This year we celebrate our 18th year here at Delmarvelous Farms!
What started as a kernel of an idea and a retirement project has blossomed into an amazing business. Little did we know the impact our "retirement project" would have on our family and in our community. Never would we have imagined all the wonderful people we would meet along this marvelous 15 year journey. It has been an amazing odyssey.
We are located in the heart of the Delmarvelous Peninsula, conveniently located close to Philadelphia, Baltimore and the bustling East Coast corridor. Our Chestnut trees are spread 67 trees to the row. Row after row stretched across our 30 acre farm. There are over 1,600+ chestnut trees, hybrids of the sweeter American chestnut and blight-resistant varieties from Asia.
Gary and I planted every tree ourselves. Laying out the orchard map and planting our trees was such an exhilarating time for us. It was a labor that took us three years to complete.
Over that time, we learned so much about chestnuts and the Chestnut Blight that decimated the domestic chestnut industry. A chance importation of a blight infected tree into this country in 1904 started a chain reaction which wiped out almost all native American Chestnut trees. Over the last 15 years, we have organized seminars and projects on chestnut growing and marketing in co-operation with the University of Delaware Co-Op Extension and Delaware State University. We served as officers of the Northern Nut Growers Association, a non-profit organization devoted to teaching people about nut trees for the past 90 years. We are also past directors in the Pennsylvania Nut Growers Association, and members of the Mid-west Nut Producers Council and the Western Chestnut Organization. We have lectured on chestnuts throughout the country. Our talks at Michigan State University, the University of Vermont, the Society of Agronomists and the American Chestnut Foundation, to name a few, are helping to spread the exciting news about the dynamic and growing domestic chestnut industry.
at the Farm
Gary's keen interest in chestnut trees goes back to youthful days growing up in Bradford, Pennsylvania. His father, Rusty, had long labored to reintroduce the chestnut tree to the Allegheny Forest near his Pennsylvania home. He grew blight-resistant Chinese chestnuts for a number of years, working with local conservation groups to re-introduce chestnut trees into the forest. In 1985, Rusty's conservation and restorative work with chestnuts earned him the honor of a first place Point of Light for the State of Pennsylvania and a ten place spot nationally. His work started us thinking about chestnuts.
We started our farm in 1992. Over the next few years, we gradually increased the number of chestnut trees under cultivation. Today our farm is an industry leader and we specialize in growing and selling gourmet chestnuts. We also hold a State of Delaware nursery license to grow and sell chestnut nursery stock.
Nancy has been a Delaware Master Gardener since 1995. During the harvest season, Nancy has been known to be in local stores, supermarkets, farmers markets and festivals showing folks how to prepare chestnuts and handing out samples of their sweet Delmarvelous Chestnuts.
In addition to chestnuts, Nancy is a Director and Independent Consultant with Southern Living At Home - a sister company to Southern Living Magazine. Southern Living At Home specializes in exclusive home décor products, featuring handmade pottery, hand-blown glass and distinctive iron pieces. To see the complete collection of home décor items or to place an order for home products, visit Nancy's web site at www.southernlivingathome.com/nancy.
Contact Nancy Petitt at Nancy@buychestnuts.com for questions relating to Delmarvelous Chestnuts.