Mary Combs

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since Jan 11, 2015
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Recent posts by Mary Combs

Mary Combs wrote:

Dan Huisjen wrote:The thing that takes all the profit out of hazel nuts is shelling them. If I were to grow them, I'd hope to produce 50-100 pounds of them, shelled. But shelling that many with a hand cracker or small hammer is a non-starter. Anyone know of simple machinery for the task?



There are plenty of nutcrackers around, the harder task is getting the inner membrane off. Without doing that, the hazelnuts are bitter.

http://wickedgoodkitchen.com/how-to-easily-peel-blanch-hazelnuts/

Also, in the UK, hazels are sold green as cobnuts in shops for a short window of time as a higher end product...

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2007/sep/08/features.recipes




Yes, hazels have an inner brown skin that is bitter.

I've asked a prepper site if anyone knows the techniques used commercially for de-shelling hazels. So far no answer to that question, but this comment came back. Apparently spotted on another permaculture site so thought it was worth repeating.


"I can't find the photo right now, but one year I inadvertently left a half bushel basket at the base of the walnut tree. It had a gallon pot in it. The squirrels filled the whole thing with nuts. I emptied it, and it got filled twice more. They poke nuts into every cavity in every tree. They poke nuts into every hole in the ground... Upright cinder-blocks laying on the ground are a nut magnet. One gallon pots are highly favored.

There's a project for a permaculture inventor.... Study squirrels, and test designs, and share blueprints for boxes that are irresistible to squirrels as a stash place for nuts. I think that the best designs will have an easy empty feature so that they can be easily robbed."
4 years ago

Dan Huisjen wrote:The thing that takes all the profit out of hazel nuts is shelling them. If I were to grow them, I'd hope to produce 50-100 pounds of them, shelled. But shelling that many with a hand cracker or small hammer is a non-starter. Anyone know of simple machinery for the task?



There are plenty of nutcrackers around, the harder task is getting the inner membrane off. Without doing that, the hazelnuts are bitter.

http://wickedgoodkitchen.com/how-to-easily-peel-blanch-hazelnuts/

Also, in the UK, hazels are sold green as cobnuts in shops for a short window of time as a higher end product...

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2007/sep/08/features.recipes


4 years ago
I live in the UK but have a tree farm in Idaho. I didn't realise that Hazel isn't the common woodland plant over in the US as it is here. Hazel here grows just everywhere. It's widely used as stakes for growing other plants (e.g. Bean poles), as a basket material, it is one of the primary types of lathe (split as in lathe and plaster) or as wattle (unsplit withes woven between upright stakes) in wattle and daub walls, as hurdles for all sorts of outdoor fencing and horse jumps, for fodder, for nuts, as stick fuel and as mulch. The beauty of Hazel is that it coppices so well and throws up very straight and sturdy sticks when coppiced. Grows fast too.

I had just assumed that as I migrate my tree farm away from mainly pine forest to mixed food forest and farm forestry, that hazel would be part of the mix - but it sounds from this thread as though I will have to work at getting it established as part of my project.
4 years ago
I hope to buy a Jersey cow in calf or with calf about April or May. I almost bought a lovely cow and her yearling heifer just before Christmas. They had been a 4-H project and so were very gentle, used to being loaded and travelled, etc. The roadblock we ran into was the regulations and hoops to jump to move them from Washington to Idaho. The cow had not been vaccinated and would have had to be vaccinated and tested, as well as a clean health check. The kicker was that these were not just cows, they were pet cows. If either tested positive (very small but not zero risk), they'd have had to go for slaughter. The owners didn't want to believe that, but I sent them all the urls I'd found on the subject. In the end they decided not to risk the testing and last I heard from them, they planned to just keep them. It's a shame, two pet cows with their manners would have been perfect for us and those girls would have had a good home for life.
4 years ago