With over 70,000 pounds to its credit, Chestnut Orchard Solutions finished its first harvest as a start-up company. Using the only self-propelled chestnut harvester and cleaner in North America, the FACMA Cimini 180s, well over 65,000 pounds were harvested from orchards around the state. Operators of the FACMA harvester included Dr. Josh Springer and Dr. Carmen Medina. Its good to be back in the lab working on the biological control of chestnut blight, tissue culture, and rooted cuttings of chestnut. Next up, the events surrounding the Great Lakes Expo education session Tuesday, December 6, at 9:00 am (DeVoss Place, Grand Rapids)
At this time, COS team members want to stop and say thanks to those who made this possible.
Our clients, first and foremost, we need to thank you, as you were the ones who trusted us to get to your orchards and harvest as many nuts as possible. It was a somewhat difficult harvest to manage as orchards in the southern tier counties were dropping nuts when the central and northern tier county’s were dropping. We made the trip from near the Indiana state line to the 45th parallel, and back to Clarksville, more than once. So, for the three of us at COS, thank you for your trust, your help and your encouragement.
FACMA, who makes the best chestnut harvesters and who has supported our efforts in Michigan for the past several years. This year, our little machine harvested the amount that had been close to the previous state record last year.
Michigan State University, who worked with COS to help make this harvest possible.
Mario Mandujano, who taught us how to use the harvester, told us its secrets, and taught us to care for it; he really worked behind the scenes to make this commercial harvest possible in everyway. Thank you Mario for trusting us to do it right.
Jim Blaha, an engineer who worked on the machine, helping to prepare it for its biggest harvest.
Mark Stites (Repairs and More, LLC), Elk Rapids, who answered a call for help one day when a problem needed diagnosing and fixing. We were a long way from home. It ended up being a blown fuse, but how did we know? Thanks, Mark. Need help in Elk Rapids area? Call 231-360-9070 and ask for Mark.
Don Guateri, who put things in order with the orchards up north and found us Mark Stites when we were far from home. Don, you stuck with us when we were on the verge.
Gary Zehr and Dr. Dan Guyer, both who made these weeks possible with their past and current support of our mechanical needs in all aspects of chestnut work.
Without these organizations and people, the three team members of COS would not have been able to commercially harvest approximately 30% of the state’s cooperative totals. We hope to have more machines in the orchards next year.
With burs full of chestnuts and trees dropping burs, COS attempted to harvest as many chestnuts as possible, by Nut Wizard and FACMA harvester.
We ran chestnuts back to Clarksville as often as possible. Here a ton of chestnuts are ready to leave a farm at the 45th parallel after dark for delivery to CGI the next morning.
Big horse or small trees. Competition for the chestnuts was increasing by the day.
Remember when we asked you to prune your trees and you asked, “Why?”
Carmen stops the harvester and assesses the fix before allowing the harvester to move forward again.
Josh working the harvester on the last day in an orchard never harvested by machine prior to this day.