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A Real Nut Job

Waiting for a hazelnut harvest is all about patience.


The nuts began falling from the trees nearly a month ago. But we have to wait until there’s enough nuts on the orchard floor before the harvest can begin. The timing is entirely in the hands of Mother Nature.

This week Mother Nature said, “Let’s go.”

Hazelnuts begin falling in early September as the nights get cool and the winds grow stronger.
Hazelnuts begin falling in early September as the nights get cool and the winds grow stronger.

We get our hazelnuts from our neighbors on Wigrich Road, Kirk Family Filberts. They have a 98-acre orchard just past our hopyard where the second and third generations of Kirks grow seven varieties of hazelnuts. They started harvesting this year’s crop on Thursday.

The Kirks wait until about two-thirds of the nuts have fallen before they start the harvest.
The Kirks wait until about two-thirds of the nuts have fallen before they start the harvest.

Rogue Farms in Independence is in the heart of hazelnut country. Just about every hazelnut grown in the United States comes from an orchard near our farm.

The harvest begins as a sweeper goes through the orchard…
The harvest begins as a sweeper goes through the orchard…
…and lines up the nuts into long rows.
…and lines up the nuts into long rows.
A harvester picks up the nuts, removing debris, leaves and blanks.
A harvester picks up the nuts, removing debris, leaves and blanks.
The harvest complete, the hazelnuts go to the Kirk’s processing facility where they are cleaned and dried.
The harvest complete, the hazelnuts go to the Kirk’s processing facility where they are cleaned and dried.

We use the Kirk’s hazelnuts in Rogue Spirits Hazelnut Spice Rum. We’ll drive the nuts 77-miles over the Oregon Coast Range to our Distillery in Newport where we roast them to bring out that great nutty flavor, bag them while they’re still warm, then place the bag into the distilling column to infuse our rum with that grown in Oregon hazelnut taste and aroma.

Being surrounded by hazelnuts, it’d be easy to simply go buy some off store shelves. But we like knowing the origin of all the ingredients in our beers, spirits, ciders and sodas; and we like knowing that when we need some hazelnuts, all we have to do is go next door and get some.

Please visit us at Rogue Farms for the rest of the harvest season and see how we Grow The Revolution!

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