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Chestnut Picking @ Mt. Irvine, Blue Mountains

Home > Sydney > Outdoor | Fun Things To Do | Family | Escape the City | Adventure
by Missy (subscribe)
I'm a new writer based in Sydney, enjoying all the bits and pieces of everyday life.
Event: -
How many spikes does a chestnut have?
Have you eaten chestnuts?

If so, give the chestnut picker a thought or two when you pop one into your mouth.

Last weekend, a few friends and I went to Mt. Irvine at the Blue Mountains to breathe some fresh mountain air and try our hand at harvesting our own food. The season is in full swing until mid-April and hopefully until the end of the month.

Entrance to Kookootonga Nut Farm
Be alert. The farm isn't visible from the entrance but the signs are more than enough.

We were met by a wonderful lady, Robin, at Kookootonga Nut Farm, who gave us the basic guidelines on how to pick the best chestnuts:

[ADVERT]- Pick those on the ground. They are ripe and would be sweet.

Choose the shiny ones which have no air between the nut and the shell. They should be hard to press.

We were provided with pails to drop our chestnut and walnut 'loot', which would later be weighed. Each kilo is $8.00.

So we trudged further up the hill to start our harvest. We found so many chestnuts on the ground, around the trees.

Chestnuts, walnuts, nuts, farm, Mt. Irvine, Blue Mountains,
Searching for perfect chestnuts

The chestnuts had really spiky, sharp thorns much like a sea urchins. If you aren't careful, you could end up with holes all over your skin. Those on the trees aren't ripe and won't be sweet, but here's a photo for you to see how they look.

Fresh, chestnuts, unripe, trees
Chestnut not yet ready for harvest.

Make sure you bring hard working gloves, or you can buy some from the farm.

spikes, thorns, chestnuts, triplets, twins, nuts, leisure, fun, family
My pail and the spiky outer shell of the chestnuts.

I didn't realize that chestnuts would come in singles, doubles (twins) or trios (triplets), just like babies.

Our pail was half full when we finished picking and it weighed only two kilos. We paid $16 for our loot, which were placed in a nifty net bag.

It was a wonderful day and I'd recommend it for a fun day with the family or friends. Entrance is free. They are open 7 days a week, from 9am-4pm including public holidays. Check their website Kookootonga Nut Farm for harvest updates before making plans.

Oh, one more note of warning: when squatting to pick them from the ground, watch the butt!

Here's a map taken from the Kookootonga Nut Farm website for your reference.
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When: April 2013
Where: Mt. Irvine, Blue Mountains
Cost: Free entry, $8/kilo for chestnuts and walnuts
Your Comment
Wow....I never knew chestnuts have spiky sharp thorns! Great recommendation! Will add this to my todo list.
by Pauline (score: 2|112) 2479 days ago
no wonder chestnuts are not as cheap as the other nuts, they're so difficult to pick! How do you get them out of their protective shells?
by anna. (score: 0|2) 2476 days ago
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