The coming tour will stop in Sherwood, then head on to Meridian Orchards in Aurora

Hazelnut growers looking to learn about growing organically will have the chance to hear from two experienced growers in a fun and hands-on way through an upcoming tour.

The Oregon Organic Hazelnut Cooperative is holding its third annual summer organic hazelnut tour on Aug. 14 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with an optional dinner afterward at Filberts Farmhouse Kitchen in Aurora. The event will cover topics such as planting new acreage, expanding acreage, research findings and finding success.

The cooperative, formed in 2017, is made up of organic farmers and food producers.

"Our vision is to be the source of best practices in organic hazelnut production, through direct training and online resources," said Linda Perrine, owner of Honor Earth Farm and an OOHC board member. "As part of our co-op's grower support focus, this is our third summer tour that shares methods and lessons learned on effective production of organic hazelnuts in Oregon."

During the tour, attendees will visit two area farms and learn from Lori and Jerry Stole of Skydance Farm in Sherwood and MaryClaire and David Stehman of Meridian Orchards in Aurora.

The tour begins at 8 a.m. at Skydance Farm, which is made up of five acres of 2-year-old Yamhill variety hazelnuts in transition.

"Family hazelnut farms are more and more interested in making an organic transition," said Joey Jaraczewski, secretary of OOHC. "The market trends and new research all point to a vibrant future for organic hazelnuts."

The tour moves at 11 a.m. to Meridian Orchards, which contains 80 acres of certified organic Barcelona and Yamhill varieties. Meridian Orchards is the longest running certified organic hazelnut orchard in Oregon, with first plantings in 1965 and first organic certification in 1995. The Stehmans will discuss their methods used during the yearly season.

Lunch is included in the registration fee and will be hosted at Meridian Orchards. Tom Lively, founder of Organically Grown in Eugene, will offer a keynote speech during lunch.

In the afternoon, Nik Wiman of Oregon State University will discuss recent research on organic approaches to filbert worm and Marcelo Moretti, also of OSU, will discuss perennial weed crop management in organic systems.

The tour goes until 4 p.m. Attendees can stay and enjoy an option dinner at the new Filberts Farmhouse Kitchen in Aurora.

Advanced registration is required online here.

Kristen Wohlers
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