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Our Culinary Chestnuts
Route 9 Cooperative was formed in 2010 by the owners of five chestnut orchards in eastern Ohio, located on land once occupied by native American chestnut trees. Our member chestnut orchards cover over 100 acres and have been supplying their customers with fresh culinary chestnuts for many years. The need for a larger packing facility and unified marketing led to creation of the co-op. Prior to the co-op, Greg Miller had produced and sold chestnuts and chestnut trees under his farm, Empire Chestnut Company. The co-op now markets the chestnuts and trees grown by Empire Chestnut Company. Greg Miller serves as president of Route 9 Cooperative and remains an active chestnut farmer. See our more detailed story under history.
Over the years, we have grown several species of chestnuts and their interspecific hybrids. We found that the Chinese chestnut (Castanea mollissima) is the best in terms of its sweet flavor, ease of peeling, and adaptation to our growing conditions. We continually plant new trees and remove inferior trees. In the process, we evaluate new germplasm and constantly improve the genetic quality of the chestnuts and nursery stock that we sell.
We sell three sizes of chestnuts: small (60-75 per lb; good for snacking), medium (48-53 per lb; good for roasting) and large (34-39 per lb; good for cooking). All sizes have the same quality and flavor. They are carefully cleaned and graded to ensure more than 95% sound chestnuts at shipping time. Fresh chestnuts are available only during October and November.
When you receive your chestnuts be sure to refrigerate them right away. Otherwise, they can become moldy. Be sure to read our pages on storage and preparation of chestnuts.