The 11th annual Missouri Chestnut Roast not only showcased roasted chestnuts, it showed off the variety of agroforestry research on specialty crops, human health, livestock benefits, wildlife enhancement and environmental protection at the Horticulture and Agroforestry Research Center in New Franklin.
More than 1,500 people attended the event, which took place on Saturday, Oct. 7.
“After a rainy start to the morning, the sun came out and it was perfect weather,” said Mike Gold, interim director of the MU Center for Agroforestry. “Attendees were able to enjoy the full range of activities under the tents and throughout the farm.”
HARC is one of the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ Agricultural Research Centers.
Along with the free chestnut samples, there were numerous speakers throughout the day. Lisa Webb kicked things off with a discussion on migratory birds and their habitat. Webb is a School of Natural Resources cooperative assistant professor. Terry Durham, River Hills Harvest, talked about his work with elderberries, and SNR graduate student Danh Vu presented on the health benefits of black walnuts.
Madeline Wimmer, research specialist in plant sciences, discussed the history of grapes, and SNR graduate student Brian Dintelmann presented on the sensitivity of tree and ornamental species to spray drift from 2,4-D and dicamba.
“The presenters did an excellent job, and we received a number of glowing reviews about the diversity of interesting topics that were presented,” Gold said.
The Missouri Chestnut Roast also featured walking tours and six, packed wagon tours of HARC. There were several activities for children, as well as live music and educational booths and demonstrations. There were local artists and crafters at the event as well.
“The quality and diversity of vendors and exhibitors at this year’s Chestnut Roast was impressive, representing the best of rural Missouri local foods and crafts,” Gold said. “A large number of Missouri conservation organizations shared information with the attendees who learned a great deal about Missouri’s wonderful natural resources.”
Attendees toured the historic Hickman House and also watched the Whiz-Bang Science Show, led by Sougata Bardhan, an assistant research professor in SNR.
For a closer look at the Missouri Chestnut Roast, visit: flickr.com/photos/cafnr/albums/72157687117076910.