Home   >   NEWS & VIEWS   >   News

  • 99% of hazelnuts grown in U.S. are from Oregon, including farm in Douglas County

    May 14th, 2016

    Hazelnuts, also known as filberts, became the Oregon State Nut in 1989.They're a big business in the state, bringing in millions of dollars in sales.Some of that production comes from Douglas County."Oregon produces about 99 percent of the hazelnuts grown in the United States," says Norm Lehne, a hazelnut grower who started with just four trees in 1989.He now has a farm capable of producing 50,000 pounds of hazelnuts."I chose hazelnuts because, first of all, I love hazelnuts. When I was a kid and we went to the dryer and they had hazelnuts, and I'd just chew them up. Oh man, they're so good."Norm's daughter, Colleen Kroeker, recently started her own hazelnut farm to join almost 700 other growers in the Willamette Valley."My husband Nathan and I have noticed that there's a real spirit of camaraderie in this area amongst the growers, and we've been really thankful for their input and their wisdom on how to get started," says Kroeker.And it's that spirit that carries these farmers through an ever-growing demand."Nutella put a big plant up in Canada and they're buying just about every hazelnut they can find," Lehne says.You can buy hazelnuts wholesale from Norm Lehne Gardens once they're ready for harvest this fall.