Friday, August 20, 2021

Squirrels told me it was time to pick filberts


The rat-bastards left evidence. They said the Jefferson Filberts are ripe.

I got a very honest gallon of nuts off the one bush/tree. It was closer to four gallons before I shucked off the husks.
It is nice to have enough nuts on a tree that the squirrels can take their tax and there are still plenty for me.

Lars Nordstrom in his book Making it Home writes about picking a bumper crop of almonds at his farm in Oregon. By his estimate, he had the better part of one day in picking and processing his crop (one tree). At the end of the day he had enough calories for one man, one day.

His take-home message was that while he was processing the almonds he was not weeding the garden, tying up branches in the vineyard, fixing holes in the hen-house and hundreds of other, routine maintenance jobs.

In a subsistence environment one-day's-calories-for-one-day's-work is a losing proposition.

The hazelnuts/filberts clobbered Lars' almonds for return on hour invested. I have less than 2 hours invested in picking and popping the nuts out of the husk. I could easily cut that in half if I let the nuts dry in the husks but I want to keep them viable for seed.

The commercial guys roll the floor of the nut orchard to make it flat. Then they mow the grass short. Because they do not have squirrels, the nuts fall out of the husks and they sweep or blow them them with power equipment.

Any filbert that is to be commercially viable must be round enough to roll and have a pellicle (the papery covering of the nutmeat) that is easily and reliably removed by blanching. Jefferson fits the bill.

According to Tom Molnar at Rutgers University, Jefferson is not completely resistant to all races of Eastern Filbert Blight. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you
    As much as I relish your wisdom posts, I appreciate your routine ones. Shows we all have lives to live, in addition to planning for the shoe to drop.


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