Exploring Chestnuts in Southeastern Ohio with Michelle Ajamian

April 17, 2024
In 2022, Rural Action received a SARE Partnership grant to explore value-added opportunities for grade B chestnuts.

Chestnuts are a sustainable and nutritious crop with deep roots in American agriculture.

In this episode of ATTRA’s Voices from the Field podcast, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Tyler Jenkins dives into the world of chestnuts with Michelle Ajamian, who works with Rural Action as a network developer for Appalachian Staple Foods Collaborative.

Ajamian shares her experiences and insights from her work as a project developer and advocate for small-scale farming in southeastern Ohio. She discusses her efforts to establish a thriving market for chestnut growers in the region and explores the success stories of cultivating chestnuts – from fostering community partnerships to promoting environmentally friendly practices.

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 Voices from the Field episode is part of a series co-produced by ATTRA and SARE, reflecting their commitment to promoting innovative approaches to agricultural sustainability and food security. This series amplifies voices like Matt Lebon’s to inspire positive change in local food systems across the nation.

Subscribe to Voices from the Field wherever you get your podcasts. 


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Topics: Chestnuts
Related Locations: North Central, Ohio