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Anyone here ever harvest hazel nuts? I know that if you wait until they fully ripen on the shrub, the critters will strip them before you have a chance. As it is, many shrubs are already bare, especially the beaked hazel.

Anyway, I have heard that you can harvest them early and let them ripen, but I'm wondering how early is TOO early. Also, what is the best way to ripen green nuts in the husk. I've already picked a couple of shopping bags full and I just plan on hanging them in the house in onion sacks until the husks brown unless someone else knows better.

Also, is there any good way prior to husking or shelling to know which nuts will be empty or have a worm inside? I have found quite a few duds and never saw any indicators on the outside.

I might as well share a story while I'm at it. My son and I were out just a couple of hours ago picking hazelnuts and a small bear wandered into the trail. I called to it a couple of times, but it didn't seem to notice. My 7 year old got scared and asked if we could turn back (which we did) and finally the bear sauntered off into the woods slowly. My son then looks at me and says "that was really cool dad." That's the real reason I waste hours at a time picking nuts, berries, whatever knowing full well that I could just buy the darn things.

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I guess....if you call Itasca County blueberry country. Kind of marginal blueberries except in the northeast part of the county.

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All I remember is my dad had a wheelbarrow full of them in the garage one winter. Then his car didn't start. The air filter was full of them. The mice really had a field day. But that was back in '64, and I don't recall how he got them.

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When I was a kid (Shortly after dirt was invented!) we used to put the green hazelnut's up on the roof of an old building on our farm. We just nailed an old board to the roof and spread the hazelnut's on the roof going upward's from the board. If we had too many nut's, we had to add another board. Then we just let the sun do all the hard work of ripening. Also used to spray them down with water occasionally but I can't remember why. Worked for us! 1DIRTBALL

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