We took a trip to the food forest this past weekend.
I am very very excited to share with the world the first digital edition of the story “Utopia: A Permacultural Vision”.
As I publish this story, close to 3,500,000,000 people around the world are in lockdown due to a viral pandemic. Inadequate health systems are being overrun, and there is massive uncertainty in the economy, droughts, fires, swarms of locust, you name it. Right now, it is reasonable and important, to question the wisdom of the status quo. Utopia’s, shed light on alternative ways of living and creating society.
Due to the geographic distances between regions in Ontario, there is a massive variation in the potential thermal energy that a permaculture site has at it’s disposal. This thermal energy is measured by a metric called Growing Degree Days.
I took a few days in early November to head-up to the farm to get the seedbed installed. I have 100 hazelnuts seeds from a variety found in Saskatchewan, 100 burr oak seeds (acorns) from a selected variety first found in the US in the early 20th Century, 100 red oak seeds from High Park, and a few hundred butternuts, and black walnuts that I had collected throughout the GTA. For the last few months, I’ve had scrap material solarizing the grass. This worked very well, and the soil was bare and would have been easy to work, were it not pure mud.
Thanks to everyone who came out to the farm this October. It was such a sight, to see all three wheelbarrows in use, and accomplishing things in minutes instead of hours. Unfortunately the Sunday was rainy, but the Saturday was glorious. We completed the paths, planted a bunch of spring tubers, and harvested radishes, carrots, sunchokes, kale, chard, chives, and much more.
The Food Forest is looking lush and green, with cosmo’s and clover flowering in the foreground.
I was pleasantly surprised to recently arrive up at the food forest, and see a mostly lush landscape. All of the trees planted (apples, pears, hazeulnuts, serviceberries, alders, buartnuts, black walnuts, butternuts) and berries (red, white, black currants, jostaberries, honeyberries, raspberries), garlic, chives, oregano and thyme had taken.
My brother and I went to Fiddlehead Nursery, run by Ben Caesar in the Beaver valley a few weeks ago to pick-up a bunch of edible perennials plants, including sorrel, sea kale, turkish rocket, sweet cicely, and lovage. It was the first time I’ve been to the Beaver Vallay in many years, and it was an extremely beautiful area. The escarpment reminded me of the landscape in Iceland.
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.
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.