The joint annual conference of the Northern Nut Growers Association and the Chestnut Growers of America will take place August 7-10, 2022 on the Penn State Berks campus in Reading, Pennsylvania. The campus is located on 258 acres next to Gring’s Mill Recreation Area. It is an easy walk between the dorms, meal venues, and the meeting facilities. Parking is free at both the dorms and meeting site. For more information about the Berks campus visit berks.psu.edu/penn-state/penn-state-berksglance. Reading is part of the Pennsylvania Dutch country (visitpaamericana.com). The conference is open to everyone with an interest in nut trees.
Sunday, August 7th
Sunday includes the NNGA and CGA Board meetings. Conference attendees can pick up their registration packets after 2 pm. A welcome reception with hors d'oeuvres will be held that evening. The cost of the reception is included in the registration fee. Reception is followed by a member-sharing Show & Tell session. This ever-popular event will include presentations from individuals who have tried new equipment, new techniques, promising selections or cultivars, had some recent success, or failures. Attendees are encouraged to highlight their nut tree related innovations and information in quick 10-minute talks. If you are interested in presenting your success and/or failures, please sign up on the registration form to add your name and topic, or contact Jerry Henkin directly at 914-282-1371 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, August 8th
Monday will be the first day of technical presentations. An optional supper on the Berks campus will be offered for $20 per person. Supper will be followed by the annual NNGA/CGA Auction that evening. Free, but bring your checkbook, cash, or credit card! The annual auction is a lively event to raise funds for our research grants. Auction items have included artwork, handmade donations, plant material, nut kernels, baked goods and/or gift certificates. Donations of above items are most welcome; this is an excellent way to advertise your product. Proceeds will be divided between NNGA and CGA. Members are welcome to bring homemade treats for the auction or to share during breaks. Please label your treats if they are nut, dairy, or gluten free.
Tuesday, August 9th
Tuesday will be the second day of presentations. The annual banquet will be that evening. The cost for the banquet is $30.00. Crowning of the Big Nut will be part of the fun. The NNGA 30- minute business meeting will precede the banquet and will include the election and short updates on research projects, finances and membership.
Wednesday, August 10th
Wednesday will be an all-day field trip, from about 8am to 4pm. The cost for snacks, drinks, and a box lunch is $20.00 per person. The bus to Rutgers is $30 per person and the vans visiting the chestnut plantings are $10 per person. We encourage you to join us on the bus, join in with the box lunch and avoid having to worry about traffic, getting lost or getting hungry! Estimated one -way drive time from PSU Berks campus is 1.5 to 2 hours! This is a good time to interact with fellow nut enthusiasts. If you wish to join us only for one of the field trips (without transportation) the fee is $30 to cover the box lunch and administrative costs.
Tour options include either a tour of the Rutgers hazelnut plantings or tours of operating chestnut orchards and American chestnut plantings. Full descriptions can be found on the next page or on the website along with several post-conference tour options.
Exhibits will be in two designated rooms directly across from the main conference and meal sites. The rooms will be locked when not attended. Exhibit fees include one full registration or table rental with no staff.
MEALS AND LODGING
Sunday’s welcome reception, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday’s breakfast, and Monday and Tuesday’s lunch are included in the registration fee. Other meals, including the banquet, are extra (see registration form for prices). All meals will be served on the Berks campus. There are numerous other restaurants in Reading (visitpaamericana.com/dining). Penn State Berks dorms are within easy walking distance of the meeting site. and offer dorm-style lodging. There are both doubleand single-occupancy rooms available. All options include basic bed linens, towels, and toiletries. All beds are twin bed types. These dorms have both Wi-Fi and air conditioning. Alternative lodging near the Berks campus includes the Hampton Inn (610-374-8100), Homewood Suites (610-736-3100), and the French Creek State Park campground.
Registration is now open. Register before June 1 to take advantage of an "early bird" discount. Registration selections include hors d'oeuvres during the welcome session on Sunday; refreshments and snacks during the technical sessions, breakfast on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday; and lunch on Monday and Tuesday.
You can register online using (Register Here).
You can also call in the registration form to Sara Fern Fitzsimmons (814-404-6013; email@example.com) or Debbie Milks (785-766-8849; NNGACGA2022@gmail.com) and then send a check or money order made payable to “NNGA or Northern Nut Growers Association” to Debbie Milks, PO Box 1166, Lawrence, KS 66044.
CONFERENCE FIELD TOUR OPTIONS
Wednesday August 10, 2022
Tour Option #1: Hershey Nut Tree Replanting & Hazelnut Breeding Tour
Rutgers Horticulture Farm 3, 67 Ryders Lane, East Brunswick, NJ
Estimated one-way drive time from PSU Berks to Rutgers 2 hours
Stop #1: Hershey Nursery 100th Anniversary Replanting at Louise W. Moore Park, Easton, PA. In 1921, John Hershey started a tree crop nursery in Easton. Until his death in the 1960s, he selected and propagated the best varieties and cultivars of nut and fruit trees at what was considered "America's No. 1 Tree Crop Farm". Unfortunately, over 50% of his trees have been lost to development. In October 2021, the 100th Anniversary of the Hershey Nursery, 54 trees, all of grafted Hershey stock, were planted in Northampton County. Louise W. Moore Park is now an active conservation site where the genetics of Hershey's trees are protected and preserved.
Stop #2 Rutgers Hazelnut Breeding Tour
Rutgers Horticulture Farm 3, 67 Ryders Lane, East Brunswick, NJ
On this tour you will get to see our hazelnut germplasm collection and many acres of breeding and selection orchards of various ages, including both European hazelnuts, wild American hazelnuts, and "hybrid" hazelnuts from our work with the Hybrid Hazelnut Consortium. We will also tour replicated yield trials where you can see up close the new releases, such as 'Raritan', 'Somerset', and 'OSU 541.147' "The Beast", as well as new selections in the breeding pipeline. Finally, we will demonstrate various harvesting and nut processing machines including the Hasatsan 2200 hazelnut vacuum harvester imported from Turkey. For more information contact Tom Molnar (firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit breeding.rutgers.edu/hazelnut or agproducts.rutgers.edu/hazelnuts.
Tour Option #2: Small-scale Chestnut Farming and Hershey Nut Tree Replanting
Estimated one-way drive time from PSU Berks: 1.5 hours
Stop #1: Castanea Farms, LLC 37 Lamm Road, Robesonia, PA is owned and operated by Jen and Rick Hartlieb. At this site we will focus primarily on the small-scale production of chestnuts with a focus on post-harvest processing. This tour will include those facilities as well as a mobile chestnut harvesting and processing unit designed and constructed by Stephen Hoy as part of a SARE grant (ecosystems.psu.edu/research/chestnut/breeding/pollination/mobile-sorter). Adjacent to the original log house is the second-largest Japanese Chestnut in PA.
Stop #2: Hershey Nursery 100th Anniversary Replanting at Louise W. Moore Park, Easton, PA. In 1921, John Hershey started a tree crop nursery in Easton. Until his death in the 1960s, he selected and propagated the best varieties and cultivars of nut and fruit trees at what was considered "America's No. 1 Tree Crop Farm". Unfortunately, over 50% of his trees have been lost to development. In October 2021, the 100th Anniversary of the Hershey Nursery, 54 trees, all of grafted Hershey stock, were planted in Northampton County. Louise W. Moore Park is now an active conservation site where the genetics of Hershey's trees are protected and preserved.
Stop #3: American Chestnut Germplasm Conservation Orchard
Edge of the Wood Native Plant Nursery, 2415 Route 100, Orefield, PA
This 100 tree planting of wild-type American chestnuts was first established in 2012. These trees represent various genetic backgrounds of American chestnuts from around Pennsylvania and New York, and are used for both breeding and educational activities (edgeofthewoodsnursery.com or call 610-395-2570). This commercial nursery has an excellent inventory of native plants for sale.
POST-CONFERENCE TOUR SUGGESTIONS
Thursday August 11, 2022
American Chestnut Reintroduction Plot
Trexler Nature Preserve, Schnecksville, PA 40.664422, -75.623048
This 1000 tree planting of advanced hybrid American chestnuts was established in 2012 to observe various methods of reintroduction into an old-field environment (lehighcounty.org). The site is fully-fenced along a one-way road through the Trexler Nature Preserve. To get to the chestnuts, you will drive approximately 2 miles from the Lehigh Valley Zoo. Along the way, you will pass the Zoo, ford the Jordan River, and see Rocky Mountain Elk and bison. The chestnut planting will be on your left.
The Rodale Institute
611 Siegfriedale Road, Kutztown, PA 19530
The Rodale Institute is growing the regenerative organic movement through research, farmer training, and consumer education (see rodaleinstitute.org/ and rodaleinstitute.org/visit/self-guided-walking-tours).
TECHNICAL PROGRAM AND PRESENTERS
The technical and scientific presentations will take place on Monday and Tuesday. The following experienced growers and scientists have volunteered to give presentations and answer questions:
• Roger Blackwell, The Chestnut Growers of America: Past, Present, and Future
• Jeanne Romero-Severson, Discovery of Interspecific Ancestry in Elite Chestnut Germplasm
• Thomas Molnar, Exciting Progress Breeding Hybrid Hazelnuts: a Collaborative Project
• Shawn Mehlenbacher, Update on Breeding Hazelnuts Resistant to Eastern Filbert Blight
• Ron Powell, Renovating a Tired Pawpaw Planting: Starting Over
• Erik Carlson, Advancement in Chestnut Genetics and Biotechnology at SUNY-ESF
• Louise Bugbee, Rescuing the Future by Saving the Past: Preserving the Legacy of John Hershey
• Bill Davison, Chestnut Value Chain Development at the Savanna Institute
• John Kelsey, Details of a 1935 Black Walnut Planting
• Eric Cornell, Historic Nut Tree Nurseries Throughout the Northeastern US
• Carl Albers, The English Walnut Project of the New York Nut Growers
• Allie Watson, Chestnut Brown Rot
• Megan Chawner, Food Safety Practices
• Gordon Wilkinson, Tale of Two Sites: Heartnut Performance
• Jim McKenna, The Carya Collection of Charles Spurgeon - Growth and Fruiting of Northern Pecans, Shagbark, Shellbark, and Hican Cultivars in Indiana
•Bob Stehli Using a GPS Locator in the Nut Orchard
•Peter Haarmann Protecting Young Trees from Small Mammals
•Amy Miller Chestnut Blossom End Rot
•Jerry Henkin Nut Evaluations
Lightening Talks: Short lightening talks are scheduled throughout the Monday and Tuesday’s program. These talks are up to 5 minutes long to introduce yourself to the NNGA & CGA members letting them know what you grow, what problems you are having, or a new management practice you're considering. NNGA hopes other members with similar issues and experiences will introduce themselves and share their experiences. PowerPoint presentations are strongly discouraged, but handouts to share are encouraged.
Contact Jerry Henkin at email@example.com or at 914-282-1371 to show your interest, suggest a title, and select a time.