Chelsea Green Publishing

Growing Hybrid Hazelnuts

Pages:272 pages
Book Art:Color photos, charts, graphs, and illustrations
Size: 7 x 10 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Paperback: 9781603585347
Pub. Date February 06, 2015

Growing Hybrid Hazelnuts

The New Resilient Crop for a Changing Climate

Availability: In Stock


Available Date:
February 06, 2015


Civilization is facing global threats like never before. Climate instability. Food insecurity. The endangered family farm. Water pollution and scarcity. Mass extinction. Converting agricultural land into more secure, climate-stabilizing, water-filtering, wildlife-harboring farms would be positively transformative. Luckily, there is a way, currently under development, to do just this in many temperate climates: hybrid hazelnuts.

Growing Hybrid Hazelnuts is the first comprehensive guide for farmers interested in how to get started growing hybrid hazelnuts, a crop designed from the very outset to address a host of problems with conventional modern agriculture. Once hybrid hazelnuts are established, no plowing, or even cultivation, is necessary. Dramatically improved infiltration rates prevent water from running off of fields, regardless of soil type. The crop’s extensive, permanent root systems—at work 365 days a year—mean that tilling should not be necessary in moderately wet soils, and that no fertilizer can escape into groundwater. No soil is lost to wind or rain; in fact, this crop builds soil, and wildlife finds cover and food in hazelnuts all year. Economically speaking, hazelnuts have a large, existing, and unsatisfied world market, not to mention their processing potential is even greater than soybeans. They are, without a doubt, the ecological crop of the future.

This book covers everything you need to know about NeoHybrid hazels, the new biological entity developed by the authors, including:

•           The source of the species and the making of an artificial, directed hybrid swarm;

•           The historical use of hazels as a staple food in Europe and Asia;

•           The nutrient composition of the crop;

•           The benefits of woody agriculture and the superior productivity of these hazels;

•           Site requirements: slope, soils, soil tests;

•           Planting and the establishment period;

•           Managing the productive plantation, including maintaining biodiversity;

•           When to harvest, and harvesting options (hand or machine);

•           Processing, from harvest to market: drying, husking, cleaning, sizing, cleaning, roasting;

•           Value-added options (oil, meal, nut butters);

•           Co-products and their values (wood, shells, husks, sub food-grade nuts, biodiesel);

•           The state of the world hazel market, and more

The first and only guide of its kind, Growing Hybrid Hazelnuts will appeal to small-scale and commercial farmers, both those already familiar with concepts of perennial agriculture and those interested in converting from conventional practices. Growing Hybrid Hazelnuts is a landmark book for the farming movement, offering a practical road to a hopeful future where crops build soil and the earth is regenerated, at the same time reaping profits for the farmer.



"In Western industrial nations, hazelnuts offer a familiar flavoring to confections such as pralines and popular aromatic coffees. If the authors of this distinctive horticultural guide have their way, however, hazelnuts will also be bred to resist the ravages of climate change and outstrip soybeans as a high demand, optimally sustainable crop worldwide. Developed and grown at the Badgersett Research Farm in Minnesota, where Rutter is the CEO, the hybrid plants recommended here are compact, densely yielding shrubs that require little cultivation, efficiently soak up water, and actually reverse soil erosion. Amazingly versatile, the hazelnut and its coproducts, including husks and shells, can be used not only for food but also for fuel and construction. Along with abundant photographs and useful charts, Rutter and his coauthors provide a wealth of information on growing-site requirements and management of a productive plantation, along with invaluable marketing tips. Their guide is a godsend for agricultural entrepreneurs and farmers desperate for newer, financially lucrative crops to replace those that have been, or may soon be, compromised by climate change.”

"Anyone ready to innovate outside the box will be blown away by the vision and practical insights demonstrated in Growing Hybrid Hazelnuts. The eclectic blend of science and practical how-to information packed into this fascinating, readable book is enough to inspire a whole new generation of farmers. Turning soybean fields into hazelnut plantations is truly a vision for the stout-hearted pioneer futuristic farmer. Sign me up."--Joel Salatin, farmer and author

"A more resilient future requires diverse and hardy food-bearing crops. Growing Hybrid Hazelnuts is an encyclopedia of the 'how-to' and 'why-for' of breeding, growing, harvesting and marketing this unique and important crop. We just planted 300 hazelnuts last year!”--Nathan John Hagens, Editor, TheOilDrum; President, Bottleneck Foundation

"If you are dissatisfied with the current state of the annual based agriculture system currently dominated by corn and soy, then here is an alternative. This book is an action plan building off of Phil Rutter’s thirty years of experience, where you can become part of the actual on-the-ground change towards building a perennial woody system that conserves resources while providing for human needs."--Diego Footer, Founder of Permaculture Voices

"This book is not only a testament to 40 years of dedicated hazel breeding work, but also a call for more tree crops for a sustainable agriculture in general; a fantastic manual about all aspects of cultivating hardy hazel trees and processing their nuts."--Martin Crawford, author of Creating a Forest Garden

"The authors of Growing Hybrid Hazelnuts have been advocating woody-plant staple crops for carbon sequestration since I was in high school. This manual provides theory, context, budgets, and practical details like pest management and fertility for this important new crop. Worth the price for the information on their innovative hybrid swarm breeding system alone.”--Eric Toensmeier, author of Paradise Lot and coauthor of Edible Forest Gardens

Growing Hybrid Hazelnuts is a compelling work combining natural history, genetics, and ecology to form a rich strategy for breeding hardy, disease-resistant, and productive hazelnuts. The need for perennial staple crops is great, and the authors show that it takes time, integrity, and patience to develop a crop that will feed the world. This book not only completely covers hybrid hazelnut cultivation, it also offers a roadmap for breeding other crops if we are to get serious about regenerative perennial food production."--Steve Gabriel, coauthor of Farming the Woods


Philip Rutter

Philip Rutter is the chief scientist, founder, and CEO of Badgersett Research Farm; founding president of The American Chestnut Foundation; and past president of the Northern Nut Growers Association.   He is an evolutionary ecologist, with a Masters and “ABD” (All But Dissertation of PhD) in zoology, with a minor in animal behavior.  At one point he escaped from academia, when he discovered it was not his cup of cappuccino. With a parasitologist PhD advisor, he is deeply trained in the evolution of diseases and symbiotic systems.  

Susan Wiegrefe

Dr. Susan Wiegrefe is Badgersett’s research associate.  She has a PhD in plant breeding and plant genetics and taught courses in plant propagation and nursery management for four years at the University of Wisconsin–River Falls.  Co-incorporator and past president of the North American branch of The Maple Society, her latest personal endeavor is as the owner and operator of Prairie Plum Farm, where she raises Babydoll sheep, fruit, and nuts, and soon will include an aquaponic vegetable/tilapia system.  In her spare time she hangs out with her two Havanese dogs, when she’s not spinning or making cheese and beer.

Brandon Rutter-Daywater

Dr. Brandon Rutter-Daywater grew up on Badgersett Farm, eating some dirt
but very few hazelnuts—they were all for seed! Dedicated to the long-term
viability of the human race, and therefore our concomitant living things, his
formal training is primarily in engineering and biologically inspired robotics.
A national merit scholar upon graduating from high school, now he’s the COO at
Badgersett, building a family and a house where he’s convinced he’ll be able to
do the most good. He is now growing and eating a lot more hazelnuts!


Badgersett: Woody Agriculture research and development

Introduction to Woody Agriculture (2011 Woody Ag Short Course)

Woody Agriculture: Badgersett's 2013 MIT Climate CoLab Presentation

New!! Chestnut Polenta

KSMQ's "Garden Connections" Episode 611


Integrated Forest Gardening

Integrated Forest Gardening

By Wayne Weiseman and Daniel Halsey and Bryce Ruddock

Permaculture is a movement that is coming into its own, and the concept of creating plant guilds in permaculture is at the forefront of every farmer’s and gardener’s practice. One of the essential practices of permaculture is to develop perennial agricultural systems that thrive over several decades without expensive and harmful inputs: perennial plant guilds, food forests, agroforestry, and mixed animal and woody species polycultures.

The massive degradation of conventional agriculture and the environmental havoc it creates has never been as all pervasive in terms of scale, so it has become a global necessity to further the understanding of a comprehensive design and planning system such as permaculture that works with nature, not against it. The guild concept often used is one of a “functional relationship” between plants–beneficial groupings of plants that share functions in order to bring health and stability to a plant regime and create an abundant yield for our utilization. In other words, it is the integration of species that creates a balanced, healthy, and thriving ecosystem. But it goes beyond integration. A guild is a metaphor for all walks of life, most importantly a group of people working together to craft works of balance, beauty, and utility.

This book is the first, and most comprehensive, guide about plant guilds ever written, and covers in detail both what guilds are and how to design and construct them, complete with extensive color photography and design illustrations. Included is information on:

•    What we can observe about natural plant guilds in the wild and the importance of observation;
•    Detailed research on the structure of plant guilds, and a portrait of an oak tree (a guild unto itself);
•    Animal interactions with plant guilds;
•    Steps to guild design, construction, and dynamics: from assessment to design to implementation;
•    Fifteen detailed plant guilds, five each from the three authors based on their unique perspectives;
•    Guild project management: budgets, implementation, management, and maintenance.

Readers of any scale will benefit from this book, from permaculture designers and professional growers, to backyard growers new to the concept of permaculture. Books on permaculture cover this topic, but never in enough depth to be replicable in a serious way. Finally, it’s here!

Available in: Paperback

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Integrated Forest Gardening

Wayne Weiseman, Daniel Halsey, Bryce Ruddock

Paperback $45.00

Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation

Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation

By Tradd Cotter

What would it take to grow mushrooms in space? How can mushroom cultivation help us manage, or at least make use of, invasive species such as kudzu and water hyacinth and thereby reduce dependence on herbicides? Is it possible to develop a low-cost and easy-to-implement mushroom-growing kit that would provide high-quality edible protein and bioremediation in the wake of a natural disaster? How can we advance our understanding of morel cultivation so that growers stand a better chance of success? 

For more than twenty years, mycology expert Tradd Cotter has been pondering these questions and conducting trials in search of the answers. In Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation, Cotter not only offers readers an in-depth exploration of best organic mushroom cultivation practices; he shares the results of his groundbreaking research and offers myriad ways to apply your cultivation skills and further incorporate mushrooms into your life—whether your goal is to help your community clean up industrial pollution or simply to settle down at the end of the day with a cold Reishi-infused homebrew ale. 

The book first guides readers through an in-depth exploration of indoor and outdoor cultivation. Covered skills range from integrating wood-chip beds spawned with king stropharia into your garden and building a “trenched raft” of hardwood logs plugged with shiitake spawn to producing oysters indoors on spent coffee grounds in a 4×4 space or on pasteurized sawdust in vertical plastic columns. For those who aspire to the self-sufficiency gained by generating and expanding spawn rather than purchasing it, Cotter offers in-depth coverage of lab techniques, including low-cost alternatives that make use of existing infrastructure and materials. 

Cotter also reports his groundbreaking research cultivating morels both indoors and out, “training” mycelium to respond to specific contaminants, and perpetuating spawn on cardboard without the use of electricity. Readers will discover information on making tinctures, powders, and mushroom-infused honey; making an antibacterial mushroom cutting board; and growing mushrooms on your old denim jeans.

Geared toward readers who want to grow mushrooms without the use of pesticides, Cotter takes “organic” one step further by introducing an entirely new way of thinking—one that looks at the potential to grow mushrooms on just about anything, just about anywhere, and by anyone.

Available in: Paperback

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Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation

Tradd Cotter

Paperback $39.95

Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 2

Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 2

By Brad Lancaster

Turn water scarcity into water abundance!
Earthworks are one of the easiest, least expensive, and most effective ways of passively harvesting and conserving multiple sources of water in the soil. Associated vegetation then pumps the harvested water back out in the form of beauty, food, shelter, wildlife habitat, and passive heating and cooling strategies, while controlling erosion, increasing soil fertility, reducing downstream flooding, and improving water and air quality.

Building on the information presented in Volume 1, this book shows you how to select, place, size, construct, and plant your chosen water-harvesting earthworks. It presents detailed how-to information and variations of a diverse array of earthworks, including chapters on mulch, vegetation, and greywater recycling so you can customize the techniques to the unique requirements of your site.

  • Real life stories and examples permeate the book, including:
  • How curb cuts redirect street runoff to passively irrigate flourishing shade trees planted along the street
  • How check dams have helped create springs and perennial flows in once-dry creeks
  • How infiltration basins are creating thriving rain-fed gardens
  • How backyard greywater laundromats are turning "wastewater" into a resource growing food, beauty, and shade that builds community, and more.
  • How to create simple tools to read slope and water flow
  • More than 225 illustrations and photographs


Available in: Paperback

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Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 2

Brad Lancaster, Joe Marshall

Paperback $39.95

Miraculous Abundance

Miraculous Abundance

By Charles Hervé-Gruyer and Perrine Hervé-Gruyer

The Bec Hellouin model for growing food, sequestering carbon, creating jobs, and increasing biodiversity without using fossil fuels

When Charles and Perrine Hervé-Gruyer set out to create their farm in an historic Normandy village, they had no idea just how much their lives would change. Neither one had ever farmed before. Charles had been circumnavigating the globe by sail, operating a floating school that taught students about ecology and indigenous cultures. Perrine had been an international lawyer in Japan. Each had returned to France to start a new life. Eventually, Perrine joined Charles in Normandy, and Le Ferme du Bec Hellouin was born. 

Since then the farm has become a celebrated model of innovative, ecological agriculture in Europe, connected to national and international organizations addressing food security, and heralded by celebrity chefs as well as the Slow Food movement. The Miraculous Abundance of Bec Hellouin Farm is the eloquent tale of the couple’s evolution from creating a farm to sustain their family to delving into an experiment in how to grow the most food possible, in the most ecological way possible, and create a farm model that can carry us into a post-carbon future—when oil is no longer moving goods and services, energy is scarcer, and localization is a must. 

Today, the farm produces a variety of vegetables using a mix of permaculture, bio-intensive, four-season, and natural farming techniques--as well as techniques gleaned from native cultures around the world. It has some animals for eggs and milk, horses for farming, a welcome center, a farm store, a permaculture school, a bread oven for artisan breads, greenhouses, a cidery, and a forge. It has also become the site of research focusing on how small organic farms like theirs might confront Europe’s (and the world’s) projected food crisis. 

But in this honest and engaging account of the trials and joys of their uncompromising effort, readers meet two people who are farming the future as much as they are farming their land. They envision farms like theirs someday being the hub for a host of other businesses that can drive rural communities—from bread makers and grain millers to animal care givers and other tradespeople. 

Market farmers and home gardeners alike will find much in these pages, but so will those who’ve never picked up a hoe.  The couple’s account of their quest to design an almost Edenlike farm, hone their practices, and find new ways to feed the world is an inspiring tale. It is also a love letter to a future in which people increasingly live in rural communities that rely on traditional skills, locally created and purveyed goods and services, renewable energy, and greater local governance, but are also connected to the larger world.

Available in: Paperback

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Miraculous Abundance

Eliot Coleman, Charles Hervé-Gruyer, Perrine Hervé-Gruyer

Paperback $24.95