Monday, November 23, 2015

Sorry - Can't Ship Chestnuts For Thanksgiving-

I'm working on getting this news out to all who need it- Badgersett will NOT be shipping orders of chestnuts in time for Thanksgiving; something that has not happened before.

We WILL be shipping in time for Christmas.  The story ends well, so hang in there; and keep these in mind!

Our chestnut harvest this year was the largest we've had for years; thanks to our (now permanent) incorporation of both sheep and horses into our chestnut production.

With the grass mowed, and brush cleared- the ground prepared by grazing made it possible to harvest the crop - not spend hours searching for nuts in meadows and thickets. It works; and after 5 years of experimentation with exactly how, we now know this is the direction we will stick with.

(We refuse to use either herbicides or tillage in our woody crops; a chestnut planting with naked soil between the rows seems to us to be no improvement on "corn and beans", from any standpoint.)

So we ended chestnut harvest in October, with some thousands of pounds precisely stored away in our root cellar; using the special techniques we've developed over decades that result in "the best chestnuts in North America."

That was 2003, however (we used big mowing machines for grass; and a lot of time and diesel fuel).  And here in 2015 we've run head on into a changed climate.

We can no longer cool our root cellar by opening it to the frosty night air.  This past October was the warmest on record for the entire world; and here it has meant the cellar has averaged nearly 15°F warmer than the averages from 1990 to 2000, when we were "establishing practices."  An average temperature over 50°F does not allow chestnuts to develop either the sweetness or the depth of flavor we demand, and that our old customers come back to us for.

The nuts are simply not ready to ship - if you ate them now, you would never understand what a truly good chestnut is like.  So we will not ship them.

But!! Just in the past week, we've had a turn in the weather so that the cellared nuts are now, finally, making progress towards being worth eating; we now know they will become wonderful in time for your Holiday meals; and we'll start shipping as soon as we can.