I was so bummed a few weeks ago when Taylor came home and announced they had finished harvesting hazelnuts. Hazelnuts are one of the newer crops on the farm, so it didn’t even register that I should be heading out to take photos while they harvested. And then the rain came. A LOT of rain. And I figured my chance to capture a piece of the hazelnut process had passed me right on by. Until! Taylor asked this week if Emmett and would like to come out and watch them plant 40 acres of new trees? Um, YES!
There’s not a whole lot I love more in this world than heading out to the field and watching my farmer do his thing. It’s such a good reminder of how much he’s learned, how far he’s come in such a short amount of time, and especially, how hard he works. I always come away just bursting with pride. I mean, just two years ago he was sitting behind a desk! And here is just putting in entire fields of trees. Telling me all about the species, and the planting process, and how they’ll care for them. It’s just so cool.
And you know there is absolutely nothing I love more than that handsome farmer of mine wanting to show off his work to our son. As he carried him along, picking up baby trees and setting them in their spots to be planted, I overheard him say, “Buddy, these little trees are about the same age you are.” Realistically, by the time those little trees are producing a sizable harvest, Emmett will probably be old enough to help! I LOVE that.
I love walking around knowing that my kids will get to drive these tractors, work in these fields, and someday, harvest nuts from the very trees they put in that day. This farm is a pretty special place, years of hard work and family history in it’s soil, and I hope I never forget to feel incredibly grateful to be a part of it.
I don’t claim to know much about hazelnuts, but Taylor explained that each field has several different varieties of trees so that they can pollinate each other. Kind of like a “male” and “female.” They also plant the field on diagonals, which were marked out a few days ago by a big tractor, so that each tree can get the light it needs to grow well. As you can see in some of the photos above, Taylor’s uncle would drive slowly down a row in the fertilizer buggy with a trailer full of trees behind him, and the guys would pull trees off and put them in their designated spots. Then a crew comes through the field, digging the holes with these tools that look like a giant corkscrew, and feeding the trees with a mix of water and fertilizer. They paint the trunks of each tree to prevent damage and disease, and usually slide a rubber tube over them as well. They also go tree to tree and tape them to a wooden stake so they can stay upright while they’re still so small and fragile.
Putting in an entire field of trees sounded like such a huge undertaking to me, but being out there and seeing them all in action, well, they’ve got a pretty good system going! Taylor said they expected to have the whole field in by the end of the day. I’m always impressed by the speed which they can get things accomplished, even on such a large scale. Quite the operation.
Besides harvesting nuts from the existing trees and putting in these new ones, life on the farm has pretty much fallen into it’s slower winter rhythm. And boy are we grateful! Having evenings and weekends together as a family again; sharing meals, reading books, doing projects and giving Emmett baths. It’s just the greatest. He pretty much jumps out of my arms the moment Dad walks through the door, and it’s been so nice to have time to myself in the kitchen while they play and I get dinner ready. So dearly looking forward to quiet, cozy autumn evenings together as the holidays approach, and hopefully a few more trips out to the fields with Dad.