We thought it might be fun to show what a Kentish Cobnut harvest really looks like so over the last few months we have been snapping away to share a collection of images from the 2016 harvest to dispatch.
This year the Kent Cob harvest began towards the end of August, near St Philberts day the traditional time for cobnuts. In previous years the crop has not been picked until September. This year there were some concerns that the wet winter had caused poor pollination with the male catkins receiving damage. However although not an absolutely bumper year the crop has come in very well. Gunslebert Cobnuts have developed particularly well with a very round and wholesome kernel these were harvested in mid September along with our Ennis Cobnuts.
The ever reliable Kent Cobnut has also grown well with a healthy balance of clusters. We have also benefited from less squirrels this year and we have heard circumstantial reports from other growers in Kent that this is a shared experience. It is not clear why this has happened but in terms of bringing in the cobnuts it has been beneficial and has allowed for more growth on the tree.
The Nut Plats
Across the farm we have a range of nut plats this is one of the older plats and has wonderful views of the surrounding countryside.
Below is one of the newest cobnut plats on the farm and is located near some of our older trees and reservoir which is essential to providing the farm with water. The nut plat is also near our neighbours at Allens Farm where we manage the nut plats on their behalf and have been working on a rehabilitation to increase yields.
The Harvest Process
Once the cobnuts are ready the pickers (locally known as nutters) move through the rows and pick the cobnuts from the trees. These are then loaded into trays which are then collected straight from the fields.
Below we have a short video showing a walk through one of our cobnut plats with the trees still full of fresh delicious cobnuts, you will also see the tray's waiting for collection and the Roughway Farm house in the distance. Below this video you will see more trays of cobnuts and some of our brilliant team collecting the cobnuts on an original British made Massey Ferguson. A tractor that is ideal for fitting between the narrow rows of cobnut trees.
On the farm we have over 50 different varieties of cobnut and these come in all shapes and sizes. The majority of our varieties are in our small experimental cobnut plat where we are testing the different varieties available. Some are perfect for eating while others are more suited for processing or would make good red squirrel feed.
Our main varieties and most popular eating varieties on the farm are:
- Kent Cobnuts
- Ennis Cobnuts
- Gunslebert Cobnuts
- Cosford Cobnuts
- Various varieties of Zellenuss
Good processing nuts include:
- Butler Cobnuts
- Cannon Ball Cobnuts
Below we have some close-ups of our cobnuts that show in detail the botanical shape and beauty of these unique and special nuts.
Sorting and Packing!
Once the cobnuts are in from the fields. We begin sorting and getting them ready for dispatch. We supply cobnuts to a range of retailers and through Roughway Farm Online directly with the consumer. This year we had a record number of pre-orders and the moment the harvest comes it is time to start getting them straight out!
If you want to pre-order in 2017 we recommend checking our shop in mid-January.
Below we have images from the sorting tables and some of the Cannon family team (Maddie, Tom and Sasha) that helped to pack some of the cobnuts this year.
At that is it!
A quick visual run through of getting the crop from the field to your door. If you would like to try a Kentish Cobnut or perhaps a Gunslebert or Ennis why not order from our online shop.