[blockquote cite=”Phil Rutter” type=”center”]”In Woody Agriculture, crops would be planted only once in a lifetime. The use of woody perennials for agricultural staple commodities production would result in little or no use of tillage, as well as the presence of a permanent cover during both the growing and the dormant seasons. Not only would this lead to a vastly lower rate of soil loss and less runoff into water supplies and aquatic environments, but there would be a reduced need for the fossil fuels consumed in plowing and tilling. In addition, use of pesticides needed for the establishment of annual plants could be sharply reduced. A further important benefit would be the reduction of soil compaction, since far fewer trips through the fields with heavy equipment would be required.” [/blockquote]
Key Takeaways from Phil on Hazels:
- Breeding: You cannot work with more than two traits at the same time. The most important trait is to have a population that actually survives.
- When you sell products off of your farm (like nuts) you are exporting a lot of minerals. It is important to remineralize your soil. You can use sheep and chickens in hazelnut systems to remineralize and fertilize the soil.
- Hickory and Pecan work well with hazelnuts. Chestnuts don’t do as well given different soil pH requirements.
- Find the old timers growing tree species that you want to grow in your area. They may have long tested genetics suited for your area.
- Hazels are wind pollinated, so you don’t’ need immediate close proximity for insect pollination.
- Coppicing to the ground every 10 years can help to rejuvenate the plants.
Badgersett Machine Hazelnut Harvest
Introduction to Woody Agriculture
Badgersett’s Hazelnut Handbook – A Free Online Resource:
At this point, in the year 2001, the indications seem clear to many different individuals and agencies that the developing hybrids do indeed contain the characteristics necessary for the foundation of a genuine hazelnut industry for the region.
Besides the full commitment of Badgersett Research Corporation to this new industry, individuals, RC&D’s, and SWCD’s in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Kansas, and Nebraska have begun making plantings of hybrid bush hazels that are intended not to demonstrate or test, but to produce nuts as a crop. The University of Minnesota has established test plantings on its field stations across the state, the National Arbor Day Foundation has planted 9 acres directly in front of its Lied Conference Center, and the US Army has thousands of plants being established at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. Individuals and institutions in 40 additional states, from Maine and Alaska to Texas have started small test plantings.
While the crop now has real momentum and a committed core group of growers, it is nonetheless still in what can only be described as an “embryonic” state. We do not yet have tons of annual production (though the plants for that are already in the ground), and a number of processes remain to be moved from the experimental state to the commercial.
Both fortunately and unfortunately, these new hybrid bush hazels are significantly different from the hazels currently used in world hazel production.”
Fortunately, because these plants are immensely more cold hardy, more disease resistant, and because they are bushes, not the trees Oregon and Italy rely on. Big trees require perpetual pruning and cannot ever be as productive as good bushes can- in all crops, growers now change to bush forms (sometimes just called “dwarfs” if derived from tree forms) as quickly as breeders can provide the necessary genetics.
Unfortunately, because most of the accumulated wisdom and information on how to grow hazelnuts, based on those trees, is proving near useless in dealing with these hybrids.
Hence this handbook; which is intended to give the reader a solid basic grounding in all the factors involved in commercial hazel production, from plant establishment and maintenance to marketing. In addition to this handbook, an electronic version with more extensive discussion and photographs, will be maintained as part of the Badgersett Research Corporation Web site, at www.badgersett.com.”
Connect with Phil Rutter and Badgersett Research Corporation:
You can contact Phil and Badgersett HERE.
DID YOU LIKE THIS EPISODE?
HELP SUPPORT THE SHOW…
Permaculture Voices is listener supported by people just like you.