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


People & Permaculture

People & Permaculture

By Looby Macnamara

This is the first book to explore how to use permaculture design and principles for people - to restore personal, social and planetary well-being.

People & Permaculture widens the definition of permaculture from being mainly about land-based systems to include our own lives, relationships and society. This book provides a framework to help each of us improve our ability to care for ourselves, our friends, families and for the Earth. It is also a clear guide for those who may be new to permaculture, who may not even have a garden, but who wish to be involved in making changes to their lives and living more creative, low carbon lives. People & Permaculture transforms the context of permaculture making it relevant to everyone.

Including over 50 practical activities, People & Permaculture empowers readers with tried and tested tools to initiate positive change in their lives. It is a hands-on yet powerful guide to creating a sustainable world.

Available in: Paperback

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The Carbon Farming Solution

The Carbon Farming Solution

By Eric Toensmeier

Agriculture is rightly blamed as a major culprit of our climate crisis. But in this groundbreaking new book, Eric Toensmeier argues that agriculture—specifically, the subset of practices known as “carbon farming”—can, and should be, a linchpin of a global climate solutions platform.

Carbon farming is a suite of agricultural practices and crops that sequester carbon in the soil and in aboveground biomass. Combined with a massive reduction in fossil fuel emissions—and in concert with adaptation strategies to our changing environment— carbon farming has the potential to bring us back from the brink of disaster and return our atmosphere to the “magic number” of 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide. Toensmeier’s book is the first to bring together these powerful strategies in one place, including in-depth analysis of the available research and, where research is lacking, a discussion of what it will take to get us there.

Carbon farming can take many forms. The simplest practices involve modifications to annual crop production. Although many of these modifications have relatively low sequestration potential, they are widely applicable and easily adopted, and thus have excellent potential to mitigate climate change if practiced on a global scale. Likewise, grazing systems such as silvopasture are easily replicable, don’t require significant changes to human diet, and—given the amount of agricultural land worldwide that is devoted to pasture—can be important strategies in the carbon farming arsenal. But by far, agroforestry practices and perennial crops present the best opportunities for sequestration. While many of these systems are challenging to establish and manage, and would require us to change our diets to new and largely unfamiliar perennial crops, they also offer huge potential that has been almost entirely ignored by climate crusaders.

Many of these carbon farming practices are already implemented globally on a scale of millions of hectares. These are not minor or marginal efforts, but win-win solutions that provide food, fodder, and feedstocks while fostering community self-reliance, creating jobs, protecting biodiversity, and repairing degraded land—all while sequestering carbon, reducing emissions, and ultimately contributing to a climate that will remain amenable to human civilization. Just as importantly to a livable future, these crops and practices can contribute to broader social goals such as women’s empowerment, food sovereignty, and climate justice.

The Carbon Farming Solution does not present a prescription for how cropland should be used and is not, first and foremost, a how-to manual, although following up on references in a given section will frequently provide such information. Instead, The Carbon Farming Solution is—at its root—a toolkit. It is the most complete collection of climate-friendly crops and practices currently available. With this toolkit, farmers, communities, and governments large and small, can successfully launch carbon farming projects with the most appropriate crops and practices to their climate, locale, and socioeconomic needs.

Toensmeier’s ultimate goal is to place carbon farming firmly in the center of the climate solutions platform, alongside clean solar and wind energy. With The Carbon Farming Solution, Toensmeier wants to change the discussion, impact policy decisions, and steer mitigation funds to the research, projects, and people around the world who envision a future where agriculture becomes the protagonist in this fraught, urgent, and unprecedented drama of our time. Citizens, farmers, and funders will be inspired to use the tools presented in this important new book to transform degraded lands around the world into productive carbon-storing landscapes.

Available in: Hardcover

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By Grace Gershuny

Part of the NOFA Guides series. 

Information on composting techniques, including:

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  • About costs (site preparation, equipment, labor and time)
  • What do you do with it?
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  • Compost and the law

With extended appendices including a recipe calculator, potting mix recipes, and a sample compost production budget sheet.

Available in: Paperback

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By Martin Crawford

Are you wondering which productive trees to plant in your garden? Or are you planning a forest garden? Perhaps you are planting an orchard but want a greater diversity of useful trees than is typical? Or you’d like to know what unusual fruit trees you can use? The answers to all these questions can be found in master forest gardener Martin Crawford’s new book.

Crawford has researched and experimented with tree crops for twenty-five years and has selected over one hundred of the best trees producing fruits, nuts, edible leaves, and other useful products that can be grown in Europe and North America. Each of the trees or tree groups includes details of:

• Origin and history

• Description and uses

• Varieties/cultivars

• Cultivation, pests, and diseases

• Related species

• European and North American suppliers

• Color photos with every entry.

The appendices make choosing trees for your situation easy, with lists of suitable trees for specific situations, plus flowcharts to guide you. If you want to know about and make use of the large diversity of tree crops that are available in temperate and continental climates, then this book—by an internationally acknowledged expert—is both fascinating and essential reading.

Available in: Paperback

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