New Brunswick

Heartnut tree farmers start new crop in Memramcook

A new farmer in Memramcook, N.B. has planted the province’s first heartnut tree orchard.

A heartnut is like a walnut, only milder

Heartnuts have not been grown in New Brunswick before. (CBC)

A new farmer in Memramcook, N.B. has planted the province's first heartnut tree orchard.

Guy Gautreau put 53 of the trees in the ground. He said starting with a popular crop can backfire, as you'll be facing entrenched competition. 

"That simply drew us, my wife and I, to some of these opportunity crops, crops that are very new, that have risks but also have opportunities that have been under-explored until now," he said.

Gautreau said he anticipates hard work to get started. 

"You have to expect a lot of broken hearts," he jokes about harvesting the nuts. They're part of the walnut family and are shaped, unsurprisingly, like a human heart.

It has a milder taste than does a walnut.

"They say farmers should never put a crop in the ground before they have a customer lined up for them, so we're not very good farmers that way," Gautreau said.

"Because they take several years to produce nuts, at least we have a little bit of time to work on that one."

Gautreau hopes to sell his crop at small retail outlets and farmers markets.


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