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hazelnut thread

 
Brenda Groth
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I searched but didnt' find a hazelnut thread so I thought I would start one.

3 or 4 years ago I planted 6 hazelnuts and a neighbor planted 2. Mine were 4 from one nursery and 2 from another, just sticks.

Well they grew like wildfire and even with the drought we had this year, 4 of the 6 have nuts on them. I was so thrilled to see the pretty soft green clusters of moist nuts, just babies but already the size of marbles, and a real promise of proteins growing on my property.

I have read about hazelnuts and I have read that you can eat them in the unripe green stage and that they should be eaten with a bit of salt, or you can wait for them to fall free from the husks and dry them and eat them the usual way.

As I have never had a fresh hazelnut this is all new to me, but I'm loving the idea that i have a chance to try fresh hazelnuts off my own trees. There won't be a lot but there are more than I figured I'd get in only a few years, so I'm happy. I figure I'm going to have to find a way to protect them from the browsers, i'm thinking that as they begin to ripen I might wrap something around the clusters to deter racoons and squirrels. Our squirrels are well fed in the front yard and the red oaks are loaded with acorns this year, so I'm hoping they'll not really pay attention to the hazelnuts which are out of that area, but I'm going to keep an eye on them anyway.

I want them for me.

I am hoping to get a crop from all of my nut trees before I die (2 black walnuts, 1 carpathian walnut, 1 butternut, 2 heartnut, 6 hazelnuts, 2 sweet chestnut, 1 hardy almond and 2 hickory) but most of them are all still babies less than 5 years old...so this years baby hazelnuts is a hope and a promise to me.

Am posting this thread for a hazelnut discussion and even open to recipes and storage ideas, etc.. Wish I had a bunch of those mesh onion bags to tie around them, but don't..but i'll have my thinking cap on and am open to ideas.
 
Leslie Kaup
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Location: Minnesota z4b
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Brenda, I am in southern Minnesota, zone 4. I planted a dozen hazels last June, and they are all doing great, despite being nibbled down by rabbits over last winter. I have high hopes for them-- they came from Badgersett Research Farm, which is just an hour or two east of me. Phil Rutter, the owner/founder/researcher, came to my PDC and gave a day-long presentation on nut crops.

But this week, I discovered about a dozen more hazels on the property, planted by the land owner a few years ago, likely from a county tree sale (wildlife food). And they are in various stages of nut ripeness, from green 'raviolis' to ready to eat. So far, I've just filled my pockets a couple times, and nibbled a few. Maybe tomorrow I'll get out there with a bucket and get the rest-- some are starting to shatter to the ground. A handful of smaller nuts, I crushed up and fed to the chickens, to see if they would eat them. They all crowded around at first, then most drifted away, but a couple of the red hens persisted and ate most of the nut meat. Now I need to do the research about using hazelnuts as poultry feed. . .

The taste, to me, is a little bland. But these are also not varieties bred for human consumption. And some of the nuts are markedly bigger, even on the same shrub. I haven't tried any of those yet-- maybe the taste will be different, too. I'm more interested in having a protein storage crop than eating them fresh like a vegetable. . .

I'm surprised the deer haven't found them. Maybe this is the first year for nuts, and they just don't know about them yet. The hazels are planted at the edge of the property, in two lines of trees that are (eventually) the buffer between us and the chemical agriculture, corn/soybeans neighbor. And a windbreak, too.
 
Michael Duhl
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I have them. My x girlfriend bought them for me in Kentucky>>>8 yrs ago. They are making a nice patch but no nuts yet. There is a local hazel which I sit under and eat nuts yearly but man would it be nice to have some of my own!
 
Michael Duhl
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Michael Duhl wrote:I have them. My x girlfriend bought them for me in Kentucky>>>8 yrs ago. They are making a nice patch but no nuts yet. There is a local hazel which I sit under and eat nuts yearly but man would it be nice to have some of my own!


I should mention I'm in Ohio and the start came from Tennessee.
 
Brenda Groth
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ravioli, great explaination of what they look like. I'm not sure what to expect them to look like as they ripen but mine are moist light green ravioli..in clumps of about 4 per clump...easy to find as the leaves by the clumps have faded somewhat (maybe cause of the drought)..

I found nuts on 4 of the 6 trees, I got 4 from one source and 2 from another so I'm thinking that might be why they were on the 4 only..prob different varieties..I'll have to check the 2 at the neighbors for nuts too
 
Tiffani Nute
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I'm glad we have this thread, I just love hazelnuts! Oregonhazelnuts.org has some really nice recipes, but I am interested in using hazelnuts for flour/bread. Anyone have any tips on grinding nuts? Roast them first or just air dry? Any suggestions on milling devices?
Thanks in advance!
 
Paul Cereghino
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Thoughts on hazels... I have five and am preparing to plant more. Got my first pockets-full last year.
  • I picked varieties resistant or immune to eastern filbert blight.
  • I planted varieties that cross pollinate... they are wind pollinated, and so I suspect they'd yield better planted in a block like corn.
  • The Turks (the other big hazel producer outside of OR) hand pick, as does Mike Dolan in Onalaska, WA to beat the jays.
  • I have had some deer damage, but VERY little compared to other species... this makes me happy.
  • I have seen hand crank automatic nut crackers
  • Propagate by stooling, and then when you're done stooling you can let them grow in place.
  • On their own roots they grow into bushier shrubs that are easier to hand pick, while they produce poles.

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    Brenda Groth
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    not familiar with stooling, is that like taking root cuttings? I would like to propagate mine now that they are doing so well
     
    Tiffani Nute
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    Brenda Groth wrote:not familiar with stooling, is that like taking root cuttings? I would like to propagate mine now that they are doing so well



    Brenda, I'm pretty sure that stooling and coppicing are the same thing. I think that stooling applies to small shrubs while coppicing applies to larger hedges or trees (wikipedia-found knowledge)
     
    Sam White
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    Brenda Groth wrote:not familiar with stooling, is that like taking root cuttings? I would like to propagate mine now that they are doing so well


    Brenda, you can propagate hazels by layering - description on page 2 of this .pdf from the Forestry Commission. Once established you can sever the connection to the 'mother' tree and transplant the daughter.

    Forgive me if you already know this
     
    Brenda Groth
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    yeah I did know, as my hazelnuts have spread from the roots, but I haven't "severed" any to replant at this time...probably will as they continue to widen. I have them alternated with mulberries in a hedge (2 hazels, mulberry, 2 hazels,mulberry, 2 hazels, mulberry) and the mulberries are much much smaller at this time than the hazels, but will probalby grow larger eventually.

    as the hazels do make a nice small hedge there are areas where they would be beneficial on our property, although I did plant them with a north and west lattice fence to control wind which may be helping them to grow so nicely...and in another area they wouldn't have that protection
     
    Doug Hack
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    SamWhite - Thanks for the useful link. Here is another: Hazel Coppicing

    Somewhere I read that mounding soil around the stems (after coppicing regrowth??) would create new roots at the base of the stems for propagation. I'm wondering if the original reference to "stooling" by Paul Cereghino includes this technique and what details he can add.

    Here is an interesting study of hazels in Scotland: Trees for Life
     
    Doug Hack
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    Here is a link to a short discussion of resistant varieties. webpage

    And a link to a stratification procedure for breaking seed dormancy: e-how

    Is anyone getting good performance from Hazels in zone 9? If so, could you send me some fresh nuts this fall for starting a hedgerow?
     
    Julie Carney
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    Does anyone know where we can find / purchase hazelnuts in CA?

     
    Jay Vinekeeper
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    Sounds like you have some great nut trees, Brenda. I especially like the idea of sweet chestnuts (Castanea spp.) and the hazels (Corylus spp.) I'm curious, about how large is your land holding and what climate zone are you in?

    Most hazels want to throw up annual flushes of new sprouts from the root crown of the plant. On established plants, these are mostly pruned away.

    "Stooling" is a first cousin to coppicing. With the hazel, some of those young sprouts can be bent down and away from the crown tight to the ground and then covered with soil and mulch. Some propagators will make small cuts to facilitate this bending and to provide zones of new root production on the stem parts covered with soil. After a season, maybe two, these "layered" sprouts will have their own roots and can be carefully separated from the main plant. Voila! New hazelnut bushes genetically identical to the original.

    Technically, the same can be done with chestnuts and many other trees, but it is easy with the hazelnuts. I currently operate many dozens of chestnut "stools" and layer new trees from them when that tree is very superior. Otherwise, I grow many hundreds of chestnuts from seeds collected from the best of thousands of trees set out in the 1980's-1990's. All produce excellent nuts, but we end up propagating from only a few. The next generation will be our fourth.
     
    Cj Sloane
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    Anyone know what fits in the Hazelnut guild?

    Here's what my notes say:

    Oregon White Oak forests(?)
    California Hazelnut; Pacific Madrone; Mazzard Cherry; Black Hawthorn; Saskatoon ServiceBerry; Creambush oceanspray; Round leaved Snowberry; Thimbleberry; Trailing Blackberry; Sweetbriar Rose; Broad petaled strawberry; Verba buena; Sweet cicely; American Vetch(Nitrogen fixer)
     
    Devon Olsen
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    i love a combo of hazelnut and chocolate, GOTTA have hazelnut for the ultimate cup of hot cocoa lol
    i dont have any bushes yet but cant wait til i do
     
    Brenda Groth
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    I only have about 8 acres but my son has an adjoining acerage too and the neighbors to our west used to be hubbies parents, we sold it, but they also have pollinators for ours..

    I picked a few more of the hazelnuts yesterday but there are still qutie a few that are still green, so I'm waiting on them. surprise surprise, the oaks are dropping acorns at the same time and the critters are far more familiar and interested in the oaks so I'm getting all the hazelnuts for me me me.

    all of my nut trees are 3 years old or less..and the hazels are the first to produce..and I'm very excited to be eating nuts from my trees !!
     
    Brenda Groth
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    after picking all my hazelnuts I put them in a bowl on the table with a cracker..and they are now all eaten..

    one problem, i pinched my hand several times cracking those little buggers so maybe a good link to some new nut crackers??
     
    osker brown
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    If I'm just doing a few I use visegrips or Reed's Rocket. We have the version shown as well as an older one from an antique shop, the new one is nice.

    We just ordered a DaveBilt nutcracker specifically for large volumes of acorns. I just ran a handful of wild hazels through it today and it worked fine, didn't break any nutmeats. It's also made in the USA by a small family business, and highly adjustable to accommodate different nut sizes. If you're planning on cracking lots of nuts with medium hard shells I'd highly recommend this.

    peace
     
    Brenda Groth
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    thanks I'll check those out, i have a LOT of catkins for next years crop so I'm excited !! I planted all of my acorns rather than trying any of them this year, they were huge though..
     
    Rosalind Riley
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    Hi there

    My grandfather's favourite thing to eat was fresh hazelnuts. We call them cobnuts here in Kent, and they are only on sale at farm shops in season. I gather a few at home - I have loads of hazel stools but the squirrels usually get the lot before they are ready to be contemplated, let alone ripe (grr). Anyway, my Granddad would pick fresh cobnuts, then put them in a tin and bury them in the veg patch. On Christmas day he would dig them up and the family would have fresh green cobnuts for a teatime treat. I tried it (using a jar not a tin) and it worked really well.

    I think you can do this with other nuts, but that's my family version. Granddad was born into a farming family in Dorset at the end of the 19th Century and served in WWI.

    Might be too late now to do this, but maybe next year!

    Best wishes

    Rosalind
     
    Doug Zaklan
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    Does anyone know of a solution to cracking and sorting hazelnuts?
    There seem to be some simple gadgets that can crack them, but sorting is another story...
     
    Brenda Groth
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    i am so in love with my baby hazelnuts that I'm planning on trying to dig up a lot of the suckers and move them this spring..any hints?
     
    dj niels
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    Very interesting discussion and links.

    Brenda, that is so neat that you are getting hazelnuts. I hope to be able to find some variety or varieties that will do well here, too. I see visions in my head of our place 10 years from now, with fruit and nut trees and shrubs, etc. forming hedgerows and glades and shady paths. Somehow, my picture looks a bit like yours that you have shared. Hope I can find ways to help it happen.
     
    mary yett
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    I have 21 hazels planted,half were planted 2 yr ago and the other half last yr. They all did really well except 2 that were planted last yr off to the side away from the others- these were overlooked and did not get mulched until very late in the season. Wow, what a difference, esp during the serious drought we had last yr. The newly planted hazels that got mulch- thick cardboard covered with leaves and hay-- did fine, but the 2 "orphans" may have died. The soil where they are is a fairly heavy clay and infested with twitch grass,thus the need for thick layers of cardboard to smother this aggressive grass.

    I got my stock from Grimo Nut Nursery. I have dealt with them for many yrs and I have always received good trees from them. Some of the hazels I covered with plantras,protective tubes, to keep the deer from eating them- others I left bare as a comparison. There has been surprisingly little deer damage on the unprotected ones, also no rodent/mouse damage to the bark at the base of the stems. I am glad to not use the plastic protectors on general principals of thrift, environmental issues and laziness.The plantras are not practical except for the first couple of yrs anyway due to the multistemed nature of hazels after they are a few yrs old.

    I plan on allowing my hazels to grow as their natural shrub shape. I will only prune to remove dead wood, but that will not happen often as I also plan to coppice them every maybe 5-7 yrs anyway > growth should stay vigorous with this system.Can use the poles for many things.

    I have the hazels planted in a long row along 1 edge of a 50 foot wide fence row windbreak/food forest. They are not in formal guilds and the species mix varies at different parts of this row. Apples,pears,mulberry, sour cherries,beech, turkish tree hazels, black locust, white oak,korean pine,and white pine are the major large tress. Shrubs include gooseberry,Univ of Saskatchewan bush cherries, Nanking cherries , elderberry ( red and black), black currant,red currant, gogi berry, sea buckthorn, caragana, various roses with big hips, and saskatoons. All these are well spot mulched.

    The forb layer is still mainly standing hay - timothy,red clover,alfalfa and the dreaded twitch grass. It is the aggressiveness of the twitch grass that will make establishing a good biodiversity of ground cover challenging.There is a hardpan from yrs of bad farming practices at about 1 to 2 feet down. The alfalfa is helping break this up and I plan on planting fodder radish, big bluestem,comfrey around every tree, and rye, etc.Hugelculture beds and swales are also planed.

    I did manage to get a few tough alliums, comfrey, mints and blackberries going last yr and some wildlings showed up - new england aster, goldenrod, wild carrot,yarrow( my favorite!),plantain, mullein, etc.

    Believe it or not, not one of over a dozen Jerusalem artichoke roots I planted grew enough for me to find them later. Maybe they are still alive and will be visible this yr.Tough growing conditions- terrible drought and heavy clay w/ competing grass. I covered numerous small patches with cardboard last yr ( it takes at least a yr of smothering to kill twitch grass in this location)and will move this mulch to the side this spring to expose a seed bed where I will plant a mix of 70 forb species seeds. I have also started some species inside for transplanting out.

    The hazels have been the best performers of all these planted species. I put them in a row to facilitate harvesting, which I may even do with machinery some day since I keep planting more of them.I am buying seeds from Grimo this yr (you have to order these ahead- they dry them a bit but not as much as the ones for eating) to plant out in my nursery. Last time I planted 500 hazelnuts and the rodents ate all but 1 of them. I am building a bottomless hardwarcloth cage with the sides sunk into the ground 10 inches to plant them in this time. I am also researching recipes for squirrel-- more on that later.

    After the last ice age receded around 10,000 yrs ago, much of my ancestors' homeland in Europe was covered in vast colonies of hazelnuts and that's what people ate- something like 80% of the diet. I hope to eat (and sell) a lots of hazelnuts too.

    Manitoulin Mary
     
                                  
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    Where to buy?
    I haven't found a place to purchase hazels in California. I found three mail order choices: Burnt Ridge Nursery, One Green World, And Raintree. Can anyone add to this list?

    Chill hours? I am wondering if anyone knows of hazel varieties with lower chill hour requirements? I have read that Tonda di Giffoni is one. Any others? I know all the Corylus avellana have at least 800 chill hour requirement. C. cornuta is native to California and other parts of the west coast and I believe has much lower chill requirements.

    I found the abstract to an article that I would love to read or at least get the "cliff notes" for. Does anyone have access to this article? University students out there?
    HortScience September 1990 vol. 25 no. 9 1106
    CHILLING REQUIREMENTS OF HAZELNUT CULTIVARS
    Shawn A. Mehlenbacher

     
    mary yett
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    Grimo Nut Nursery sells seed nuts as well as plants - nuts ship accross the border ok without paper work. The low chill hazels you seek they may not have. Canada has lots of chill.
     
    Brenda Groth
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    Time for a 2013 hazelnut update..

    well it seems when I bought 2 hazelnuts from one company and 4 from another I ended up with two different kinds of hazelnuts (they weren't marked by variety, just dwarf hazelnuts). 2 of the trees have nuts much larger than the other 4, which are quite small but tasty.

    They are all producing this year, last year only a few of the smaller ones produced..and it is amazing the difference in the nut size.

    I'm thinking I want to encourage the larger ones, but keep the smaller ones too as they are useful and yummy..but I'm wondering if I would be best to cut suckers off of the adult bushes or plant the nuts themselves..?? I'm thinking the nuts may have crossed and might even form a third type of nuts..which I wouldn't mind.

    Thes e nut trees are only only a few years old
     
    Cj Sloane
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    Brenda Groth wrote:..but I'm wondering if I would be best to cut suckers off of the adult bushes or plant the nuts themselves..??


    Pretty sure I just heard somewhere that the nuts don't come true like an apple. Cut suckers or maybe better lay some branches/suckers on the ground and cover with dirt and they should root and send up new shoots. Then you can dig those up and move 'em.
     
    Miles Flansburg
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    I thought I had seen a hazelnut thread, just couldn't find it when I posted my update here...

    http://www.permies.com/t/27229/plants/Hazelnuts-harvest-processing-propagation
     
    J.D. Ray
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    A friend of mine has a commercial hazelnut ("filbert" to us Oregonians) orchard, somewhere around 25 acres planted in mature trees. Harvest just finished, and from what I hear, he got in the neighborhood of 100,000 pounds of nuts, a banner year. Doing some math, knowing that they're planted about 100 to an acre, it seems like each tree provided around 40 pounds of nuts in the shell. If I remember correctly, 65% of the nut is shell, so that's about 18 pounds per tree of nut meat. For personal consumption, one or a few trees should provide quite well unless you have some rabid hunger for hazelnuts.

    His harvesting method is, of course, mechanical, sweeping up fallen nuts from the bare ground in the orchard. I'm unclear what he does for fertilization, if anything, though I do know that the river floods the orchard every year, depositing a fresh layer of silt. After harvest, there are always some residual nuts on the ground or that fall from the trees after the machines have come by, in the neighborhood of a couple thousand pounds across his orchard. I'm considering suggesting that he get some pigs and run them in the orchard after harvest to clean up the nuts and deposit a bit of nutrient. Also, they should root out the mice, which are the major pest problem.

    Any thoughts on this?

    Thanks.

    JD
     
    John Polk
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    Sounds like a 'win-win' to me.
    By cleaning up the debris, the hogs will help control diseases/pests just prior to typical slaughter time.
    Some sweet pork on the table as a reward.

     
    Matu Collins
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    At the school I work at the hazel bushes are about twenty years old, healthy and bushy but the nuts that come are all taken by squirrels before they are ripe.


    Jay Vinekeeper wrote: Otherwise, I grow many hundreds of chestnuts from seeds collected from the best of thousands of trees set out in the 1980's-1990's. All produce excellent nuts, but we end up propagating from only a few. The next generation will be our fourth.


    I am very curious about your experiences with chestnuts, Jay! I have three large mature chestnuts planned in the 80s and quite a few young ones. Chestnut weevils are a big concern. If you get a chance, could you comment on chestnut weevils in this thread http://www.permies.com/t/28453/trees/chestnut-weevil-control#227825
     
    William Trachte
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    Any experiences with complete shutdown of production with acres of native beaked hazelnuts? In a season of superlatives like wettest, coldest, shortest, it's hard to pick which one did them in: we did not get Nut One from a single bush this year. For a moment, I pity the squirrels.


     
    John Polk
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    Never pity the squirrels. They are not on your side. LOL
    If they have a lean, hungry winter, they will be much less likely to reproduce.
    Abundance of food promotes abundance of squirrels.

     
    Cj Sloane
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    John Polk wrote:
    If they have a lean, hungry winter, they will be much less likely to reproduce.
    Abundance of food promotes abundance of squirrels.


    Not according to geoff lawton! He made a big deal about how infertility clinics are only in wealthy countries and poor people (and animals) are more fertile. I guess they need to breed more if the mortality rate is high.
     
    John Polk
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    Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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    Most members of the animal kingdom will regulate their population according to available food.
    Humans are the glaring exception.

     
    Andy Cook
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    Location: Alaska
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    John Polk wrote:Most members of the animal kingdom will regulate their population according to available food.
    Humans are the glaring exception.


    How do you figure? The difference with us humans is that we have been getting better and better at devising methods to produce more and more food since we started intentionally using fire to alter habitat, with the resultant increase in population. The most recent method, of course, is turning fossil fuels into humans. Our population is regulated by food supply just like any other, the difference for us being we have broadly avoided the consequences of not enough food for thousands of years. I'm thinking, however, that that period is just about over.

    Most other species do not "regulate" their populations as a choice when food is scarce. . . . a significant percentage of the members of the population simply die for one reason or another. As industrial agricultural yields collapse due to climate disruption, soil erosion and declining fossil fuel production we will witness the same process IMO.

    This future has arrived in some regions, it just is not equitably distributed yet.



     
    Cj Sloane
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    Location: Vermont, off grid for 22 years!
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    Sorry for throwing an OT into this thread but I haven't bounced that idea off anyone since I heard it.

    The main point seemed to be to differentiate between fertility and population. So, to bring it back around to a permaculture concept, many plants will have a faster growth rate if you stress them. You want your grapes to grow like mad? Cut them.

    And to really bring it back around to hazelnuts, cut them partially, lay them down and watch the growth go exponential (for a while). That's my plan for my hazelnuts this year.

    Is the best time to do that in the winter?
     
    I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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