February 25

Published by Panetary Health Initiative on

I LOVE hazelnuts! So much so, that way back in 2007, when I discovered that hazelnut trees were being propagated in the Megalong Valley, I organised a community bulk buy of bare-rooted trees. I could see their value in increasing food security in the Blue Mountains. They’re a source of protein, monounsaturated fat, vitamin E, manganese and numerous other essential nutrients … and they’re wind, not insect-pollinated.

The Mountains now has a distributed hazelnut orchard of over 400 trees that are over 14 years old. The only trouble is, cockatoos have learnt to LOVE them too.

The English have a similar problem, but they’re competing for hazelnuts with squirrels not cockatoos. In the Megalong, even foxes climb the trees to eat them, and hazelnuts are one of my dog Charlie’s favourite snacks too. He’s learnt to crack them open to reach the nut inside. We have to dodge hazelnut shells like some people dodge lego blocks all over the floor.

What I’ve now learnt to do is see the arrival of cockatoos as an indicator that it’s urgently time to harvest. This means, however, harvesting them green.

I was delighted on the 1st February when I bought Katoomba author Teya Brooks Pribac’s new vegan cookbook. It had a recipe for making vegan cheese using cashews, but over the last couple of days I decided to try the recipe with our green hazelnuts.

Green hazelnuts

What a hit! Tonight we sampled it in a tasting plate with freshly baked sourdough and herb crackers, beetroot hummus, lettuce, chargrilled zucchinis and spring onions, and slow-fried beans, broccoli and snowpeas. All the nuts and veggies were #MountainsGrown!

Last weekend Teya did a vegan cheese-making workshop, but I found her recipe was also very simple to follow. I’m more motivated then ever to beat the cockatoos to next year’s crop.

Join #AYearInADay Citizen Science Project to see if we can all inspire one another to do more to restore planetary health

We’d love you to collaborate with us and share any actions you take to restore planetary health in the comments below or on our social media. While we welcome you to share ANY ACTION you take to inspire others, we’ll be recording NEW or EXTRA actions that people take as part of our tally, because we’re trying to inspire one another to do more than we’re already doing. Feel free to copy some of the actions our participants have been sharing – the action only needs to be NEW for you. Let us know if other people are influenced by your posts, or ours, so that we can measure outcomes of this project. To leave a comment on this blog you’ll need to enter your name and email address.

Our first step is to record 365 new actions. Our second step will be to aim for 365 new actions in one single day. Imagine if we could do it every day of the year! You can subscribe to receive a daily action from us here


Leave a Reply

To add your action, and/or leave a comment, first record your name and email address. You will only need to do this the first time (we just need to ensure you're a real person and not a bot). Thank you!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *