Filberts and hazelnuts are very popular nuts that come from the family of corylus. Because of this, filberts and hazelnuts are considered to be “cousins” by many. These nuts are harvested at around late September to October, just in time to be resold by Thanksgiving, where they are used for cooking or just served plainly as snacks. Though these nuts are easily made available in groceries and supermarkets, there is nothing more rewarding than growing your own tree and harvesting it.
Though filberts and hazelnuts take a while to grow, they are self-sufficient and can be left until they are ready to harvest. To find out if the nuts are ready for harvesting, they just fall of the tree to the ground, ready to be collected. You can also poke or shake its tree and collect the nuts that fall off once the leaves of its trees and its husks start turning brown.
Listed below are the steps you need to follow to harvest and store your filberts or hazelnuts:
- Collect the filberts and hazelnuts that fall on the ground or are beginning to crack out of its shell.
- If you wish to replant the nuts, place them in a basin of water and choose any of those that sink to the bottom. These “sinkers” are the ones that grow and bear fruit.
- Lay the nuts in a place where it is directly under the sun. You can lay them out on a piece of newspaper, or in any kind of container as long as all the fruits get the heat it needs from the sun to dry up. The process of drying the nuts can take between four days to one week. One way to find out if the nuts are already dried nicely is if its kernels snap easily when bent. Another way is to shake the nut in its shell. If it shakes loosely, then it is dried enough.
- When the nuts are dried, it is cleaned of its husks by hand. This can take some time, as it should be done individually.
- Nuts can be stored in any kind of container, be it plastic or glass, as long as it is airtight. Hazelnuts have a long shelter life and can be stored for over a year if using a refrigerator, and for over two years if using a freezer. It is always best to store them in a cold, humid place.
- When eating or using the nuts, they should be warmed down to room temperature in an unopened bag. If they start to smell of a foul odor, then they should be discarded.
Though hazelnuts are often served salted, you can try serving them fresh from its harvest and savor the sweet and rich taste of its fruits. Harvesting hazelnuts does not take a complicated process and the materials needed to do it can be found in every home; and if you follow the above-mentioned method of storing them, your harvest can bring satisfaction to many people for a long time.