We have a lot of hazelnut trees on our verger - about five, depending on what you define as a tree.
Last week the leaves started to go brown on the trees, and this is apparently one of the signs to start harvesting. As we had a spare morning we went down mob handed - Susan, Pat, Geoff and myself, and had a good rummage for nuts.
In addition to picking nuts off the tree, we picked them up off the ground; it has been quite windy of late, and a lot of the clusters of nuts had been blown off. In about an hour we picked (and picked up) about 10 litres of hazelnuts.
A couple of days later, engaging in some displacement activity, I decided to fashion a mass nut cracking platform out of a sample piece of the staircase wood. It takes two dozen nuts at a time and you hit them with a hammer. Our neighbour's prediction about the nuts being no good seems pessimistic. I cracked over 100 nuts and the proportion with empty shells was about one in ten. The ones with nuts have good sized kernels, and they taste good too, so we are very pleased that our labours look like being rewarded after all.