Last summer, staff at the Arbor Day Farm greenhouse reached out to a select group of members for their help with our hazelnut project.
The Foundation and its Hybrid Hazelnut Consortium partners – Rutgers University, Oregon State University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln – have worked since 2008 to develop disease-resistant hybrid hazelnuts that will thrive in a variety of soils and climates.
For years, we have been collecting hybrid hazelnuts from participating members, in hopes of getting closer to that so-called “super hazelnut.”
The results have been fascinating. Hazelnuts we’ve gotten back here in Nebraska have been brown, almost black, some even reddish, and of varying sizes. All are healthy and critical to our continued research. Read more about it at the Lied Lodge & Arbor Day Farm Blog.
The benefits of hazelnuts as a perennial woody crop are profound. The leafy bushes are ideal for absorbing carbon dioxide through much of the year. The plants are drought and flood resistant, thus able to be maintained without heavy labor. And, protein-rich nuts provide a healthy source of nutrition for the planet’s expanding population. One day, they could help feed healthy nations.
It’s happening right here at Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City – and in the yards of our members across the country.
Photos courtesy of Arbor Day Farm.