New Podcast Episode: "Chestnuts in Southeastern Ohio: A Cooperative Small Farm Effort"

April 10, 2024

Dive into the world of chestnut production in this episode of ATTRA’s Voices from the Field podcast. NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Tyler Jenkins talks with Michelle Ajamian, a network developer for the Appalachian Stable Foods Collaborative. Ajamian, based in southeastern Ohio, advocates for small-scale farming and discusses the challenges and triumphs of cultivating a chestnut market in the region.

In 2022, Rural Action received a SARE Partnership grant (Value Adding Culinary Chestnut Seconds Through the Development of a Marketable Fine Flour) to explore value-added opportunities for grade B chestnuts. Working with the Route 9 Chestnut Cooperative, Ajamian examined milling processes and equipment to develop a profitable model for producing fine flour from chestnuts with a high moisture content. Through her outreach efforts with the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, Ajamian also brought local farmers together in support of expanding long-term regional chestnut markets.

This episode of Voices from the Field is one in a series co-produced by ATTRA and SARE that explores the different ways farmers are working to create new local markets for specialty and niche crops. Each partner episode will address a different production system or crop—from endives to small-grain value chains—and will feature farmers sharing their production and marketing strategies, challenges and successes along the way. 

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Topics: Chestnuts, Commodities, Food Processing, Local and Regional Food Systems, Nuts
Related Locations: North Central, Northeast, Ohio, South, West