If you'll take a look at the dates separating the first post on this blog and the second, you will immediately be on the road to understanding the purpose of this change in our blog, and the purposes it will serve.
Dec. 17 to Feb. 5 is an absurdly long time for any business to allow a major public aspect to languish.
The fact is; we're desperately overloaded here. We need about 8 people, full time, to be doing the day to day work. We have 3. We'll eventually get into how that happened, but not just now. The reality is; the overload is so bad, and has been going on so long, that it is literally affecting our health; not for the better; and when one of us winds up with 4 sick days in a week, we get further behind.
All our communications channels suffer from this. This blog is an attempt to make communicating about grower's concerns easier.
We've had a blog since 2002 - if you know your internet history, the word "blog" was just barely becoming current then, and services like Blogger and WordPress barely existed, and the entire phenomenon was just taking off.
So- we wound up being one of the very first "nut" oriented operations to have a blog- of any kind. And the software that supported it; though it was state of the art in 2002- is now seriously out of date. That's exactly why our entire website is a little behind (about 4 years). We have one of, if not the, first website of any nut business in North America; maybe the world. Using the software then available; which of course is now orphaned. We're working on a total overhaul- as of 5 years ago.
Being the first one to stick your neck out is always expensive. For us- the entire expense of setting up- and hosting, all those years- our original blog has been donated by Jim Stegman and his family business; as a way of supporting Badgersett. It was a huge help, and very important to us; but the software had a bunch of built in limitations; by today's standards, it was very hard to use.
Now- on Blogger- it's easy. If you have a comment (civil) - make it. It'll appear sometime the same day, usually; and if you have a question, we'll actually try to answer the same day. On the old blog, we had to go to it, and check for comments; alas, far too easy to forget, or postpone. With the new blog, when a comment is made, it will be emailed to 3 people, any of whom can moderate it. Probably; one of us will not be sick that day; and we'll try hard to get it done.
We want to answer your questions; never doubt that. And provide a forum where growers can talk. We're aware that a couple other efforts have been made to launch hazelnut forums, in particular; but if you've tried them, you've discovered a basic problem- they really don't have anyone there who has any more experience than you do.
We have 30 years- which is about 20 more than anyone else; and many tens of thousands of plants more than anyone in the midwest. And scientific standards actually greatly more stringent than any of the universities doing work in this area.
You can "subscribe" to this blog; i.e. arrange it so that whenever we make a new entry, you get an email notice. It's down at the bottom of the page. I'm pretty sure you can also ask to be emailed if/when someone responds to your comment. (If not, we'll fix that soon.)
This blog is not only for questions, comments, and a growers forum; it will also be a place for news, and statements from us about what we're doing; not only for our hazels, but for all 3 of our "NeoHybrid" crops; hazels, chestnuts, and hickory/pecans. And other news about operations; for example- did you know the farm here now includes horses? No? We'll post about that soon. (Horses eat grass, you know.)
(you can click on the pic for a bigger version)