Hazelnut farm tour

Kirk Reinecke, left, president of the Oregon Organic Hazelnut Cooperative, and Joey Jaraczewski, secretary of the co-op, have helped organize the third annual Organic Hazelnuts Summer Farm Tour that is scheduled for Aug. 14. The all-day event will feature informational presentations and visits to two hazelnut orchards.

Organic hazelnut growers and others interested in the industry are invited to the third annual Organic Hazelnuts Summer Farm Tour that is scheduled for Aug. 14.

The tour, sponsored by the Oregon Organic Hazelnut Cooperative, will focus on the current market outlook for organic hazelnuts, value-added processing and practices and tips from two North Willamette Valley growers.

The tour will begin at 8 a.m. at Skydance Farm in Sherwood, Ore. Lori and Jerry Stole have a 5-acre orchard of Yamhill hazelnuts that were planted in January 2018. Planting new acreage using organic methods will be discussed.

An equipment demonstration by Electrostatic Sprayer and updates on organic research at Oregon State University by Nik Wiman on pest management and by Marcello Moretti on weed management are also scheduled at Skydance Farm.

The tour will travel to Meridian Orchards in Aurora, Ore., at 11 a.m. Tom Lively, a founding member of Organically Grown Co., will speak on “Looking Back On Starting Out” during the lunch hour. Organically Grown Co. is the largest distributor of organic produce in the Pacific Northwest.

The afternoon presentations will include an Organic Hazelnut Market Outlook and Expanding Acreage and Value-Added Processing.

The market outlook presentation will feature a panel of people from Oregon businesses that purchase Oregon organic hazelnuts: Heman Bojwani of Earthly Gourmet Distribution, Charlie Tilt of Hummingbird Wholesale, Kate Cambell of Coconut Bliss and Patricia Wiskow of Wildtime Foods.

MaryClaire and David Stehman of Meridian Orchards will give the expanding acreage presentation. They will discuss their methods of operation for the longest running certified organic hazelnut orchard in Oregon. The orchard was first planted in 1965 and it was  certified organic in 1995.

“Our vision is to be the source of best practices in organic hazelnut production through direct training and online resources,” said Linda Perrine, a cooperative board member and owner of Honor Earth Farm in Creswell, Ore. “This tour shares methods and lessons learned on effective production of organic hazelnuts in Oregon.”

An optional dinner is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Filbert Farm House Kitchen in Aurora.

Oregon Organic Hazelnut Cooperative is a co-op of organic farmers and food producers. The co-op was formed in 2017.

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