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  • HDT Team

The Shady Chicken Project Now Underway

Last week, over 50 hazelnut plants were installed in our south field. As part of the Shady Chicken Project, Lois Braun has chosen HDT to be one of the test sites.

Lois’s important work as part of the Forever Green initiative promotes improving natural resources and economic opportunities for farmers. Diversified income streams and perennials on the landscape are both things HDT can get behind! Find out more about Forever Green here:

If you want to learn more about the work Lois and the Upper Midwest Hazelnuts coalition are doing, their website has some great information. 


We designed the experiment to have spacing of five feet between each plant and 12 feet between each row.


We welcomed Lois Braun from the University of Minnesota. She is running her hybrid hazelnut experiment at several different locations through MN and WI.


You can see the two fields. One will be maintained with mulch and be left pretty much alone as a control, while the nearer field will be housing nearly 300 chickens. This is an opportunity to see how well chickens and hazelnut plants work together.


On this side of the field, you can see that mulch has been lain down to help fight weeds.


Braun has cultivated several different varieties of hazelnut. You can see the roots are nice and strong.


You can see Allison and Connor (Tech Assistant to Lois Braun) planting each hazelnut with care.


Allison ties the hazelnut plant to a stake to help it over the winter.


Braun sizes up one of the fifty plants she’s brought to HDT.


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