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Two-Day Short Course:Woody Agriculture: Theory and Hazelnut Practices

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Last updated April 1, 2008

Thinking about attending? See what previous attendees have to say about it!"Your course is an excellent educational opportunity and well worth the time and money."

Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center, Lanesboro, MN
April 5-6, 2008

While much of the content and format will be similar to last year's short course, there will be some changes, and the newest research results are of course new every year! An updated syllabus will be posted on this page as it is developed.

The class is intended to be an annual event and to become the beginning of the certification process that will be necessary for the franchised nurseries/growers now being discussed.

We highly recommend getting there on Friday night—the extra $15 charge is very inexpensive. The two days we have available are none too long; we're going to be cramming at least a semester's worth of information into this course. Our first meal is breakfast on Saturday, and our first class will start on Saturday at 9 AM. At the moment, it's not clear whether we will be having classes after the evening meal on Saturday or not; if we really need the time, we'll try. Last class should end at 4 PM Sunday. During the weekend, we will arrange for a Monday tour of Badgersett Farm for those who are interested (weather permitting).


The accommodations at Eagle Bluff were primarily designed as school "dormitories", with each room having 2 bunk beds. Photos can be found here. You can find more general information about the facility at the Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center home page.


Since most of their clientele arrive in school buses, Eagle Bluff does not have a regular commercial bus service. Please email us if you need help getting there. We are also limited, but we'll do our best to help out here. In past years we've had a number of people flying into or coming down from Minneapolis/St. Paul; we'll try to put you in touch with each other, at the least.

You can refer to Eagle Bluff's directions for maps and instructions for how to get there. Alternatively, detailed directions can be found at these two places: MapQuest or Google Maps.

Basically, Eagle Bluff is on the road (County 8) between Lanesboro and Fountain. Signs directing to Eagle Bluff are good and fairly hard to miss. If you've never been there before, however, it would be good to allow a little extra time to find it.

Pre-Class Reading

If this were a formal university class, these would be "required reading". Please do make an effort to read what you can, as it will speed the classes considerably.

On the Badgersett Website:

Highly Recommended:

  • Smith, J. Russell. 1987. Tree Crops: A Permanent Agriculture. Washington, DC: Island Press. This should be available in most university libraries.
  • Rosenzweig, Michael, 2003. Win-Win Ecology: How the Earth's Species Can Survive in the Midst of Human Enterprise. New York: Oxford University Press. Go to the Win-Win Ecology website.

Rough Course Outline

State-of-the-art material is presented in each section with updates every year; sections entirely new to the course are mared as NEW!

Day 1: Classes will start with Woody Agriculture theory and progress to details of establishment and planning, primarily focussing on hazels:

  • Woody Agriculture Introduction: Theory and Energetics: Why; and How
  • Basic Hazel Biology—plant morphology, physiology, genetics, species ecology
  • Chestnuts, Hickories, and Others
  • Data and Analysis
  • Establishment— site selection, planting, and weed control
  • NEW! Crop Spacing in Detail— with effects on yield and long-term management

  • Also in the evening: "A Peek at Peak Oil, and a Peek at Post Peak" presentation by Norm Erickson

Day 2: The detail continues, with fertilization, pest management, and a talk by Norm Erickson on his planting:

  • Fertilizing— how to assess and optimize hazel fertility
  • NEW! The Erickson Planting, presented by Norm Erickson
  • Harvest and Post Harvest— ripeness assessment, state of the art hand harvest techniques and machine capability
  • Pest Management in Detail—mammals, birds, insects, plants and fungi
  • Propagation, high and low tech—involving examination of actual plants in class, and including our proprietary on-farm cloning method.
  • Coppice— important details of this field renovation practice

It is not recommended to attend only one day.

Weather permitting, those who can stay for the Monday following the course will be invited to tour the plantings at Badgersett Farm for informal observation and discussions.


Philip A. Rutter, MS

Founder, Badgersett Research Corporation
Founding President, The American Chestnut Foundation
Past President, Northern Nut Growers Association

Mr. Rutter created the concept and coined the phrase "Woody Agriculture", and he is the originator of the "poly-hybrid swarm" breeding technique.


Cost: $279 before March 15; $309 after March 15

Includes 1 night lodging and 5 meals, starting with breakfast on Saturday. Additional nights' lodging available for $15/night.

To register by e-mail:
Copy this text order form into an e-mail to (PayPal Verified), fill it out and send it. Once we have begun processing your registration, you will get an e-mail invoice from PayPal with instructions on how to pay.

Please note: Some businesses block PayPal e-mail. To avoid such problems, you may wish to use a personal e-mail address. Payment processing both at Badgersett and at PayPal can take a variable amount of time, but in most cases you should receive an invoice from our PayPal account within 2-7 days.

To order by mail:
Send fees and participant information (address/phone/email) to:

Badgersett Farm
Woody Agriculture Short Course
18606 Deer Road
Canton, MN 55922