Anyone who knows the difficulties associated with harvesting chestnuts for eating during the holiday season would most likely prefer to avoid the discomforts of harvesting them, and instead buy them. But, after all, there is the fun and adventure to think about.
Chestnuts are not like most fruits and nuts that can be can be easily harvested. They must be picked during cold weather, however, it cannot be too cold as the chestnuts may become bitter. So, if you are ready for the adventure, here are tips you can use to harvest chestnuts.
1- Timing is a key to picking chestnuts. You need to pick them when they are still sweet, but also when their burs (pods) have opened enough to expose the nuts inside them.
2- You will need to pry prickly chestnut burs (pods) open so you can pluck the nuts from within these burs.
3- Chestnuts need gloves to pick up the spiky shells which have fallen to the ground, and break them open to get the chestnuts. Walnuts are just picked from the ground.
4- You do not pick chestnuts from the tree, only off the ground. In fact they are only ripe after they have fallen.
5- The outermost layer of a chestnut is a prickly shell, almost like a hard, spikey tennis ball or a sea urchin.