[NAFEX] Badgersett hazelnuts
Donna &/or Kieran
holycow at cookeville.com
Sat Jun 23 19:40:28 EDT 2007
Steve, You have Badgersett hazels??? Can you tell me how big the nuts are?
I hemmed and hawed for about 4 years before ordering mine, just got them a
month ago and had to put them in pots as the ground is too dry in the
drought. The longer I waited, the more curious and puzzled I got. His site
is not hard to find, and he talks on it like they sell a lot of their
seedlings, but I couldn't find even one reference to his place or his stuff
on the Net. He has a pretty impressive amount of literature on hazels and
chestnuts on the net, including the translation of a valuable document from
China on chestnuts. He is apparently a past president of the American
Chestnut Foundation, apparently back in the days when he was around other
people. He has probably stepped on some toes, and it's obvious from his
website that he doesn't suffer fools gladly. But I was getting sort of
nervous about the fact that nothing at all was being said on the Net about
his projects. And I'd talked to Cecil Farris's widow who said I should
definitely get named varieties. But Grinnell, Farris's friend, said he was
dropping the hazels because they didn't graft well. I don't want grafted
plants anyway, the whole idea sounds stupid to me because a) they sucker
really badly so you lose your graft in a thicket of rootstock, and b) they
sucker so much that they are extremely easy to propagate on their own roots.
Nobody else seemed to be carrying Farris's stuff.
I finally called Badgersett's county extension service and wound up
talking to 2 agents, one of them in forestry. Both seemed to think
Badgersett's stuff was pretty neat. One told me that he hired Amish
teenagers to hand pollinate some of his best plants. One warned me that
because they were seedlings that they wouldn't be uniform. He said one bush
might get 10' tall and the one beside it only grow to 3'. I said I didn't
care about that. Neither person had anything bad to say about the place or
the plants. So I put in my order.
I have recently talked to someone at Rutgers I think, a NNGA member
working with hazels, and he said that there had been some mixups of Farris's
stuff that led to some people thinking it wasn't disease resistant. He said
the real Grand Traverse was indeed blight resistant and a good variety.
The reason I'm doing all this looking for hazels is that the wild ones
are all over our place, and seedlings keep popping up. I don't see all that
many nuts, partly because the bigger bushes had been getting shaded out but
that has been reversed now. I'm figuring that hazels like our soil, and
that with some added phosphate they might put on some pretty decent crops.
Only trouble is that they make small nuts with thick shells that don't taste
as good as European hazels. Farris talked a lot about flavor and oil
content. If I get some good plants going I'l probably do some grafting to
ours just to up the production, not because it's an efficient way to
Anyway, anything you can tell me about the stuff you got from Phil would
be helpful. Also, I'm looking for anyone who has any of Cecil's plants.
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