Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: nuts





Hazelnuts or filberts drying in the sun
granddaughters picked this first crop ever to be harvested from our tree
only because we cut it down before the squirrels got them all
a tree that was planted by squirrels in an unsuitable place
how we are all looking forward to a taste!

Added later, the gorgeous photo below of the nuts still with their "skins", taken by Elisa and found on her blog


Added September 5th:


After a few days of sunning (the nuts, not me!), I could not resist the urge to crack open just a few as I wondered if they might just all be hollow as we've found them in the past. Indeed the first few proved to be so, but the next few had the withered and undeveloped beginnings of nuts. I suspect we picked them too early even though the squirrels had already been investigating them. I'll wait for daughter and granddaughters to crack the rest to see if any good ones can be found. We're all quite green regarding nut harvesting, though Elisa is a keen forager.

Marja-Leena | 02/09/2012 | 16 comments
themes: Home, Nature, Photoworks


How lovely. At first I thought they were acorns...I've never had such fresh filberts! Enjoy and please report!

Beth, I've never had fresh nuts of any kind. Daughter Elisa looked up how to take care of these. Since they were picked rather green (though the squirrels didn't mind), they need to sit and dry for a while. We noticed how they turned brown with a few hours in the hot sun. Then comes the roasting in the shells. We'll see how they turn out. I'm fancying a Viennese hazelnut torte.

Autch! I am envious!

Truly true, sometimes I wish my forefather's and -mother's would've understood to stay put in Central Europe and not rush into this cold unknown territory, that was a reign of bears and wolves and moose and deer and all kinds of fish and osprey's and all.

The sight of something that lovely is one of the reasons!

Ripsa, ah yes, I understand! Maybe with the warming of the climate, Finland will be able to have nut trees. I still marvel at what grows here on the west coast compared to much of the rest of Canada. I think hazelnuts are the only nut trees that can grow in somewhat colder climates. They are grown commercially here in the Fraser Valley, east of Vancouver, with hotter summers and slightly colder winters.

I must admit feeling a twinge of guilt for cutting the tree down but we were never able to get any nuts anyway, thanks to the squirrels. There is another one they planted that is growing in a corner of the back yard, rather crowded and shady amidst other shrubs and trees, one I missed pulling out when it was still just a shoot. Wonder if it will bear nuts some day.

My first guess would have been acorns too. Your pictures (and Elisa's) are wonderful close-ups of unexpected delights. I can imagine the squirrels aren't too pleased but perhaps they have other sources not planted in an inauspicious spot in your garden.

I noticed you mentioned hazelnuts might be the only ones that grow north of the US but I remembered one of my friends has some land heavily treed by black walnuts east of Toronto. When I checked further it appears there are a surprising number of other nut trees that grow in Canada.

Susan, thanks once again for helping me out with the homework which I should have done instead of revealing my ignorance :-) Looking at that list, horse chestnuts line many streets here but I don't know if they are edible, like the ones I'd see roasting on the streets of Paris and Italy. I see the Okanagan region used to have a breeder there, so they may have lots of varieties suitable for that region as well as other areas of Canada.

As for the squirrels (and bluejays), someone in the neighbourhood has been feeding them peanuts for the last 27+ years we've lived here so they are surviving well.

I haven't had hazelnuts for ages, although they are favorites of mine. The only nuts that people grow here are Macadamia nuts.
Black walnuts grew all over California once upon a time. They are very messy to shell, because the outer covering has a black substance that stains your hands, but they are superior in taste to commercial walnuts. I believe black walnuts provide the root stock for regular walnuts. We eat a lot of walnuts. I like to use them in pestos and actually prefer them to pine nuts. Mac nuts make good pesto too!

Hattie, you are making my mouth water - macadamias, pestos, oh my! I'm not sure If I've ever tasted black walnuts, but have heard and seen its use as an ink for artists. I'm not usually fond of hazelnuts except in Europe, strangely, but hope ours will taste good when done - we're sure having fun learning about harvesting and preparing them.

I always know when I look at your blog I'll find something beautiful. This time it's hazelnuts.

Anne, thank you, I like to share what I find beautiful.

Wow. I've lived this long and have never seen green hazelnuts. They look like mini corn cobs at first glance. The sunned nuts look promising with cookie season fast approaching. Do you have a nutcracker?

Rouchswalwe! I'd never seen any kind of green nuts before we had this tree, aren't they interesting? I must get our nutcracker out and check a couple to see if there is any meat in them, for they are feeling rather light. When the squirrels pick them, they toss a lot of hollow ones on the ground so I often wonder if they smell out the ones that have meat? Or are they all hollow?

Gorgeous pics, Marja-Leena. Tiny items so humble thrown into a new perspective here.

Dick, thanks! They sure are tiny and humble, yet a rich source of food if productive. As always, I enjoy looking close with the camera.

Long ago I lived in a grove of black walnuts. Terrible when somebody parked underneath one... Loud retorts would echo across the valley.

Green hazelnuts with skins: I've never seen them at that stage. Interesting.

Marly, by those 'loud retorts' do you mean the falling walnuts hitting the cars made that sound?? Wow.

Yes, the green ones do look lovely, especially all collected together instead of hiding in the tree. Once brown, not so much. Anyway, we're just chucking them all into the compost... sigh, feeling deflated...