We have been racing to finish the irrigation for our newly planted trees this spring and summer and are still working hard. As spring and summer have been quite dry, the trees are thirsty. The dam level is dropping as we irrigate the established trees and they are growing well in the warm weather. We will hopefully have about 20 nuts per tree on our oldest trees which will be about 60kg. The way our family can eat nuts and a few to give away and use for promotion we will easily go through these this year. Hopefully next year we may have some to sell locally.
What a relief it is to see nuts on our orchard trees. Admittedly it is only a few nuts per tree but over 1000 trees it will possibly come to 60kg this harvest. While not enough to sell, it will be great for our family to be able to munch on and experiment with value added products.
The nuts are tiny, only about 5mm across at the moment. Depending on the tree type they are in clusters of up to four or could be as single nuts. Barcelona tends to cluster nuts together whereas TBC doesn’t seem to as much (or at least not yet).
New nut clusters
We’ve been very busy hosting the HGA annual conference which was very successful. We were blessed with good weather for our farm tours and great speakers for our conference sessions. Dr Hazel MacTavish-West spoke on the excellent nutrition of hazelnuts (particularly the brown pellicle which is very high in antioxidants and polyphenols) and Prof. David McNeil spoke on the poor quality of some hazelnuts reaching the market some 2 years after harvest, being poorly packaged and often rancid on shop shelves. Mr Hugh Griffiths also presented on the Wealth from Water program highlighting the gross margin analysis for hazelnuts and how it compares as a crop to other alternatives.
Conference Attendees at our farm
Now we are catching up on all the grass mowing, mulching and tree care that is required in spring. We’ve just got a soil analysis and will be considering it in our choice of fertiliser or soil amendments for over the next few months.
3yr old tree, mulched and mowed
ArtEntWine is a fantastic festival in the West Tamar in October. Over 4 weekends visit the halls and communities in the area sampling local arts, crafts, produce and wine. Tamar Valley Hazelnuts will be at Killiecrankie Farm in Glengarry on the weekend of the 27-28th October. We will have our hazelnut trees in pots for sale.
HGA Conference Program -draft release
Hazelnut Growers of Australian annual conference will be held in Launceston on the 3-5th November 2012 and provide great networking opportunity for new, potential and existing growers to talk about the hazlenut industry. Come and here from researchers, growers and consultants about hazelnuts and their potential.
Don’t forget the registration form
Conference Rego form
The Women in Rural Lifestyles (W.i.R.L) Group is presenting a series of evening discussions on farming and business for people in the West Tamar area. They will be held in the Exeter Show Grounds on the 1st Monday of the month, with the first meeting on the 4th June from 7.30 – 9pm. Mr Denis Giasli will be presenting on the Natural Resource Management (North) Rural Lifestyle Landholder Engagement Pilot Program followed by supper and informal discussion. It will be an opportunity to find out more and have a say in what projects are promoted that will suite your demand for better land, livestock and rural based business management no matter what size your property or industry bend. Everyone is welcome to attend.
WiRL is a member of the Tasmanian Women in Agriculture organisation supporting women in the agriculture industry gain recognition for their efforts in business and farming and helping them to achieve their goals through personal development and training.
Tasmania will host the annual conference for the Hazelnut Growers of Australia this November from the 3-5th. Located in Launceston, this is a great opportunity for potential new growers to understand about the hazelnut business and meet with experienced growers for advice and tips. Saturday will be presentations from researchers and growers and Sunday will be farm tours to three local farms. Monday will be an optional tour to the Walnut orchard in Swansea.
More details are in the Conference Rego form attached. A full program will be available in August and on registration.
New and experienced hazelnut growers and interested people are invited to a farm field day on the 19th May from 10-12pm. A gold coin donation is requested. Morning tea will be provided and opportunity to talk with other growers. Hazelnut Growers Handbooks will be available for sale in hard copy. Come and visit us @ 43 Turkey Farm Rd Glengarry Tas 7275 call 0423255776 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for information or enquiries.
Hazelnut tree orders are now being taken for the winter. Pick up will be in July-August. Planting can take place between July and September and trees stored bare rooted in moist, hardwood sawdust over their dormancy. The best sawdust is aged for at least 3 months to wash out some of the resins.
The Tasmanian wealth for water program is developing a number of plans for users of the new irrigation schemes in the Meander Valley, Northern midlands and elsewhere. This assesses the viability of establishing irrigated crops in these new areas, including hazelnuts. There is a heap of information on their website including Gross Margin Analysis, and market opportunities for hazelnuts. They will be preparing maps of where hazelnuts are best suited to be planted in those irrigation areas as well which will be something to look out for.
We have hay for sale at the cheap price of $30 per round bale. This just covers the cost of cutting and nothing more. Unfortunately it is pick up and due to the size probably will need you to have or hire a truck and have a tractor to move it about. We have 120-150 bales to sell. It’s been such a good year for grass that everyone has plenty but we are keen to see if anyone wants to buy as we don’t need it ourselves.
Hope everyone had a good X’mas and New Year!