been described as the ultimate, healthy gourmet food. Low in Fat-High in Fiber-Gluten Free. Sweet, fresh chestnuts will be available for sampling and purchase. For those new to the chestnut experience, you will have an opportunity to learn about how to cook chestnuts and to see our farm in full harvest.
The work on our farm is never done. The art of farming consists of prioritizing the work load everyday. Big thanks to my son-in-law, Flavio Alfaro who manages the Harrison's California Chestnut farm and keeps us focused on what needs to be done daily, weekly and seasonally.
My inspiration comes from my family and my vision of a sustainable, successful chestnut farm. As a family, we are a working unit dependent on each other, mother nature, the land, and the community. I also believe the chestnuts trees love me as much as I love them.
Farming is a way of life. I feel fortunate that our family farm allows two generations a home and a lively hood. We are connected to the larger chestnut farming community which gives us the opportunity to maximize resources and get our chestnuts to market year after year.
Fun is a part of farming that happens when you least expect it. I enjoy seeing the cats stretch out on lazy hot day and watching owls glide through the trees. It helps if you do not mind getting a bit dirty because there are dusty dirty days with the harvest.
2017 will be our third year of participating in the Sierra Oro Farm Trail.
When we joined the Farm Trail in 2015, it gave us an opportunity to introduce chestnuts as a Butte County agricultural crop.
The most frequent statement from visitors has been, “I did not know chestnuts were grown in Butte County”. Visitors come to our farm just to see a chestnut orchard and try chestnuts. For those guests, it is their first experience enjoying the sweet, savory taste of chestnut soup or roasted chestnuts. For others chestnuts are a favorite culinary delight enjoyed year after year. It is the curiosity and excitement of our guests that inspires our enthusiasm to answer questions and to provide the best chestnut farm experience we can.
In addition to seeing and tasting chestnuts, visitors are also given a brief overview of the farm activities such as pruning, sweeping, harvesting, removing husks and sorting. We display the harvesting and de-husking equipment for guest to see which stimulates questions and discussions about the trials and tribulations of farming. During the chestnut cooking demonstration, we explain the nutritional advantages of the low fat, high fiber gourmet chestnut plus we give ideas about how to incorporate chestnuts into various everyday meals.
Increased marketing focus to bring in visitors from other counties to see and enjoy Butte County.
When my husband and I bought the chestnut farm in 2004, a local Gridley farmer, Doug Wilson, guided us through many of the pit falls for new farms. He probably answered more than 100 questions to get our farm on track. We are grateful for their continued support of Luke Wilson and team. Cooperation between chestnut farms in Butte County has been the cornerstone for the crop's success to date.