Friday, September 16, 2011

The Machine WORKS-

Better in fact than I'd hoped. Though it will need some modifications on the nut/cluster handling/cleaning eventually- right now, it will let you pick a big field. Perfect? No. Just- way better than the slow hand picking process. We had two farmers, a PhD engineer, and a professional machinist studying the machine end of it, and two farmers and two biologists studying the plants- and animal end of it.
stick insect, picked out of harvest bag, after going through the machine

Yesterday was shakedown; we found several ways to do it wrong, but also how to do it right. Today is our first attempt at full day work. We're not sure we can get all the bushes picked in the time available- it's a big field; but we're going to try. Some of the bushes are not ripe yet - of course- and we may bring the machine back to this field in a couple weeks, to re-pick. We'll see.

bushes coming out

bushes going in

cluster bearing twigs; picked clean

picking an easy row; Brandon driving

The press event for Illinois will be Saturday, Sept. 17; from 10 AM to 2 PM (although we will try to accomodate other needs.) Stockholders are strongly encouraged to come! It's an experience you'll tell your grandchildren about.

The Minnesota press event will be Thursday, Sept. 22; rain date Friday Sept. 23. Picking will be going on in Minnesota starting on Tuesday (we think: transport permitting), and the public is welcome to come and observe- and maybe help wrangle the bags of nuts...


  1. wow. really huge news!! congratulations!

  2. I don't get it- aren't the hazels in Oregon picked by machine?

  3. Anonymous "aren't the hazels in Oregon picked by machine?"

    Not exactly; in Oregon, and everywhere else machines are used, they pick UP the hazels from the ground. They're allowed to fall on the ground first, then swept up into windrows, and the machine then picks up the windrow and separates the nuts from the leaves and dirt.

    Which is likely why there was a recall of hazelnuts last year; for Salmonella contamination.

    It's one of the advantages of ours system; we pick the nut clusters right off the bush; nothing in our machine harvest has ever touched the ground; drastically cutting the chances of any contamination from spoilage organisms.