Saturday, October 20, 2007

My favorite tree..... the Sweet Chestnut

Here is one of my favorite paintings, "the Chestnuts". I have turned down a couple of offers to sell it wanting to save it for the "small painting" exhibit coming up..... Maybe I'll just keep it. Chestnut trees, as you might know, used to be abundant in New England. Around the turn of the century there was a "blight" and all the majestic tall trees died. My barn was built out of chestnut timbers and boards because of that. When I was a girl in the Netherlands my brothers and I would go chestnut picking all through the neigborhood. My brother climbed into the trees to beat the nuts out of them so I could harvest from the ground with my other brother. Now my brothers get together every year and have a chestnut feast together. Potroast, chestnuts, pears, brusselssprouts etc. Once, about 10 years ago I was in the Netherlands around that time and I joined for the festive meal.
My son Coert has named a part of the forest he manages "Elisabeth's wood" because there are so many sweet chestnuts growing there.
Grotere kaart weergevenThats where he harvests with his family. They roast them in their fireplace. Every year at the end of October I think of the chestnuts, and you can understand my surprise when driving in Princeton one day I saw these chestnut trees, small, about the size of apple trees. They tured out to be Chineese chestnuts. They are in the yard of the Mirick family, on Mirick road. John Mirick is very active in the organization to grow blightfree chestnuts for New England. The American Chestnut Foundation.
Have a look and hopefully you too will appreciate the beauty of these majestic delicious fruit-bearing trees.

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