Chestnuts & Hickory-Pecans to eat!
If you're already familiar with our nuts and just want to place your order, go straight to the order page.
For 2015 - sorry, but we will have NO hazelnuts available to eat; due to many cicumstances, we were only able to harvest nuts for growing this year.
About our nuts
Our Badgersett CEO, Philip Rutter, was also the Founding President of The American Chestnut Foundation and a Past President of the Northern Nut Growers Association. So, what we're saying is: You'll look a long time before finding folks who know more about nuts! Beware of information overload, however, as we're quite enthusiastic about it all.
Badgersett sells Chestnuts, Hickory-Pecans, and Hazelnuts. The major point to Woody Agriculture is that it is possible to produce agricultural quantities of staple foods from our highly domesticated woody plants. The nuts we sell are the "proof of the pudding".
And, yes, these nut crops do qualify as "staples". All were major parts of the human diet for many peoples; quite definitely staples—before "agriculture" was invented. And they certainly can be again. History tells us that flatbread made from Chestnuts is older than wheat, and archaeological digs in Europe, China, and North America regularly turn up lots of hazelnut shells; and the First Nations peoples had dozens of ways they used hickories and pecans.
Nutritionally, Chestnuts resemble grains: 8-20% protein, 2-5% oil, 2-4% minerals, and the rest mostly complex carbohydrates, though sugars can reach over 15% in some cases. Hazels, like most nuts, are very high in oil—60-70%, of which 70% is monounsaturated, the most heart healthy kind—, 10-20% protein, 12-18%, minerals 2-4%. If you're checking the numbers, the rest is water, of course; these are numbers for very dry samples, the way most foods are analyzed. The protein quality is very high: Chestnut protein is nutritionally complementary to both beans and maize.
Because these nuts are from our research fields, they are often quite variable in size and taste—that's a good thing! Eating them becomes a bit of an adventure. Instead of each nut being exactly the same, as other commercial nuts are, nuts from Badgersett will show you what the real potential for flavor is. Most will of course be "middling" in their flavor, but you will find many with flavor that seems "off the charts"—intense, delicious, and sometimes even startling. You can't find that in a bag from the grocery store.
While our nuts are raised to standards that parallel most of the requirements for Organic certification, we truly believe our own standards are Better! In fact, most organic producers still spray both insecticides and fungicides...poisons. This is allowed, so long as the poisons are "natural". Unfortunately, a poison is a poison, and very often organic poisons are responsible for killing many non-target creatures.
We spray NO POISONS, ever. We rely on Diversity for pest management—both genetic diversity in the nut plants and extremely high species diversity in the fields. Since we never spray toxins of any kind, if you quietly look through the leaves of one of our plants you will quickly find...lots and lots of predatory insects. "Bug sprays" will usually kill all bugs, including the beneficial predators like native ladybugs, lacewings, and praying mantises. In the complex growing fields we provide, there is permanent habitat for these important species of insects, as well as birds, many of which nest unmolested in our fields; mice (which actually eat a LOT of insects); shrews; even frogs and toads, which are instantly killed by any sprays because of their moist skins. And—it works. Though it does take some attention and care, just like any kind of responsible pest management. It also means there will be a few (very few) bug-chewed nuts, from time to time—a small price to pay, in our opinion, and remember, you're supposed to be paying attention to what you eat, anyway!
Another point where we diverge from organic practice is fertilizer; we do fertilize. The reason organic growers don't use mineral fertilizer is that it CAN act as a toxin when applied to naked soil, too much, and at the wrong time. In our Woody Agriculture fields, however, the soils are never plowed after establishment, and there is always complex grass cover between rows and the massive root systems of the nut plants themselves. It's a very different kind of field, and our decades of research prove that NONE of our fertilizer ever escapes into the groundwater, or "burns" the crops, or kills the earthworms. The entire system is highly absorbent and resilient. We do need to fertilize—because our best plants have been bred and selected to be so productive, they will severely hurt themselves bearing crops much heavier than wild plants do, unless we provide the extra nutrition they need.
We harvest our hazelnuts and chestnuts in the late summer and early fall, and they sell out very soon thereafter. Please place your orders early to guarantee that you'll be eating nuts for the holidays.
Go to the hazelnut & chestnut order page.
For wholesale pricing and sales, call us at (507) 743-8570 and leave a clear message stating how and when to call you back.
Lots more info—and recipes!