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Hazelnut harvest

Hazelnut harvest, characteristics of the tree

Hazelnut harvesting is an activity that takes place in many areas of Europe and in Italy. The plantations of these minor fruit trees are widespread in very different areas. Here a variety known as Corylus avellana is grown which is native to Asia Minor and belongs to the Betulaceae family. This can reach seven meters in height and has an irregular crown which is composed of obovate-shaped toothed leaves whose size varies from seven to twelve centimeters. The flowering of this tree occurs in the middle of winter. Hazelnuts are the fruit of this tree. They sprout enclosed in shells and are about two centimeters large. The seed is edible, rich in oil. This makes it highly appreciated both in the food and in the cosmetic field.

Hazelnut harvest, fruit characteristics


Hazelnut harvesting is an activity that takes place in order to take full advantage of the properties of these fruits that grow in shells and wrapped in a bract. Hazelnuts, rich in oil, are essential for nutrition but are also widely used in cosmetics. Since ancient times, hazelnut harvesting has been practiced since the nutritional properties of these fruits were already known. Being rich in monounsaturated fats, these fruits are very useful for reducing cholesterol and protecting tissues from aging, in addition, they help prevent arteriosclerosis and some cardiovascular diseases thanks to the presence of omega – 3. Another substance of which they are rich in is selenium which, by carrying out an anti-inflammatory and antiviral action, helps prevent the onset of some forms of cancer. Hazelnut oil is mineralizing and energetic.

The hazelnut harvest


The hazelnut harvest takes place when the fruit has reached maturity and its shell shrivels. This is a process that comes to an end in autumn even if, in some areas, it is possible to start harvesting as early as the end of August. The first thing to do, to have a hazelnut harvest, is to shake the tree so as to facilitate the fall of the ripe fruits. These will be picked from the ground paying attention as they are fruits contended by animals of various kinds. For this reason, it is important not to delay too long before collecting the fallen fruits. Once harvested, the hazelnuts must be left in the sun to dry. The time needed to carry out this operation is at least a week, placing them in a dryer and turning them often to ensure that the drying is uniform.

Hazelnut harvesting machinery


Hazelnut harvesting, in the case of larger crops, can be facilitated by the use of some machinery. These are suction machines that are able to separate the fruit from the twigs and foliage. Mechanized harvesting optimizes working times and quickly protects the fruit from possible looting by squirrels. Many of these tools can harvest about forty kilograms of hazelnuts in just one hour. There are also self-propelled machines equipped with counter-rotating brushes and a suction tube that brings the fruit directly into a collector. The fruits are conveyed to a depression chamber to separate them from other materials. For the yield of these machines to be optimal, the soil must be prepared with repeated shredding.

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