I was lucky enough to inherit a well established orchard from my late mother in law when I moved to the farm, included was a beautiful row of 3m tall hazelnuts.
I love nuts, but how I was ever going to beat the wildlife (ducks, possums, birds, pet sheep etc) to them was a mystery to me. After 5 years, I was still to taste a single nut, every year the trees are laden and every year they seem to almost disappear overnight!
Everything you read about hazelnuts suggests to harvest you just collect in Autumn from the ground but said wildlife makes this approach unfeasible.
It was a beautiful day and I was getting twitchy in the office so I decided to get outside and start picking. I've picked the green nuts straight off the tree just as they start to brown, then spread in the sun to dry. They are fairly easy picking as they grow in clusters so 20 minutes is all it took to pick 3 shopping bags full.
I've been drying in the sun and after 4 days I think we're half way there - another week and I think they will be perfect. Now to hunt out some recipes... perhaps my mother in law's famous hazelnut gateau