The chestnut harvest is underway. It started with 30+C days which was hard on the hands as the burrs were dry and easily penetrated the leather gloves. But now the Autumn rains have arrived the burrs open easily. The quality this year is excellent. They seem to benefit from the doubling of the irrigation to try and counter the drought and lack of subsoil moisture.
Each morning we harvest, then grade the nuts. Now that the rains have come this is an especially good experience, the smell of damp soil and the explosion of fungus popping up everywhere. It would be much better if they where the edible types.
Once the chestnuts are picked and graded they are stored in the cold room. The coldroom maturation starts the process of the starches converting to sugars. Fresh chestnuts are sold direct to the public from our farm shop. The shop is opened daily.We can pick and complete other chores because we have a radio controlled pager to inform us that you need serving. Once the cooler weather arrives the chestnut roasting season begins in the Stirling village, on Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons from Saturday 1st May and lasts until we have sold all our nuts- usually late June-early July.