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How to Harvest & Store Chestnuts

By Yolanda Vanveen ; Updated September 21, 2017

To harvest and store chestnuts, shake the nuts out of the tree using a broom handle, dry them out naturally in the sun for a few days, and store them in a paper bag. Keep chestnuts for years, roasting them for a winter treat, with advice from a sustainable gardener in this free video on gardening.


Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen and in this segment we're going to talk about how to grow Chestnuts. When you think of Christmas you think of chestnuts. The chestnuts roasting over an open fire, and they're just a wonderful treat as a nut, and they're really easy to grow too. So when you have your chestnut tree you'll find that they have big burly, furry, type of cover, then in the middle of that is the actual chestnut. So when it's time to harvest your chestnuts you have to wait until they're ready and they'll have that cover that's a really prickly cover. And so you'll find that if you keep watching the covers, at a certain point a slit will develop and they look like they're going to start to dry out, and in nature what happens is they dry out and the nuts fall to the ground, and they start new plants. So when you're harvesting your chestnuts, you don't want to pull the actual cover out of the tree because that is what's going to produce fruit for the next year. So you want to actually get into the tree or take a stick or a broom or something with a long handle and actually, if you hit at them, just barely knocking into them, you wait to the point where the chestnuts just fall out. And if they're still grabbing on then they're not ripe yet. They should just fall right out from the covering. And a lot of times they'll be all over the ground as it is. So at that point you can just pick them up and then dry them out in the sun. That's the easiest way to do it. And to store them too, they'll find even the chestnut itself has a little bit of a cover on it from inside of the nut shell and the burly part. So you want to either just soak them off or just peel that little cover off and you'll find underneath that is your beautiful brown chestnut. So just dry it out any way that you can naturally and then just store it in a paper bag or in a paper box or if they're really dried out just right into a jar. And you can actually roast the chestnuts and then they'll fall apart, and the chestnut will come out of that. So you can either roast them whole or you, and then take the chestnut out of the whole and then you can store the chestnut part itself or you can store them all together as one. Either way! And they will store for years. They're a wonderful nut!


About the Author


Yolanda Vanveen is a third-generation flower grower and sustainable gardener who lives in Kalama, Wash. She is the owner of VanveenBulbs.com, selling flower bulbs on the Internet, at garden shows and at farmers markets in the Pacific Northwest for more than 20 years. Vanveen holds a degree in communications and international studies from Linfield College, and is a graduate of the WSU Master Gardener Program. Vanveen represented the United States at the 2006 Indigenous Bulb Society Symposium in South Africa and has been featured on the PBS show Smart Gardening, demonstrating which way is up with flower bulbs.