After watching the various programs on the BBC about farming in times past (Victorian Farm, Tales from the Green Valley & Wartime Farm) I’m starting to see the value of having a stand of Hazel growing.
First there is the option for a nut crop that is becoming more valuable due to the popularity of Nutella, plus Jiff just started a hazelnut spread. You can also harvest an incredibly useful wood crop. It handles coppicing very well for fuel wood and the flexible young wood can be used in a wide variety of applications. Further a row of them can also be woven into a living fence due to the flexibility of young saplings and branches.
I planted a row of hazel seedlings in the spring of 2013 and they didn’t really do very well. This was on ground that had been all dug up by the road crew for some road work about 5 years ago so the soil (dirt really) does not have much fertility. I’m going to try and fix that with heavy wood chip mulch and maybe some horse manure.
My plans for next year is a bunch planted from seed in an area that has better fertility. I still have to find a source of seeds and figure out if they can be planted in the fall or if I have to wait until spring. Ideally i would find some locally.