FLAT TOP, WV (WOAY) – You may be familiar with growing heirloom tomatoes, eggplant, and squash, but one local nursery specifically specializes in the preservation of heritage nuts.
Ellison’s Mountain Heritage in Flat Top, West Virginia preserves, grows and sells an assortment of such nuts in order to keep them thriving among the state’s natural landscape.
Their inventory includes Chesnut, Hazelnut, Butternut, and Chinquapin, a more rare and smaller kind of Chesnut with beneficial properties and an interesting past.
“The Indians considered them a delicacy, they even would dry the nuts and pound them into a flower that makes bread,” says Steven Ellison, owner of Ellison’s Mountain Heritage. “The leaves can also be boiled into a tea that makes a fever-reducer.”
Ellison got inspired to start harvesting Chinquapins after growing up around them. He says that many people don’t even know what they are despite being native to West Virginia.
His goal is to help preserve this unique heirloom nut by passing them on to others, and so far, he expects to find great success with the endeavor.
“It is awesome to be doing something that a lot of people told me couldn’t be done, and while I know a few businesses that do sell Chinquapins as bare-root sales, as far as I know, I’m the only one that selling them as potted plants,” he says. “My success rate is incredible, something like plus 90%, and the state forester says that’s just blowing everybody out of the water. So I’m having fun being able to do this, and share the fun of the past.”
In addition, Ellison soon plans to add dogwood, paw paws, and sugar maples to the nursery inventory.
You can find it at 1119 Piney Flats Road in Flat Top. You can also contact them at (304)-719-2234, or look them up on their website.