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Balsam Savanna Food Forest

Spring Melt Pond

With the spring melt the location of the food forest pond at the crotch of a watershed on the site means that it is slowing and infiltrating the water, hopefully to the point where the pond becomes well sealed and holds the water.

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Balsam Savanna Food Forest

Maple Syrup

On March 2nd, Sonja and I helped my parents in collecting maple sap and making maple syrup.  My dad built quite the firebox from a wood stove and we used a evaporator table made by a welder in Orillia. Eventually, we even incorporated a fan to create a high temperature flame and had a  roiling boil.

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Balsam Savanna Food Forest

Aerial View of Orchard Site – Buckwheat Blooming

On October 8th, the buckwheat cover crop that I had sown a few weeks before in the orchard was in full bloom (on the half we seeded first).  It was shocking to come up to the orchard and so late in the season be surrounded by bee’s, attracted to the flowers.  It is a moving experience to really hear the buzz of bee’s and know it is because of see you planted.   You can see the orchard in the bottom of the picture above.  The next morning, a strong frost killed all the buckwheat and no more bees were seen.  No the buckwheat can become some bio-mass for next years plant growth.

 

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Balsam Savanna Food Forest

Ground Cover is Appearing

We spread a ground cover of buckwheat, clover and hair vetch. I also added a bit of microbial powder to the seed mixture.

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Balsam Savanna Food Forest

Pond Update

I dug the pond out only a few hours before a major rain storm that brought 40-60mm of rain to the area. Within 12 hours there was a little muddy puddle in the bottom. In the weeks that have followed it has been remarkable to see how quickly life is attracted to the pond.

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Balsam Savanna Food Forest

Progress on Pond

Last Friday I was able to dig most of the pond for the orchard.  I chose the crotch of the small valley on the site as the site, so that drainage from the surrounding slopes can collect there, and hopefully recharge the water on-site.  

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Balsam Savanna Food Forest

The Initial State of Affairs

So it begins!! A grass meadow used for straw and hay, sculpted around 1865 out of a combination of cedar swamp and hardwood forest (mostly maple).