The chestnut cycle

The chestnut production cycle used to provide the basis of the local community's economy. The varieties of chestnuts from the Grosseto mountains include: brown, chickpea, domestic, red and black bastard and gregory. The cycle began with the chestnut harvest in October, using a set of tools such as baskets, rakes and bales of hemp. The curls were crushed with shoes fitted with metal “tacks” in the sole. The next part of the process was the selection: the nice large ones were kept for family use or for sale, and the small or spoiled ones were taken to the drying rooms where a fire fuelled by beech, oak and turkey oak wood burned for 40 to 50 days. After being cleaned and sieved, the chestnuts were transported to the mill to be ground into sweet flour, a basic part of the diet the mountain populations.