Sunday, July 13, 2014

Permaculture Voices Podcasts

After speaking at the Permaculture Voices conference last March near San Diego, Philip met online with the organizer Diego Footer to record a podcast episode. As is often the case in interviews with him, it went a bit over! Diego turned it into two, and they are available at

Go ahead and scroll down on one of those pages; there are a bunch of linked articles and videos, some of which could be new to you.

From the introduction:

"This interview is with Phil Rutter of Badgersett Research Corporation. We talk about why perennial based woody agriculture is important and how chestnuts and hazelnuts fit into that system. We also talk a lot about plant breeding using mass selection to find genotypes of plants that have the traits that you are looking for. This episode is pretty dense and has a ton of information in it for anyone looking to breed plants. Phil is brilliant and I think I learned more about plant breeding in my conversations with him than I ever have anywhere else. Given how much information is in this podcast and how long this podcast is, I have split it into two parts. This is part one, with the second part coming in episode 58.

Take it all in, enjoy it, and most importantly do something with this information."

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Tubelings Available

We've still got tubelings for the 2014 summer planting season! Most types of hazel, chestnut, and hickory-pecan are still available, though Select tubelings are essentially sold out and we're running low on a few others. If you've been thinking of putting in some top-of-the-line genetics this year, you could still make it before we run out.
We've worked most of the way through the order queue, so many new orders that allow substitutions should ship out in about 2 weeks. Some types may take longer; take a look at to see when we recommend planting these actively-growing seedlings. Then order plants by following the catalog links at .  As always, we take orders up to 12 months in advance of desired ship date, and payment locks in the current prices.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The hazards of an industry built on "the best" clones-

Good lucid article today in the NYT on all the reasons the Florida grapefruit crop used to be around 40 million boxes; and this year will be around 19.

Besides hurricanes and bad health press, there is citrus canker and now citrus greening, invading pests.

Cost of production has tripled.

You are very unlikely to hear this point anywhere else- but a major part of this disaster is the near total lack of genetic diversity in the crop.

It's known- it's not a guess- that diseases spread in genetically uniform plantings far, far faster than in diverse ones. And with enough genetic diversity, you have real hope of finding some resistance - or an antagonistic organism that eats the disease.  They like diversity too.

All of which is why we recommend planting seedling hazels etc.

The dogma that "consumers won't buy them" is uninformed bull.  The consumers will believe what you tell them; most times.  Tell them "this one is the best, those are lousy" - and the believe it.

Tell them "These are all different- which makes eating them much more interesting." - they'll believe that just as fast.  We've done it.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Replicated Clonal Planting in the Works for 2014

The division-based cloning has been quite successful allowing us to plan for the first ever block of strictly clonal plants at Badgersett Research Farm in 2014.  We have 6 genotypes that will go in this year with another 6 to follow next year.  Fortuitously, 2 of the clones going out this year are of high interest.  One is of a plant that held the record for production for a while.  The second is nick-named Jackie Chan because if "kicked all the others' butts" in nut production - until it became shaded by our big Northern Pin Oak.

I've been working on both field-to-pot (establishment) and pot-to-pot techniques (multiplication).  It also helps to have everyone on the same page regarding watering.  Our use of pyrethrin sprays and Gnatrol drench to control fungus gnats has been instrumental in keeping advantage to the plant during the winter when the unheated greenhouse can have high temps in the 40s(F) on some gray days.

Unlike others who are keen on clonal plantings for production, we are most interested in having multiple individuals of the same genotype in order to study what proportion of plant performance is due to genetics versus environmental effects.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Reminder: Woody Ag Short Course Next Weekend, April 4-6

Hello folks,
Just a reminder that our Woody Ag short course is NEXT WEEKEND April 4-6. We do have a few spots available, and there’s still time to register! Details are below and on this year's short course page.  It's a good time packed with information as usual– we hope to see you there.

In other news, the plant pricing on the web IS current. Orders for most types of plants placed now are expected to ship by the end of June. As always, check this blog for any late-breaking availability updates.

Register Now for the 2014 Woody Agriculture Short Course: April 4-6!
Held nearly every April since 2006, the two-day short course is an in-depth event covering details of both the theory and practice of Woody Agriculture crop production. This course includes considerable information focused on hazelnut production, as well as some chestnut and hickory-specific lectures. Attendance is highly recommended for current and potential serious producers. The most up-to-date and advanced material is covered, much of which is only available here or through our consulting services.
Stay for the field tour on Monday if you possibly can; potential field class/demonstrations include coppice, in-field cloning, gopher control and others.

“…The Woody Agriculture short course is full of important information for farmers, researchers, and anyone interested in a sustainable future. I was very pleased with it and recommend it very highly." -Eric Toensmeier, MA Grower. Permaculture educator and author, Perennial Solutions

"I know that you probably wanted a shorter, one-paragraph testimonial, but there was so much to brag about, that I had to include everything…"
-Matt Nowak, KS Grower. Natural Resources Specialist for Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, US Army.

Click here for more detailed testimonials.

If you're interested in learning more about the practice of Woody Ag field management, the theory behind our advanced NeoHybrid genetics, or long term pest management (to name a few things we'll cover), we encourage you to take advantage of this excellent value.