Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Autumn riches

The variety of produce that continues to come into our orbit makes me feel very rich to live here. Our climate here is pretty perfect for growing Chestnuts and Hazelnuts and both of these are now dropping their amazing booty on the ground. Despite the clouds of white cockatoos that have been visiting the trees over the last couple of months, there are still too many Hazelnuts to be harvested by our neighbours alone. Thus we (Our very talented WOOFers and myself + small child) decided to give them a hand.
One of the Hazelnut varieties available
With buckets in hand we sat, kneeld, crawled, squatted and reclined amongst the dark soil, leaf litter and abundant fungi while deftly picking up whole, bright new seasons nuts. There are many varieties of Hazelnuts and we could recognise at least 5. This year with all the rain and lack of heat has been great for these Hazelnut trees and the nuts are full and sweet.

This variety has a large wide nut
The taste of the nuts in this fresh state is quite refreshing but to store them longer term (up to 2 years) the nuts must be dried.

Adding nuts to the drying racks
Luckily it is cold enough at night here to warrant a fire so with a bit of adaptation we managed to throw together some drying racks around out heater.
The bigger picture
According to our neighbour they may take about a week to dry, so we are still in the process of seeing how long it takes. The first hazelnut dessert is currently being planned!


  1. I think we had maybe 3 whole nuts on our bushes last year...but they are young. I look forward to the day that we can dry as many as you are...such a bounty.:) I like your drying racks.

  2. If you get too many chestnuts, I have an amazing recipe for chestnut and mushroom soup. I love the heater adapted drying racks!

  3. Hi Mr.H, i can say that i had zero nuts from my trees - so thanks goodness for kind neighbours!
    I have plans on planting quite a few and have tagged some good trees to get cuttings from.

    CaughtGypsey - we hope to get some Chestnuts - and we do have stacks of dried Mushrooms so a recommended recipe would be great. So far we have had hazelnut bread and hazelnut tart - both amazingly tasty