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Harvesting hazelnuts

Hazelnut husks

As I peered at our hazelnut bush yesterday morning, I reached out to touch one of the developing fruits...and it fell into my hand.  Time to harvest!

Unlike most fruits, hazelnuts are nearly impossible to see on the bush since they're surrounded by leaf-like husks.  So I opted for the lazy harvest approach --- I carefully shook a branch, watched to see if anything fell off, and then picked up the nut that had dropped.  I could tell that at least one of the nuts wasn't yet ready to harvest using the shake method, so I'll go back around and try again next week.

HazelnutsThis is the first year we've gotten anything from our bush, so the harvest was small --- five tiny nuts.  I took them out of their hulls and will let them cure for a week or two before tasting.  The big question is --- how thick is the shell and how big is the kernel inside?  The bush in question came from Arbor Day's breeding campaign, when folks were just starting to hybridize American and European hazelnuts in an attempt to combine the blight-resistance of the former and the large kernel and thin shell of the latter.  Stay tuned for the big reveal....

(Yes, I am nuts to be so invested in...nuts....)

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