Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hazelnuts Are Sustainable, Nutritious 

"Delicious desserts are one thing, but delicious sustainable desserts are another," says Matthew Taylor, executive chef at the Arbor Day Foundation's Lied Lodge restaurant in Nebraska City, Nebr.

These hazelnut chocolate bouchons meet both criteria, Chef Matt says, because he uses hazelnuts harvested from the hybrid hazelnut field 500 feet from the kitchen. "They add nutritious, great-tasting flavor to a variety of dishes we serve here at Lied Lodge," he says.

Hazelnut Flourless Chocolate Bouchons
2 lbs. chocolate
1 tsp. salt
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
2 vanilla beans
1½ cups sugar
1 oz. powdered gelatin
2 cups crushed toasted hazelnuts

6 egg whites
Cocoa powder

1 cup whole toasted hazelnuts

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over low heat for approximately 15 minutes. Combine salt, cream, milk, vanilla beans, sugar and gelatin in a sauce pan and bring to a scald. Be careful not to boil. Set aside to cool. Slowly stir the cream mixture into the melted chocolate and reserve at room temperature; add the crushed hazelnuts. Chill a bowl and the egg whites, and then whip the egg whites into stiff peaks. Fold into the chocolate mixture. Spray a silicone mold with pan spray and dust with cocoa powder. Bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes or until picks come out clean. Chill the mold. Remove for serving, and garnish with toasted hazelnuts.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Meet the Partners: Arbor Day Foundation

Arbor Day Foundation (ADF) began its Hazelnut Research Project in 1996 with plantings of hybrid hazelnuts at Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City, Nebr. By 2000 the project had evolved to include charter members across the nation conducting research on hazelnuts in their own backyards, and has reached nearly 100,000 active members.

This spring, about 40,000 hybrid hazelnut plants (shown above) were grown in ADF's greenhousethe largest crop their facilities have ever handled.

A hybrid hazelnut sprouting in the greenhouse.
Among the key findings from ADF research are: best practices and methods for growing hazelnuts from seeds; hybrid hazelnuts can thrive in Nebraska as a dryland crop; and Arbor Day Farm hybrids grow best in zones 4-8.

Greenhouse Manager Adam Howard checks the root
system and structure on a hybrid hazelnut plant.
Hazelnut research fields surround Arbor
Day Foundation's beautiful Lied Lodge
in Nebraska City.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Consortium Partners Present Findings 

A few weeks ago Dr. Shawn Mehlenbacher from Oregon State wrote about his recent trip to Chile with Oregon hazelnut researchers and growers where he presented at a conference and also visited Chilean nurseries and hazelnut farms. 

Below is a partial list of other presentations and articles published by Consortium members over the past year detailing our work to create hybrid hazelnuts that are blight-resistant and can grow in areas with hot and cold weather extremes. For a comprehensive list, see the
Hybrid Hazelnut Consortium website.  

Chambers, U., V.M. Walton, and S.A. Mehlenbacher. 2011.
Susceptibility of hazelnut cultivars to filbertworm, Cydia latiferreana. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. October 2011 vol. 46 no. 10 1377-1380. 

Sathuvalli, V. S.A. Mehlenbacher and D.C. Smith. 2011.
DNA markers linked to eastern filbert blight resistance from a hazelnut selection from the Republic of Georgia. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 136: 350–357.

Kahn, P.C., T.J. Molnar, G. Zhang., and C.R. Funk. 2011. Investing in Perennial Crops to Sustainably Feed the World. Issues in Science and Technology. Summer 2011, p. 75–81

G. Cai, C. Leadbetter, T. Molnar, and B.I. Hillman. 2011. Genome sequencing and analysis of Anisogramma anomala, the causal agent of eastern filbert blight. Abstracts of the Annual Meeting of the American Phytopathological Society, Honolulu, HI, August 6-11, 2011. Phytopathology Vol. 101, No. 6 (Supplement) S25 [search Cai]

G. Cai, C. Leadbetter, T. Molnar, and B.I. Hillman. 2011. Genome-wide identification and characterization of microsatellite markers in Anisogramma anomala. Abstracts of the Annual Meeting of the American Phytopathological Society, Honolulu, HI, August 6-11, 2011. Phytopathology Vol. 101, No. 6 (Supplement) S25 [search Cai]

Leadbetter, C., T. Molnar and J. Capik. 2011. Screening new hazelnut germplasm for resistance to eastern filbert blight. HortScience 46(9):S4. (Abstr.) [Search Leadbetter]

Capik, J and T.J. Molnar. 2011. Breeding ornamental hazelnuts. HortScience 46(9):S3. (Abstr.) [search Capik]

Molnar, T.J., Capik, J., Leadbetter, C.W., Zhang, Z., Cai, G. and B. Hillman. 2011. Developing hazelnuts (Corylus spp.) with durable resistance to eastern filbert blight caused by Anisogramma anomala. Abstracts of the Fourth International Workshop on the Genetics of Host-Parasite Interactions in Forestry. Pg. 39 Eugene, Oregon, July 31–Aug. 5, 2011 [search Molnar]

Molnar, T.J. and J. Capik. 2011. Breeding for eastern filbert blight resistance in hazelnuts. HortScience 46(9):S8. (Abstr.) [search Molnar]

 Mehlenbacher, S.A., D.C. Smith and R.L. McCluskey. 2011. “Jefferson” hazelnut. HortScience April 2011 46:662-664.

Mehlenbacher, S.A., D.C. Smith, R.L. McCluskey and M.M. Thompson. 2011.'Tonda Pacifica' hazelnut. HortScience March 2011 46:505-508.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Seedlings at Rutgers Inoculated With EFB

Today at Rutgers University, thousands of hazelnut seedlings are being inoculated with spores of the fungus Anisogramma anomala to test their resistance to eastern filbert blight.

The inoculation procedure begins with cutting the stromata (mushroom-like fruiting bodies) from infected stems. 

Next, the stromata are ground up in distilled water with a mortar and pestle to release the millions of spores they contain. This spore solution is then diluted to a specific concentration shown to work best with young hazelnut seedlings. 

The spore solution is sprayed directly onto the growing tips of plants, which are grown in humidity chambers that mimic the conditions that occur in nature during infection.

John Capik sprays seedlings in the inoculation
chamber with the spore solution.

From this point on, it’s a waiting game. Believe it or not, this fungus can take up to 16 months to show its devastating effects.  

The plants are raised normally after inoculations and even the susceptible ones (unknown at the time) grow well. By the end of the summer, the plants typically reach 6-8 feet tall. From here, they’re overwintered in a cold greenhouse for chilling. Proper winter chilling is necessary for the plants to leaf out and begin growing normally in the spring as well as to trigger the fungus to create the EFB cankers. They wake up and start growing the following March. It’s not until June or July that the EFB cankers become apparent and we can identify those that appear to be resistant to the disease.

These seedlings were inoculated last year, and
now we're waiting to see if cankers emerge
on the stems.
We discard the sick plants and plant the apparently healthy ones in the field in October, which grow for five more years. At the end of this time, those that show no eastern filbert blight are evaluated for the nuts they produce. – Dr. Tom Molnar, Rutgers University