Chestnuts roasting on an open microwave

Chestnuts from under the tree

Chestnuts from under the tree

September 23 – Our chestnuts continue to fall from the tree and be collected by yours truly whenever I happen to be out there. They are beautiful, large nuts, especially the ones with the large burrs and up to three nuts per burr. They have suddenly started to ripen and the burrs were bursting open and dropping the nuts into the grass. The nuts on this tree are large, while the ones on the other tree are much smaller and are only one per burr. Lots more burrs on that tree, but many of them are empty and I have no idea why this is. It’s always been this way, though.

Oddly, both trees have a second bloom period, too late, really, to permit the second batch of nuts to ripen. There are still a lot of the catkins on the trees, right among the ripening burrs, and a lot of much younger burrs that probably will never have nuts. Will need to fix some of the chestnuts for breakfast. You first notch the shells so they won’t burst in the microwave, then put them in a bowl of water and microwave for about four minutes. Take them out, peel the nuts and enjoy! I just wish they would last for a while without going moldy. Seems like chestnuts don’t keep well for very long, so if they can’t be used quite promptly, freeze them.

I have been trying to gather them up before the squirrels could find them, but it appears that they can’t be bothered. Perhaps it’s because of the prickly burrs they come in. We have a squirrel that likes to run around out front by the big Siberian elm, and we can’t figure out just what chunky items it carries around in its mouth, or why it carries them. Sometimes it seems to be burying them, other times it just runs around and disappears. – DALE

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