Spring has arrived on the farm! As tender, green buds begin to bloom on the branches, the window of opportunity to get to work on certain projects is open for a limited time. Hazelnuts are rather hardy and thrive in Oregon due to the optimum climate and soil conditions, but farmers still have to be diligent and adhere to a fairly rigid schedule.
Pruning is one of the biggest difference makers in an orchard; shaping the trees and removing dead or diseased limbs is essential for the health and productivity of an entire orchard. There are many methods for pruning and every grower has a slightly different style, but every Hazelnut Oil knows the importance of pruning and keeping their tree scaffolds orderly.
Moving on to another crucial task: tidying up the orchard floor. After harvest, many growers will allow grass to grow in the rows between the trees until springtime; weeds, fallen branches and debris will also accumulate during this time, but must eventually be removed from the orchard floor. Through the combined practices of mulching, mowing and eventually flailing, the orchard floors are clean and smooth; this makes harvest more efficient and eliminates large obstructions like sticks and dirt clumps.
The rest is up to Mother Nature. Hazelnut farmers base many of their practices on the weather patterns in the area. When the rain, sunshine, wind and temperature all work in concert, it makes for happy hazelnuts!
February is American Heart Month–a time when we are all reminded to live a lifestyle that treats our heart a little better. A key component of this healthy lifestyle is diet, and hazelnuts can play a vital role in your heart health. Cardiovascular benefits of hazelnuts include:
- Hazelnuts contain 8% of RDV of folate per serving, highest among all tree nuts; healthful diets with adequate folate may help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and depression
- A 1.5-ounce serving of hazelnuts contains 23 grams of unsaturated fat and 2 grams of saturated fat, zero trans fats and no cholesterol
- Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts such as hazelnuts as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease