Hazelnut harvest, characteristics of the tree.
Harvesting hazelnuts is an activity that takes place in many parts of Europe and Italy. Plantations of these minor fruit trees are widespread in very different regions. A variety known as Corylus avellana is grown there, originating from Asia Minor and belonging to the Betulaceae family. It can reach seven meters in height and has an irregular crown composed of obovate and toothed leaves that vary in size from seven to twelve centimeters. Flowering of this tree occurs in mid-winter. Hazelnuts are the fruit of this tree. They grow enclosed in shells and are about two centimeters long. The seed is edible, rich in oil. This makes it very popular in both food and cosmetics.
Hazelnut harvest, characteristics of the fruit.
Harvesting hazelnuts is an activity that is exercised to make the most of the properties of these fruits that grow in shell and wrapped in a bract. Hazelnuts, rich in oil, are essential for nutrition but are also widely used in cosmetics. Since ancient times, the harvesting of hazelnuts has been practiced since the nutritional properties of these fruits were already known. Being rich in monounsaturated fats, these fruits are very useful in reducing cholesterol and protecting tissues from aging, in addition, they help prevent arteriosclerosis and certain cardiovascular diseases thanks to the presence of omega – 3. Another substance of which they are rich is selenium which, by exerting an anti-inflammatory and antiviral action, helps to prevent the appearance of certain cancers. Hazelnut oil is remineralising and energizing.
The hazelnut is harvested when the fruit has reached maturity and its shell has faded. It is a process that ends in the fall, although in some areas it is possible to start harvesting at the end of August. The first thing to do, to have a harvest of hazelnuts, is to shake the tree to facilitate the fall of the ripe fruits. These will be picked up from the ground with care, as they are fruits eaten by animals of all kinds. For this reason, it is important not to linger too long before picking up fallen fruit. Once harvested, hazelnuts should be left in the sun to dry. The time required to carry out this operation is at least a week, placing them in a dryer and turning them frequently to ensure even drying.
Hazelnut harvesting machines
Hazelnut harvesting, in the case of larger harvests, can be facilitated by the use of certain machines. They are suction machines that can separate fruit from twigs and foliage. Mechanized harvesting optimizes working times and quickly protects the fruits from possible looting by squirrels. Many of these tools can harvest forty kilograms of hazelnuts in just one hour. There are also self-propelled machines equipped with counter-rotating brushes and a suction tube that conveys the fruit directly to a picker. The fruits are transported to a vacuum chamber to separate them from other materials. For optimum performance of these machines, the soil must be prepared by repeated mulching.