Today, Gnomes and their human friends continue to appreciate the noble nature of the Hazelnut, bringing back warm memories of special holiday treats, exotic indulgences and the treasured tastes of childhood. Hazelnuts from Gnome Country make delicious and healthy gifts any time of the year.
Gnomes know that Oregon has the ideal climate for growing superior hazelnuts: a unique blend of ocean, mountain and river climates unite warm and cold, sun and rain. With some of the richest, most fertile soil in the world, Oregon is prime hazelnut country. Oregon's Willamette Valley is home to 99 percent of the U.S. hazelnut industry (the Hazelnut was made Oregon's official State Nut in 1989).
The hazelnut is unique in that it blooms and pollinates in the middle of winter. Wind carries the pollen from yellow catkins to a tiny red flower, where it stays dormant until June, when the nut begins to form. The nuts mature during the summer months, turning from green to shades of hazel nestled in a protective husk, and are harvested in late September or October after they have fallen to the ground.
According to a manuscript found in China from the year 2838 B.C., the hazelnut (also called a filbert) took its place among the five sacred nourishments God bestowed to human beings. We can assume from this that the cultivation of hazelnuts has been going on for over 4,500 years.
In ancient Greek times, the hazelnut was used as a medicine and tonic, even amazingly able to cure colds and grow hair!