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The Center for Agroforestry

UMCA News Release

Celebrate fall harvest at the 8th annual Missouri Chestnut Roast, Oct. 16

September 09, 2010

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Fresh, Missouri-grown chestnuts will soon be roasting on an open fire near you.

Visitors can enjoy free samples of roasted chestnuts and much more at the eighth annual Missouri Chestnut Roast, Saturday, Oct. 16, at the University of Missouri's Horticulture and Agroforestry Research Center, New Franklin.

"The roast is a harvest festival, a family day out, a Missouri specialty-product showcase, an agroforestry field day and a history lesson," said Julie Rhoads, events coordinator for the MU Center for Agroforestry.

Activities begin at 10 a.m. and continue until 4 p.m. Visitors can tour the research farm and the 1819 Hickman House, now completely rehabilitated and furnished. There will be live music throughout the day by the Nine Mile Band. Specialty products on hand will include nuts, wine, cheeses, beer, ice cream, pepper products, barbecue sauces, elderberry products and more. Eric Cartwright, executive chef at MU Campus Dining Services, will show the versatility of chestnuts with a cooking demonstration.

"Many vendors will have free samples and products for sale, so be sure to bring a few extra dollars with you so you can take home your favorites," Rhoads said.

In addition to food items, vendors will have chestnut trees and native plants for sale.

Attractions for kids will include a nut-cracking booth, an electronic wildlife tracking demonstration and a straw bale maze. A live wood-turning demonstration also will be part of the festivities.

The New Franklin High School Athletic Booster Club will operate a concessions stand offering grilled elk, buffalo and beef products.

Guided bus and walking tours of the research center will be offered throughout the day so attendees can learn more about growing chestnuts and black walnuts and other agroforestry practices. The MU Institute for Continental Climate Viticulture and Enology will provide walking tours of HARC's vineyard and have a booth with information on winemaking and grape culture.

The Center for Agroforestry supports the nation's most comprehensive research program for developing the Chinese chestnut and black walnut as nut crops for Missouri and Midwest landowners, Rhoads said.

Admission to the Missouri Chestnut Roast is free. Most activities will take place under tents for comfort, rain or shine. Service animals are allowed, but no pets. For directions and a schedule of the day's events, see, or contact Julie Rhoads at 573-882-3234 or

Michelle Hall
Senior Information Specialist

Julie Rhoads, 573-882-3234; Michael Gold, 573-884-1448

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