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Five Reasons To Love Hazelnuts

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.

Winter
Winter
Spring
Spring
Summer
Summer
Fall
Fall

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.

You wouldn’t know it by looking at the photo, but this is pollination season for hazelnuts.
You wouldn’t know it by looking at the photo, but this is pollination season for hazelnuts.

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.

The long droopy clusters, called catkins, are male flowers. The small red ones, called florets, are the female part of hazelnuts.
The long droopy clusters, called catkins, are male flowers. The small red ones, called florets, are the female part of hazelnuts.

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.

The first step in harvesting hazelnuts. The fallen nuts are swept into rows, then vacuumed off the orchard floor.
The first step in harvesting hazelnuts. The fallen nuts are swept into rows, then vacuumed off the orchard floor.

5. They’re Delicious, Especially In Beer And Spirits

Rogue Ales Hazelnut Brown Nectar and Rogue Spirits Hazelnut Spice Rum.
Rogue Ales Hazelnut Brown Nectar and Rogue Spirits Hazelnut Spice Rum.

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.

We love the flavor of hazelnuts so much we use them as ingredients in our Hazelnut Brown Nectar and our Hazelnut Spice Rum. Try a bottle and taste the only in Oregon flavor for yourself.

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.

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