The First Minnesota Machine Harvest of hazels went well; we estimate about 20 hard-core hazel growers came to see and investigate, as well as neighbors and folks who were "just interested.
As we use the machine to pick here on Badgersett Farm itself, it dawns on us more and more- the world has changed.
We will certainly be harvesting twice as many hazelnuts this year as last; at least, even with many nuts still left on bushes that refuse to be picked. Part of what that means is- all the other machines needed, huskers, cleaners, etc; are now an order of magnitude too slow.
We did also get great TV coverage from our Rochester Minnesota NBC affiliate, KTTC. I couldn't figure out how to embed the video here, so the link will have to do.
Meanwhile- the other two neohybrid nut crops we work on are just in the early stages of ripeness; and chestnut harvest, and hybrid hickory harvest, are looming. Hazel harvest is NOT finished, meanwhile; we will be machine picking our fields here in Minnesota a second time; about a week from now. The plants definitely have differing maturities, and harvesting bushes within a tiny 3 day window (we've picked everything here, in 3 days) is hardly an accurate idea of what will really respond to the picker. Plus; we're well aware; the hazels with the earliest maturity were picked a month ago. Next year.