Nut Breeding Experiments

Published on: Jun 20, 2016


At open source ecology, we build open source industrial machines. We apply them to areas such as agriculture. On the agriculture front, we built our aquaponic greenhouse last year. We used this greenhouse to plant out 11,000 hazelnuts and chestnuts. We have had significant fungus gnat loss of the nut seedlings – so we are now at 8000 plants. We used biological controls with nematodes to reduce the loss. The reason was that fungus gnats were already established in the aquaponic system. This is how the greenhouse looked 2 weeks ago, with the hazelnuts in bottom-watering shelves on the greenhouse walls:

We just had Phil Rutter from Badgersett Research Corporation visit us for an immersion lesson in nut planting. We are collaborating with Badgersett on evolutionary scale nut breeding – the promise being perennial, woody crops as a substitute for annual-based agriculture. The most compelling reason from my standpoint is reversing the ongoing 4 ton per acre per year (yes, per acre per year) average topsoil loss in the USA.

Here’s a basic planting lesson. Make sure to water with 1/2-1 gallon of water at the end – and when planting the 4 month old seedling – do not press on the roots as you pack fine soil densely around the roots.

We are continuing to build the nut planting machines, in preparation for plantout.

Here’s what Phil says –

Note: Apologies in advance for the Facebook embeds – as these may vanish at any time as we do not control the data. However, FB is a useful way to collate microcontent.

1 Comment

  1. Kris

    We already have way more NUTS in this world than we need. Why are you encouraging people to breed more. In fact sometimes I think only the nuts are breeding. Sorry but seeing no comments on this page you all left me no choice. I had to.
    Keep up the good work and info.