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

$39.95 $25.97

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


The Woodland House

The Woodland House

By Ben Law

Designed as a dual-purpose book, The Woodland House is both a volume for the armchair enthusiast and an inspirational guide for those wishing to build a similar structure. Beautifully illustrated with more than 100 color photos, this step-by-step guide shows how Ben built his home, hewn from his own woodland, for under $45,000. It covers the basics of self-building and gives full details of the evolving design process, the identifying of materials, costs, project management, and the actual building stages, from foundations and frames, through to interior features. Includes a seven-year update detailing the extension of the house, natural insulation trials, and round-wood engineering calculations.

The building of Ben’s house was filmed for the Grand Design television series and has proved to be the most popular program of the series. He has also been featured on the Discovery Channel and Home & Garden Network’s The World’s Most Extreme Homes.

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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Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening

Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening

By Peter Burke

The Low-Tech, No-Grow-Lights Approach to Abundant Harvest

Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening offers good news: with nothing more than a cupboard and a windowsill, you can grow all the fresh salad greens you need for the winter months (or throughout the entire year) with no lights, no pumps, and no greenhouse.

Longtime gardener Peter Burke was tired of the growing season ending with the first frost, but due to his busy work schedule and family life, didn’t have the time or interest in high-input grow lights or greenhouses. Most techniques for growing what are commonly referred to as “microgreens” left him feeling overwhelmed and uninterested. There had to be a simpler way to grow greens for his family indoors. After some research and diligent experimenting, Burke discovered he was right—there was a way! And it was even easier than he ever could have hoped, and the greens more nutrient packed. He didn’t even need a south-facing window, and he already had most of the needed supplies just sitting in his pantry. The result: healthy, homegrown salad greens at a fraction of the cost of buying them at the market. The secret: start them in the dark.

Growing “Soil Sprouts”—Burke’s own descriptive term for sprouted seeds grown in soil as opposed to in jars—employs a method that encourages a long stem without expansive roots, and provides delicious salad greens in just seven to ten days, way earlier than any other method, with much less work. Indeed, of all the ways to grow immature greens, this is the easiest and most productive technique. Forget about grow lights and heat lamps!  This book is a revolutionary and inviting guide for both first-time and experienced gardeners in rural or urban environments. All you need is a windowsill or two. In fact, Burke has grown up to six pounds of greens per day using just the windowsills in his kitchen! Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening offers detailed step-by-step instructions to mastering this method (hint: it’s impossible not to succeed, it’s so easy!), tools and accessories to have on hand, seeds and greens varieties, soil and compost, trays and planters, shelving, harvest and storage, recipes, scaling up to serve local markets, and much more.

Available in: Paperback, eBook

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Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties

Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties

By Carol Deppe

All gardeners and farmers should be plant breeders, says author Carol Deppe. Developing new vegetable varieties doesn't require a specialized education, a lot of land, or even a lot of time. It can be done on any scale. It's enjoyable. It's deeply rewarding. You can get useful new varieties much faster than you might suppose. And you can eat your mistakes.

Authoritative and easy-to-understand, Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: The Gardener's and Farmer's Guide to Plant Breeding and Seed Saving is the only guide to plant breeding and seed saving for the serious home gardener and the small-scale farmer or commercial grower. Discover:

  • how to breed for a wide range of different traits (flavor, size, shape, or color; cold or heat tolerance; pest and disease resistance; and regional adaptation)
  • how to save seed and maintain varieties
  • how to conduct your own variety trials and other farm- or garden-based research
  • how to breed for performance under organic or sustainable growing methods

In this one-size-fits-all world of multinational seed companies, plant patents, and biotech monopolies, more and more gardeners and farmers are recognizing that they need to "take back their seeds." They need to save more of their own seed, grow and maintain the best traditional and regional varieties, and develop more of their own unique new varieties. Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: The Gardener's and Farmer's Guide to Plant Breeding and Seed Saving shows the way, and offers an exciting introduction to a whole new gardening adventure.

Available in: Paperback

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