MU Horticulture and Agroforestry Research Farm Gearing up for Missouri Chestnut Roast

Annual festival to take place Oct. 1 in New Franklin

chestnuts roasting

Staff of the University of Missouri’s Horticulture and Agroforestry Research Farm in New Franklin have been hard at work in anticipation of welcoming crowds of people for its annual, signature event, the Missouri Chestnut Roast Festival.

“This is such a fun event for us,” said Center for Agroforestry Director Sarah Lovell. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to introduce Missourians to the agricultural products that set our state apart in a fun and engaging way.”

This year’s event will take place 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 1, and will include crowd favorite activities such as roasted chestnut samples, kids activities and farm tours. At this year’s festival you can also sample chestnut hummus, watch a tree tapping demonstration, purchase chestnuts, pecans and frozen paw paws, see cooking demonstrations, learn about sustainable farming, forestry and gardening and more.

“We really love welcoming the community out to the farm for this event,” said Senior Farm Manager Barry Eschenbrenner. “We aim to provide a fun, family outing while providing participants with some new knowledge of the specialty agricultural products produced right here in Missouri.”

The event is free and open to the public.

The Horticulture and Agroforestry Research Farm is the primary research site for the Center for Agroforestry at the University of Missouri. This nearly 700-acre farm includes numerous experimental fruit (peach, pawpaw, elderberry) and nut orchards (chestnut, black walnut, northern pecan, ‘Bucks Unlimited’TM oak); five lakes and ponds; and one of Missouri’s oldest brick homes, the 1819 Thomas Hickman House, which is on the National Register of Historic Homes. Tours of the Thomas Hickman House are available during the Chestnut roast Festival.

It is located at 10 Research Center Road, New Franklin, MO 65274, and is one of 14 properties that comprise the Central Missouri Research, Extension and Education Center, part of the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station.

For more information about the Missouri Chestnut Roast Festival, contact Mallory Daily at