That Old Chestnut?

Toowoomba has a host of hidden gems……..both natural and manmade. Mostly unseen by motorists, there are loads of plaques dotted around the city which savvy walkers and a few with eagle eyes are privileged to find.

A chestnut is a nut. It is a British favourite. It grows on a tree. It has a saying that identifies its longevity. There is a lovely chestnut tree right here. That old chestnut!

So this is a short tribute to Toowoomba’s chestnut tree.

One of the plaques which herald the history of the early years of Toowoomba’s settlement –

This Spanish Chestnut tree

Commemorates an avenue of these trees

Planted by John Handley

On Paradise Farm

In the years 1865-1875

This plaque unveiled by his descendants on 2-4-1983

Chestnuts- are cocooned in a spiky outer covering to protect the developing nut from the ravages of sharp-toothed hungry animals.

Traditionally roasted and often seen, and uplifted by the alluring aroma, on street corners in northern hemisphere countries, chestnuts have supplemented family food stock for generations. The taste is similar to roasted Bunya Nut.

If you are curious to see this particular Toowoomba relic of a pioneer generation, then head to the corner of West and Nelson streets past UniSQ.

Even after the tree becomes compost back into the Earth, there will remain its legacy through Paradise Park on the opposite corner. Happy Chestnut hunting!