Sunday, February 21, 2010

Word gets around-

I'm going to strive NOT to provide a steady diet of heavy complex discussion here, rather substantive information punctuated by sideways excursions.

Here's an excursion.  It would be good for people to know that Badgersett ideas get around- here is an unexpected comment on the blog of a UC Davis professor, who has written a well received book on "radically rethinking agriculture".

Three comments, actually:





  1. What kind of climate zone would you consider for setting up a Badgersett cooperative? I live in the KC area and am looking to purchase some land for hobby/second career/etc. in a few years; the main caveat is that the land must be within 120 miles (2 hours) of KC.

    Eric in KC

  2. Eric- hm; I'd need to know a bit more about what you mean by a cooperative- multiple growers, pooled processing/sales?

    Item two- you DO realize that NO one is actually making money growing any of these crops - yet? It's pioneer days.

    Given that you're still interested- KC is well within the region we can expect our genetics to thrive and be productive. You can see largish plantings of our stuff at Arbor Day Farm- the hazel field in front of the Lied Conference Center is all Badgersett Cycle 1 & 2 hazels; a planting with similar genetics is on the Leavenworth Army Base. The Army hasn't been able to provide the same level of care, so you can see some differences.

    All those genetics are 15 years old, though- there's been a huge amount of progress there, but most Cycle 3 plants we've distributed are not at bearing peak yet. They are more reliable, in all respects. (No one else has Cycle 3 to sell).

    What you'd want to look for is good agricultural soil- "marginal" land will produce marginal crops of anything. More rainfall is better- anything over 20" annual average will work; 30 is great if you can get it.

    Come to the Short Course!

    Which, I just noticed, has NO info about 2010, yet. cripes.

    The dates are set, though; April 9-11 this year; sign up stuff should be updated on the website VERY soon.

  3. Thanks, Phil. I'm not expecting to make much beyond living expense; just looking for something to do in my later years...

    I have seen the planting at Arbor Day but not the one at Leavenworth - I'll have to make that trip.

    I was at the 2008 Short Course but can't attend the 2010 Short Course; is a DVD for the 2008 course still in the works?

    My thoughts on cooperative were on the lines of furthering breeding lines in a different locale for the very reason you mention - lack of a solid hazelnut market in the Midwest. I know that other organizations do this and have germplasm agreements and such. Is this something that Badgersett does or would consider?

  4. Eric- sorry I didn't recognize your handle!

    We feel really crappy about not getting the DVD's out. yet. It's been mostly a problem of computer makers saying "now you can do THIS!" - and not being quite truthful about it. Turning the presentations into workable formats for the DVD has been infuriatingly difficult- one of the most common things being for an "export" process running, apparently working fine- for as much as and hour and a half- then telling you "sorry, couldn't do it." With no help on what to fix.

    We DO still intend to. It may need yet another computing upgrade here.

    Is cooperating etc. something BRC would consider? Absolutely- it's even something in our Business Plan. We've done a little- and now have a much better idea how to go about it.

    So- yes. In fact, we're going farther than that; starting this year, Badgersett will buy your harvested nuts.

    So- you now have a guaranteed market.

    It's going to be wild pain figuring out how to price everything- obviously we'll have to vary prices with crop quality (weevils, blanks, etc..) - and distance-

    But still. We'll buy what you have (ANYBODY out there with our hazels) - which will really help give us a pool of nuts to work with; on processing, and marketing.

    A good part of the reason we can do this this year - we've had another substantial infusion of investment cash; gives us more latitude to work.

    But don't count on getting rich at it! :-)