During March, we’re celebrating National Hazelnut Appreciation Month at Rogue Farms. Living and farming in the heart of Oregon’s world-famous hazelnut country has taught us to respect the filbert.
So if you’re wondering why hazelnuts are so special – here are five good reasons.
1. Hazelnut Orchards Are Beautiful
We drive by our neighbor’s 98-acre hazelnut orchard every day and never get tired of it. The orchard is stunning – in every season.
2. They Have Their Own Way Of Doing Things
Most crops hunker down for winter, but winter is pollination season for hazelnuts. They’re one of the few plants that pollinate in January and February. They don’t care that it’s cold and icy.
3. They’re Male And Female
A hazelnut tree grows male and female flowers. Pollen is spread by the wind.
Should you be tempted to tell a hazelnut tree to go “pollinate itself”, don’t bother. The pollen must come from another tree in the orchard for the female flowers to produce nuts.
4. Mother Nature Decides When To Harvest
The hazelnut harvest usually occurs in late September or early October. But the timing, and the length of the harvest, is entirely up to Mother Nature. It takes the right combination of cold nights and windy days for the nuts to start falling from the trees. Some years they fall quickly, in other years it may take weeks.
There’s nothing for a grower to do but wait. When two-thirds of that year’s crop is on the ground, the harvest begins.
5. They’re Delicious, Especially In Beer And Spirits
Oregon’s hazelnuts are famous around the world for their delicious flavor. There’s something about the climate and soil in the Willamette Valley that makes this a special place for hazelnuts. It’s the terroir. In fact, 99% of the US crop is grown in within a short drive of Rogue Farms.
Then, the next time you come to Rogue Farms, slow down as you drive past the hazelnut orchards. Take a moment to enjoy the view, and to appreciate the hazelnut.