Now we just need to collect them before the squirrels can get to them. We started spraying them last week with our hot pepper spray, (see August 17, 2012 post for recipe), which seems to help deter the squirrels from completely wiping out he hazelnut crop. My dad has also been live-trapping the squirrels and moving them (hopefully) far enough away so they don't come back. Going over a couple rivers helps as well.
Above is just a few of the various different hazelnuts we have. They come in all shapes and sizes as you can see by the husks, and they will ripen at different times as well (from now until mid-September, depending on the variety). The middle picture shows them just starting to ripen. You can see them turning a tannish brown color. However, color is not usually the best way to tell if they are ripe. You can see if they are ripe by putting your thumb on the end of the hazelnut and pushing sideways. If they are ripe they will come right out. If not, they will stay attached to the back of the husk. We usually test a few hazelnuts from all over the bush and if they all come out then we can collect the whole plant.
Dan starting collecting hazelnuts this weekend, and I will be going out to help sometime this week, so more pictures of the hazelnut collecting process will be posted shortly.
Just for fun, can you spot where the hazelnuts are on this plant?? They blend right in!
Here is just a few of them circled!! It takes a lot of moving of the branches to spot all of them.
Just for comparison, here is what they hazelnuts looked like on June 16. They start out so tiny!