Going Nuts, Eventually

Hazelnut seedlings - ready to plant

Whew! I just planted three small hazelnut seedlings after weeks of watching the mailbox. It turns out that I planted these seedlings just days before the weather turned quite cold (the forecast high today is 29°F). Why hazelnuts? Well they're an experiment in permaculture and hybridization. That, and we've been looking for nuts that would grow in the high desert climate of Santa Fe. Now I'm crossing my fingers that they survive the winter and sprout in the spring.

We've planted an apple tree, almond tree, raspberry canes and have two volunteer apricots. The hazelnuts will complement our small and growing suburban orchard. The hybrid hazelnut (filbert) bushes were developed by the Arbor Day Foundation and should be quite hardy and hopefully prolific once they establish themselves. Since we are starting with seedlings it will take a few years for the hazelnuts to grow large enough to start bearing any nuts.

Of course, planting and waiting (patiently?) are part of the nature of farming. Especially in the case of permaculture, where perennial plants take a few years before they produce any food. In the meantime, I still need to plan (and plant) next year's veggie garden.

More Info:

Arbor Day Foundation Hazelnut Project

Wikipedia - Hazelnuts

Wikipedia - Permaculture


Nuts to you!

I thought of an online video I recently watched of Rob Hopkins (the Transition guru of Totnes, UK) when I read your nutty post. [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkMS--koKqk ]

Rob was holding up a copy of his recently released new book on food relocalization ... and talking about walnuts. Totnes is apparently growing walnut trees everywhere! On town streets, in parks.... When Rob was asked by the interviewer how the nuts would be distributed for food, Rob sorta shrugged his shoulders and said [paraphrase] "Well, I suppose passers by will just pick them up". I was already thinking that it's rather unfortunate that we never thought of filling our parks and streets with edibles rather than ornamentals. Nuts, berries, fruit.... Who says food has to be owned, bought and sold -- all of the time? When we were still young primates all of our food was wild! Perhaps we should devolve?

Update on the ‘Totnes, the Nut Tree Capital of Britain’ Project

Food For Thought - http://mind4food.blogspot.com

Indeed we've just recently

Indeed we've just recently had a complete renovation of the Railyard District in Santa Fe, wherein they planted over 400 trees - less than 1% are fruit or nut trees. What is needed is to completely change how we look at landscaping. I've been doing that over the last couple years since discovering Guerilla Gardening - I can't look at ornamental gardens and the water and resource waste that they represent in quite the same way any more.