The holiday season is upon us. Cathy Isom has some tips about how to grow a sweet, nutty treat that’s a holiday favorite. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
Chestnuts have a deep, complex flavor, especially if left in the fridge for a couple of days. They taste something like a nutty sweet potato, and the meaty interior is incredibly versatile. You can turn it into a creamy spread or chop it into pasta. They’re incredible mixed into stuffing and, of course, chestnuts are delicious peeled and eaten freshly roasted.
There are many cultivars out there, so check with your local supplier for which one grows best in your area and climate. Some of the chestnut tree varieties include: Dunstan Hybrid, Eaton, Colossal, Mossberg, Qing, (pronounced ching), and Okie.
Chestnuts grow from zones 4-9. If you live in a zone that has a minimum of 100 frost-free days, have a go at growing them. Chestnut trees require a minimum of 6 hours of full sunshine a day, but 8 hours is even better. Plant in spring when temperatures are beginning to rise and the ground is soft and not too dry.
Chestnuts grow well with strawberries, garlic, peanuts, clover, and oats. Don’t plant chestnuts with oak trees.
Eat them plain, in deserts, make candy or even give chestnut flour a go. They’re a versatile nut and can be used in a lot of ways.
I’m Cathy Isom…