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Chestnuts, once a holiday tradition, are putting down new roots in the Midwest WRITTeN by eRIC ReUTeR

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PhoToGRAPhy by JACKlyN MeyeR

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ven on a scorching June day, it’s hard to walk through a chestnut orchard and not find yourself quietly humming the opening lyrics to Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song.” Strolling through neat rows of chestnut trees on a ridge overlooking the Missouri River Valley, I sought shelter beneath branches lush with jagged leaves and fragrant pollen. The whirr of insects played counterpoint to the song in my head, as crowds of chestnut growers discussed their trade. The annual Chestnut Growers of America (CGA) conference was touring a research orchard at the University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry (UMCA) that day, and I was there to learn about the historic crop. These days, few Americans have ever stood next to a chestnut tree, yet chestnuts are ingrained in our culture. We associate them with Thanksgiving stuffing and Christmas carols and refer to enduring adages as “that old chestnut.” Despite our familiarity with chestnuts, it’s hard to find them in grocery stores in the U.S. today – but that’s slowly changing. UMCA is a leader among the American scientists and farmers dedicated to reintroducing chestnuts to our landscapes and larders.

Inspired Local Food Culture

nov e mbe r 2 016

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Profile for Feast Magazine

November 2016 Feast Magazine  

In this issue, you’ll find recipes to help you execute a flawless Thanksgiving, but regardless of how perfect (or imperfect) the food might...

November 2016 Feast Magazine  

In this issue, you’ll find recipes to help you execute a flawless Thanksgiving, but regardless of how perfect (or imperfect) the food might...

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