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Balsam Savanna Food Forest

Late Fall – Tree Seed Bed and Second Pond

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.

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Balsam Savanna Food Forest

Fall Farm Weekend

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.

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Balsam Savanna Food Forest

Sunny August Day

The Food Forest is looking lush and green, with cosmo’s and clover flowering in the foreground.

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Balsam Savanna Food Forest

Spring Update

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.

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Balsam Savanna Food Forest

Fiddlehead Nursery – Greenhouse

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.

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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

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.