The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Hybrid hazelnut harvest

Cracking hazelnuts

I gave Mom about a tenth of my hybrid hazelnut harvest, wanting to share the bounty. A few weeks later, I poked her with a nosy question: "What did you think of those nuts?"

"They were a little bit small," my usually frugal mother said evasively.

Hmmph, I thought to myself. See if I give you any more of my precious nuts! Then I went to crack my own hoarded hazelnuts...and found that the nuts inside the hard shells sure were awfully small!

European and American hazel bushes

The bush in question is the one on the right in the photo above, and you can tell by its brightly colored leaves that the American portion of its heritage is dominant. In contrast, the newer bushes I've put in are like Hazel budthe one shown on the left in the photo above --- greener foliage in autumn means the European parent dominates. Similarly, I've noticed that these newer varieties have buds that seem to break dormancy in late summer and sit through the winter in a half opened state. Hopefully these European traits will also be linked to that species' main claim to fame --- bigger nuts in thinner shells.

Of course, as Lee Reich found in his own trials, the dominance of the European parent in a hybrid hazelnut can mean blight concerns as well. So I'll just wait and hope that Eta, Theta, and Jefferson can handle our eastern diseases and that their nuts are a bit bigger than those from my unnamed Arbor Day experimental bush.

In the meantime, I'll crack my little nuts and be grateful for any hazelnut harvest at all. And as I do so, I'll apologize for thinking uncharitable thoughts toward my long-suffering mother....

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I know this is completely unrelated

Local made movie playing at abingdon this week. I even went to college with one actor. And its a chicken! Warning. I heard there's lots of blood.

Comment by kayla Mon Oct 26 13:28:09 2015
Kayla --- Thanks for sharing! Mark turns out to be quite interested, so I hope you'll let us know what you think after you go see it tomorrow. :-)
Comment by anna Mon Oct 26 18:17:03 2015

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