Nelson County, Virginia
In the early 1900’s chestnut trees were very common across the Blue Ridge. By 1950, nearly all mature chestnuts across the Eastern United States were dead. (virginiaplaces.org : Chestnuts in Virginia)
It took decades but chestnuts are making a comeback across the area. Tinkerland Farm in Bryant is finally seeing the reward from years of planting and maintaining trees. This fall they have opened their orchard to the public to buy chestnuts. Though chestnuts orchards are back on the rise, they are still pretty rare.
Tinkerland Farm is named after the late Tinker Bryant(Frank George Jr.) who lived on Bryant Lane. He worked as the rural letter carrier out of Roseland post office for many years. He is survived by two of his daughters, Rebecca Moyer who owns A Bryant Family Farm on Bryant Lane, and Sarah Loken who owns Tinkerland Farm on the East side of Route 151.
Sarah makes it a point to let everyone know “this is a no spray orchard” which makes it very appealing to people wanting fresh chestnuts from the orchard. Sarah continues, “Closed toe shoes are best. We have leather gloves for sale. Bring your own fruit picker for nuts opening high in trees.”
The latest update on the Tinkerlandfarm.com website says:
“UPDATE(10/10/2022): Tinkerland Farm will be open again this weekend(Oct/15-16th) for a pick-your-own event. Please contact Sarah to make arrangements to visit the orchard outside regular hours. Or simply swing by and see if we are there. If the car is parked by the entrance and the sign say OPEN, then we are selling nuts. FYI, the Tinkerland Farm chestnuts orchard is a no spray orchard. Pre-picked nuts are either frozen or warm-air-pasteurized to kill weevil larva eggs. Pasteurized nuts are refrigerated and preserve freshness. Frozen chestnuts should be kept frozen to preserve maximum shelf life. Pasteurized chestnuts are currently $6/lb, frozen are $5/lb, and pick-your-own are $3/lb. We are currently operating in emergency pick-up-nuts mode, so please disregard any other times or prices listed below on this webpage. Tinkerland farm may or may not be selling chestnuts during the work week this week, but we will be open for business this weekend – and every weekend remaining in October.”
The orchard is located along VA-151 across from the intersection with Bryant Lane in Roseland. Parking is located on either side of the road approximately 200 yards north – follow the signs.
It’s well worth the drive and it’s in a beautiful setting!