We are splitting our time right now between getting the hazelnut crop all picked up off the ground, and getting next year’s perennial ryegrass crop into the ground.
I’ll start with the end of our hazelnut (or filbert) harvest. We are picking up the nuts from our smallest trees. The trees are only 4 years old, so they don’t produce like the larger and older trees, but it’s still exciting to have our first crop to pick up ever! They say that once you start harvesting your trees, the crop will double every year, so next year the row should be twice as large!! Since I posted a ton of photos of the harvester, here are some of the actual sweeping of the nuts into rows.
Also I have gotten a few questions about our cabbed tractor that is used to harvest…yes it’s very nice to have a cab and no I don’t feel like a wimp having a cab haha! Here for example is what I looked like when we had no cab…And here is how I feel about being much cleaner and much happier with a cab!!
We have also been planting perennial ryegrass. We plant the grass with a John Deere drill, on 12 inch rows. The planter has nozzles on the back that go over the rows and spray charcoal down over top of the row that you just planted.The charcoal serves two purposes. Not only does it contain a little bit of fertilizer to get the plant some umph to get it up and growing before winter, but it also deactivates certain herbicides that we can spray over top to keep the ground around it clean, and not kill off what we want to grow.
This is the sprayer that I use to apply the herbicides after planting. With crops grown for seed it’s incredibly important that you keep weeds out of your field. And since we are growing a crop that will stay in the ground for a number of years, it’s even more important that you start off the field with a clean slate. Weeds will inevitably come in, but the sooner you can stop them from growing or kill them off the better you are and the more likely you will be able to save on sprays in the future.
Just like in your own yard or garden, it’s easier to kill unwanted pests when they are small or before they come out of the ground than when they are two feet tall and going to seed to spread and spread.
We finished up planting last week and are still working to get all the hazelnuts in, which should be wrapped up this week. Phew…I’m sure we’ll be bored by the time this week is over…what to do next?? Trust me, on a farm there is ALWAYS something!