Tinkerland Farm is a family farm located across the road from Bryant Ln on Rt 151 in Nelson County, Virginia. It is named after the late Tinker Bryant(Frank George Jr.) who lived on Bryant Ln and worked as the rural letter carrier out of the Roseland postoffice for many years. He is survived by two of his daughters, Rebecca Moyer who owns A Bryant Family Farm on Bryant Lane, and Sarah Loken who owns Tinkerland Farm on the East side of Rt.151 including a 10 acre chestnut orchard. The chestnut harvest at Tinkerland Farm generally starts slowly with the first nuts beginning to fall mid-September before coming into full swing by the 1st of October, and lasting until the 3rd week in October. During this time, we sell the chestnuts, along with potentially some other farm products, by the gate to the orchard and Rt 151. We also welcome people to come walk around the orchard and pick up nuts themselves for a discount. You can find more info for hours, prices and directions in the toolbar above. Continue reading below to learn more about the orchard.
We began planting the chestnut orchard in the spring of 2012 with 225 trees in a 10 acre field formerly occupied by cows. Despite losing some trees in a fire in 2014, by the summer of 2015 we had expanded to 450+ trees planted. In 2021 we harvested 700 lbs of nuts(with many left unpicked and eaten by animals). In 2022 we harvested more than 1000 lbs of nuts, but were overwhelmed with picking them all up, so this summer we cut down approximately 90 trees in an attempt to improve the average nut quality, and make the harvest more manageable. This summer we also experimented with allowing the grass to grow tall, providing food all summer for bees and butterflies, though as of September 1st the grass has been cut, and we are now keeping it short throughout the remainder of this year's harvest.
The variety of chestnut planted at Tinkerland Farm is called a Dunstan Hybrid Chestnut, which is a cross between the American(Castanea dentata) Chestnut and the Chinese(Castanea mollissima) Chestnut. Dunstan Chestnuts are the primary variety of chestnut cultivated in America, due to their resistance to The Chestnut Blight(Cryphonectria parasitica) which wiped out the American Chestnut in the beginning of the 20th century. However, because they are a hybrid there is noticeable variability between the nuts of each tree, and each tree will produce nuts of different sizes. Consequently all our harvested nuts are graded, and small nuts thrown out, before further processing for our pre-picked offering.
We are currently only selling in person this year, and offer both a pick-your-own option as well as pre-picked nuts by the pound. Our chestnuts are unsprayed so we heat-treat the harvested refrigerated nuts with warm air at 120°F as a preventative against chestnut weevil larvae. We also sell frozen nuts. Freezing also kills weevil eggs. We pick up nuts on a rolling basis to minimize the amount of time the nuts lay on the ground before processing. Due to the Chestnut Weevil(Curculio elephas) we recommend pick-your-own customers keep the nuts frozen until ready to cook/eat. Alternatively, pick-your-own customers can try to heat-treat at home using a crockpot, however nuts should be thoroughly dried after soaking to prevent molding. Another options is to cook the nuts as soon as possible and store in the fridge.
We believe wildlife should be free to roam, so there are no tall fences surrounding the orchard. Consequently, there may be animal droppings in the orchard. We recommend rinsing the nuts before consuming raw. Chestnuts are generally higher in carbohydrates than other nuts, like for example walnuts and pecans, which are relatively higher in fats and proteins. Don't forget to bring your leather gloves to pick-your-own because chestnuts form inside a prickly burr/husk/hull. We also offer gloves for sale on site.
Chestnuts are gluten free, cholesterol free, high in fiber, and a good source of anti-oxidants. Raw chestnuts are a great source of vitamin C. To cook a pound of chestnuts in the microwave, simply cut an "X" in each nut using a knife and cutting board, and place the nuts in the microwave in a covered bowl. Run on high for roughly 3-5 minutes depending on wattage. The outer skin will peel back off the nuts when they are ready. To roast using a conventional oven simply cut an "X" in each nut, and bake at 425°F for 15-20 minutes.
Here are some nutritional facts about chestnuts curtesy of Wikipedia and USDA:
Friday: Open 2pm-6pm (Sep-22, 29, Oct-6, 13, 20)
Saturday: Open 10am-6pm (Sep-23, 30, Oct-7, 14, 21)
Sunday: Open 1pm-5pm (Sep-24, Oct-1, 8, 15, 22)
*Note: We are not selling pre-picked nuts on the first weekend of the harvest(Sep/22-24). There are however plenty of nuts on the ground already, and we are open for pick-your-own.*
Please write to the contact email to schedule to pick up nuts in the orchard outside regular hours, and to find out about our volume discounts.
We accept cash or check.
Pick-Your-Own Chestnuts: $5 per lb.(Up to 40%[$3/lb] volume discounts - write to contact email or visit orchard for details).
We accept cash or check.
The orchard is located along Patrick Henry Hwy(VA-151) across from the intersection of Bryant Ln(781) and Patrick Henry Hwy(VA-151), in Roseland, VA.
The entrance is approximately 80 yards down 151 on the right going northbound from the intersection with Bryant Ln. Parking is located along the fence-line next to the orchard.
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Alternatively copy+paste the gps coordinates: 37°48'20.9"N 78°56'59.5"W (37.805808, -78.949868)
We accept cash or check.
Please email us at email@example.com for general questions and feedback, or if you would like to pick up nuts outside of regular hours.
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