We are pleased to introduce these rare certified organic chestnuts. These American chestnuts are grown on a small lush valley farm in the Pacific Northwest. The Bolle Family has been producing these pesticide-free, sustainability grown chestnuts from their 25-acre hilly orchard for more than a decade. Their chestnuts are slowly dried, hand-sorted and then peeled to order for assured freshness.
History of American Chestnuts
Source: The American Chestnut Foundation, historical archives
The American Indian relied on the Chestnut as a dietary staple. The native habitat of the Chestnut extended throughout the Northern Hemisphere and is found in North America, Southern Europe, and nowadays in China, Japan, and Korea. During the colonization of America, the native chestnut was the premier tree, providing wood for railroad ties, house framing, barns, fences and fuel. In addition, the chestnut was America's major source of tannin for tanning leather. Of course, the American Chestnut also provided highly palatable nuts for eating. The American chestnut was one of the most important trees in the eastern hardwood forests until the late nineteenth century, making up to 25 percent of the forest. Chestnut trees were once so numerous along the Eastern forests of the US that it is said a squirrel could jump from chestnut tree to chestnut tree all the way from Georgia to New York without ever touching the ground.
American Chestnuts served as a year-round source of food for humans and animals alike and the entire Eastern half of the US was once covered with wild chestnut trees. However, by 1950, the chestnut was essentially eliminated as a forest tree on the east coast of North America, having succumbed to chestnut blight of the late 1800's. Fortunately, this blight did not go past the Rocky Mountain range sparring the chestnut trees of California and the North Pacific. In the last several years, efforts have being taken in eastern states like Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Delaware to reintroduce a resistant variety of American Chestnut.