About Us

Our Culinary Chestnuts

What's New

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.

2 months ago

Route 9 Cooperative
We are currently selling American hazel (Corylus americana) seed! This is part of a pet project that has been going on for several years now: Restoration of strip mine lands with ecologically and agriculturally valuable tree crops. After some of our beautiful forests were lost to strip mines, we noticed a hardy population of American hazels growing on the mine spoil were few other trees would thrive. Not only that, but some had larger nuts than we would normally expect from American hazel. After many years of human and natural selection for large nut size and environmental resilience, we have seed nuts from our hazel collections available in 3 different size classes. Kilgore Super is the largest size, and we are still crossing and propagating these ourselves to move them more toward "culinary hazel" uses. Kilgore hazels are not quite as large as super, but still "improved" over wild types. Perron are our small but mighty wild-type hazels which are great for wildlife and native landscaping. All three of these collections have impressed us with their productivity in spite of environmental stresses. ...
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3 months ago

Route 9 Cooperative
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3 months ago

Route 9 Cooperative
Taking advantage of some unusually nice January weather to finish cleaning up from a chestnut coppicing experiment started last year. Now we get to explore any way we can think of to use Chinese chestnut wood! Starting with a pleasant evening bonfire. ...
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