Celebrating Chestnuts

Missouri Chestnut Roast returns for 11th year

The annual Missouri Chestnut Roast returns in 2017, celebrating many of Missouri’s specialty crops, especially the chestnut. The event is hosted by the University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry, the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR), and the School of Natural Resources (SNR).

This is the 11th year of the Chestnut Roast, which will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7, at the Horticulture and Agroforestry Research Center near New Franklin, Mo. The event is free and open to the public.

“This is the Center for Agroforestry’s signature event to showcase exciting specialty crops with growing market demand,” said Michael Gold, interim director of the MU Center for Agroforestry.

Sougata Bardhan will lead the Whiz-Bang Science Show at the Missouri Chestnut Roast on Saturday, Oct. 7.Sougata Bardhan will lead the Whiz-Bang Science Show at the Missouri Chestnut Roast on Saturday, Oct. 7.

The Missouri Chestnut Roast began in 2003 and ran until 2010. The event returned in 2015 and has continued to be a big attraction for HARC. About 4,500 people have attended the festival during the past two years.

“This year’s Chestnut Roast has an outstanding group of presenters and exhibitors,” Gold said.

The Missouri Chestnut Roast will feature samples of roasted chestnuts, activities for children and tours of HARC. The tours will occur every hour. There will also be three tours of the historic Hickman House, at 10:30 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m. Along with educational booths and demonstrations, live music, and an opportunity to shop and see local artists and crafters, attendees can hear numerous presentations.

Lisa Webb, SNR cooperative assistant professor, will kick things off with a presentation on migratory birds and their habitat at 10:15 a.m. Terry Durham, River Hills Harvest, will lead a discussion on elderberries at 11 a.m. SNR graduate student Danh Vu will discuss the health benefits of black walnuts at 11:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. Madeline Wimmer, a research specialist in plant sciences, will describe the history of grapes at 12:15 p.m. SNR graduate student Brian Dintelmann will present on the sensitivity of tree and ornamental species to spray drift from 2,4-D and dicamba at 1 p.m.

Gregory Ormsby Mori, Center for Agroforestry outreach coordinator, will do a mushroom growing demonstration at 2 p.m.

“Our goal is to create an event that is informative, fun for all ages, and has you looking forward to returning again in 2018,” Gold said.

The MU chapter of the Society of American Foresters will also have raffle tickets for sale for a chainsaw. Tickets are $5 each or five for $20.

The Horticulture and Agroforestry Research Center is located at 10 Research Center Road in New Franklin, Mo., and is one of the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Agricultural Research Centers. For more information about the field day, call 660-848-2268 or email Gold at GoldM@missouri.edu. For more information about the Horticulture and Agroforestry Research Center, visit harc.cafnr.org.