Are you interested in growing chestnuts?

by | Jan 14, 2024 | Canopy, Events, Finances

On February 3, Canopy Farm Management and Savanna Institute will be hosting the workshop: “So You Want to Grow Chestnuts?”. We, Tom Wahl and Kathy Dice, will be presenting at the workshop along with other chestnut growers.

Chestnut trees are amazing. They have limited pest pressures, dependable high yields, strong markets, and easy maintenance. Mature chestnut trees can produce up to 5,000 pounds per acre and the nuts sell for $3.50 to $8 per pound (fresh, in-shell).

But chestnuts are very picky about where they grow. Selecting the right location and getting good genetics are keys to success.

Tickets to the workshop are $50 and include a catered lunch and snacks (including chestnuts!). At the workshop we will cover site selection, establishment, tree management, variety recommendations, harvesting, marketing, and financial resources.

We at Red Fern Farm have been longtime supporters of the Savanna Institute and have been teaching about growing trees in the Midwest since the early 90’s. Over the last few decades, we have established our farm in southeast Iowa. We grow high value tree crops such as pawpaw, American persimmons, Asian pears, and chestnuts. Chestnuts are our cash cow.

If you are interested in growing chestnuts we would be delighted if you could join us.

Workshop: So You Want to Grow Chestnuts?
Saturday, February 3, 2024

Canopy Chestnuts Workshop
Canopy Farm Management

Canopy is a perennial farm management and tree planting business established by the Savanna Institute and the Grantham Foundation in 2022. To scale up agroforestry in the Midwest and unlock the potential of natural climate and water solutions, we need more tree planting services for landowners. Canopy fills that need in the marketplace, plus Canopy’s nursery sells black currant, chestnut, heartnut, persimmon, pawpaw, and shrub willow increasing supply and affordability of plant material in the area. Plants purchased at support Savanna Institute’s nonprofit mission.

Impact Investment Reports

Catalyzing the chestnut industry

The US accounts for less than 1% of global chestnut production, yet imports $20 million worth of chestnuts annually. Increasing US annual per capita consumption from 0.1 pound to the European level of 1 pound would support an additional $300 million US industry. Beyond direct consumption, this crop’s latent potential lies in its ability to supplant corn as a staple source of carbohydrates. Additional benefits would accrue from the crop’s deep roots, which capture excess nutrients and reduce eutrophication of surface waters, and from the habitat that trees provide for birds, beneficial insects, and other wildlife.

The Savanna Institute works with stakeholders from across the value chain to build the market for Midwest chestnuts, help producers connect and aggregate, and identify bottlenecks that impact investing might help overcome.