Chestnuts Picking (with your feet)

On the way to Hunua Falls we saw a Chestnut Farm.

“Pick your own chestnut for $3 per kg.”

We had never tried that before.  Never even seen a chestnut tree.  Furthermore we already bought a kg for $4 from the cafe where we got our takeaway coffee and pies.

That sounded fun so we made it a point to stop by on our way back.

We now know that chestnut trees are deciduous trees from the same family as oaks and beeches.  The fruit is contained in a spiny (very sharp) cupule 5–11 cm in diameter, also called “bur” or “burr“.  The burrs are often paired or clustered on the branch and contain several nuts. 

We were surprised to see the car park chockablock with cars and so many pickers, adults, families and children on an Easter Sunday.  Many came prepared with gloves and tongs.

Chestnuts picking here we come !

We were told to pick the chestnuts that have fallen on the ground and not from the trees. We picked up the buckets but with no tools other than our bare hands (and feet in walking shoes).  Since they were so prickly, we started with lots of  “ouch”.  Since our hands won’t do the work, we used our feet fully protected by our shoes, squeezed the chestnuts out from their prickly cupules.

What a pleasant experience.  We have 3 kgs of chestnuts so I am going to look up recipes on how to cook and store them as it will take us a long time probably to finish 3 kgs.

Chestnuts for Easter, anyone?