Chestnut harvest gets in full swing
CHESTNUT growers are racing towards the end of the bumper harvest spurned on by last year’s wet spring.
They say the early season rain produced an abundant crop but dry conditions in late summer and autumn limited the nut size.
Wandiligong’s Deanne and Rohan Whelan were last Friday only just into what is expected to be the last month of the harvest.
They have 200 trees of differing varieties with some of the late harvest nuts yet to fall.
“The trees reacted to that wet start with a big crop and while the nut size might be down the nuts themselves are looking really good,” Mrs Whelan said.
“The first nuts didn’t start falling here in Wandi until March 10 which is much later than recent years and we have some varieties that are yet to start, so we’ll be going through until midMay.
“With the wet weather we need to move more quickly to get them off the ground – we’re only a small grower so it’s pretty much Rohan and me doing all the work.”
Mrs Whelan said the next major milestone was this weekend’s Wandligong Nut Festival.
“We’ll be there as part of Chestnuts Australia – along with other growers, talking to people, roasting chestnuts and selling fresh nuts just off the tree.”