Design and Education for Ecological Culture
Tag Archives: fruit trees
Spring 2015 Nursery Sale Pre-Order pricing will be announced to subscribers this fall-
Please add your email to the box on the right and confirm your subscription (‘Following Blog’).
Fall Nursery Sales!
We have a limited number of plants in pots which we’d rather help find loving homes than overwinter!
Black Locusts ~2′ tall potted $20. The exceptionally fast growing Nitrogen Fixing Tree has delicious edible flowers loved by bees. Its also exceptionally rot resistant and hot burning fire-wood.
Aurora Pea ~6+’ tall grafted Fruit Tree, XL pot- $50
Grafted Paw Paws ~1′ tall in deep pots. ‘Pennsylvania Golden’ and ‘NC-1′ varieties. $25
Various Nut Trees ~2′ tall in deep and/ or large pots. Walnuts, Hazelnuts, Carpathian Walnuts, Butternuts, Buartnuts $40 each!
Sugar Maples ~5+’ tall potted trees $30
Kiwis potted, assorted varieties $25
Siberian Pea Shrub ~2-4′ tall potted trees. Beautiful N Fixer with edible flowers and small peas often used as chicken fodder and/ or living fence.
Please stay tuned and follow the blog- our availability and pre-orders for spring 2015 will be announced soon!
(for reference only- most of these plants will be available for similar prices Spring 2015)
Thanks everyone for your support of our most successful plant sale to date! By last count we’ve helped place several hundred fruits, nuts, berries, vines, and other useful plants throughout the northeast just this spring!
All plants are available for pickup ASAP in Jeffersonville, VT or at Willow Crossing Farm by appointment, unless otherwise noted.
All trees are potted in organic compost potting mix. For the best prices on trees, please subscribe for details about our late April / early May Bare Root Plant Sales.
We still have nice, well branched PIXWELL GOOSEBERRIES $20/ plant- make a small deliciously fruiting, mildly thorny hedge around your garden to keep the critters back!
SIBERIAN PEA SHRUB- One of our favorite Nitrogen Fixers, this plant feeds bees, has delicious edible flowers (for people), and its small edible peas are traditionally grown as a chicken feed. $20/ Plant
CONSTORT BLACK CURRANT- widely adaptable, shade-fruiting, delicious- White Pine Blister Rust immune- yum! $20/ Plant
HYBRID HAZELS- One of our favorites for a future crop in VT, now well into production here at Willow Crossing, these multi-stemmed trees will begin to bear nuts in as little as 3 years from planting. They also make nice hedges, living fences, privacy screens, or snow fence. $30/ tree. (Available for Pickup this weekend by appointment).
SILVER MAPLES- 3-4′ bare root trees. Stately! $15/ Plant SOLD OUT
SUGAR MAPLES- 4-5′ bare root trees. The classic! $25/ Plant
LODI GREEN APPLE- 3/4″ truck caliper (over 6′ tall) bare root trees- $30/ plant SOLD OUT
NIJISEIKI ASIAN PEAR- 3/4″ truck diameter (~5′ plant) bare root- $30/ Plant. SOLD OUT
AURORA RED BLUSHED PEAR- 3/4″ truck diameter (over 6′ tall)- $50/ Plant. ONE LEFT- BIG TREE!
BLACK LOCUST- 18″- Permaculture stacking function ‘superhero': the fastest growing, most rot resistant, hottest burning, thorny, Nitrogen Fixing, bee-supporting, edible flowers. $20/ Plant
WATERMAN BERRY FARM ERICOID MYCORRHIZA INNOCULATED MATURE BLUEBERRIES magic mushrooms for blueberry roots! MEADER, BLUE GLOD, ELLIOT $35/ Large Potted Plant
CONCORD GRAPES- The classic hardy blue grape known for its vigor and disease resistance, and delicious fresh grapes, juices, wine, jams, and preserves. $20/ pot
BLACK WALNUTS- 2-3′ bare root trees. $30
BUTTERNUTS- 12-18″ bare root trees- $25
*CARPATHIAN/ ENGLISH WALNUTS- 2-3′ bare root trees, $40
XANTHOCERAS- 3-4′ bare root trees, $25 SOLD OUT
Still just a few potted: KIWIS, SEA BERRIES, ARONIA, ROSES, ARTICHOKES, and some VIKING ASPARAGUS!
More details on the plant sale are available here.
If you want something left bare root for you let us know!
Thanks so much!
Keith, Family, and Crew
Only a few spaces remain in this summer’s Permaculture Design Certification Course, and we’re able to offer full scholarships to income eligible Vermonters and Women Farmers. Two spaces will be reserved for ‘second PDC’ students looking to deepen their practice and experience.
Happy spring- get planting!
The most up to date info for plant availability is HERE
This is Spring 2014 data for reference- many of these varieties (and more) will be available for pre-order and pick up in April – May 2015
CHERRIES NUT TREES CURRANTS GOOSEBERRIES SEA BERRIES PEACHES PEARS BLUEBERRIES GRAPES HARDY KIWIS NITROGEN FIXERS MAPLES CRANBERRIES HONEY BERRIES HOPS ASPARAGUS MEDICINAL HERBS
Please pre-order and read below for details.
Vermont’s oldest Permaculture Research and Education Institute is pleased to announce the details for our annual Nursery Plant Sale!
We’re excited to share some of our favorite Vermont-Proven Fruits, Nuts, Berries, Vines, and Medicinal Herbs, and the results of almost 15 years of breeding, selection and tree crops research here in Northern Vermont. Our trees are specifically selected to be valuable additions to your yard, garden, or landscape, and intended to be components of diverse
Edible Forest Gardens, Edible Landscaping, Specimen Trees, Windrows/ Hedgerows, Wildlife Corridors, Deer Yards, Riparian Buffers, Vineyards, and Productive Orchards.
We also offer some of our favorite Medicinal Herbs as Companion Plants and Understory Plantings, and a variety of
Nitrogen Fixing, Nutrient Accumulating, and Pollinator Feeding support plants.
100% of the Proceeds from this sale further Permaculture Research, Education, and Productive Reforestation for Vermont’s Fields, Farms, and Floodplains- supporting more diverse, resilient, and nourishing tree crop propagation for cold climates.
Willow Crossing Farm is working to demonstrate and spread Climate Resilient, Multi-Generational, Ecologically Regenerative, Carbon-Negative, Income Producing, Nutrient Dense, Valuable Sugar and Lumber Producing, Pollinator Supporting, Soil Building, Flood Tolerant Tree Crops for Vermont’s Farms, Yards, Gardens, and Cities.
Plants will be available for pickup Friday May 2, Saturday May 3, Friday May 9, and Saturday May 10.
Please SHARE this with your friends and networks who may be interested!
Some plants will also be available at The Farm Store in Jeffersonville, VT and larger orders are able to be delivered into Burlington.
It is strongly recommended that you Pre-Order plants, as many will sell out. Some Bare Root plants will only be available during earlier pick up dates, and some of the Medicinal Herbs may not be available until the later dates.
* Asterisks indicate experimental plants for our region- typically, these are plants that can survive Vermont winters, but may not reliably bear crops every season. Most are suited to the Champlain Valley and some of Vermont’s warmer microclimates, and will be more marginal in colder microclimates. All are bering grown here in the Lamoille River Valley of Johnson, VT.
Please ask about quantity discounts for orchards, nut groves, vineyards, and working farms.
All plants are in VERY LIMITED QUANTITIES- its best you CONTACT US if you’re coming for anything in particular.
CHERRIES (few remain):
Kristin Cherry: 1″ caliper diameter, bare root. Developed in Geneva, NY- Kristin is hardier than most Sweet Cherries, and has withstood temperatures to minus 25°F and below, and is generally considered the hardiest sweet cherry. Kristin produces abundant, large, dark burgundy fruit with flavorful, firm and juicy flesh. Best with Lapins or another sweet cherry as a pollinator. $35
*Lapins Cherry: 5/8” diameter, bare root. Very large, dark purple, delicious and self-fertile, Lapins is one of the best Cherries available. From brilliant white blossoms to the dark red fruit to beautiful foliage in fall, this tree provides multi-seaon interest. Introduced by Dr. Lapins at the Summerland Research Station in British Columbia, Canada, Lapins is a favorite with commercial growers. Lapins is also an easy to grow and very productive variety for the home gardener. On Colt rootstock- semi-dwarfing (80% of full size ~12-15′). Colt is adapted to most soils and is hardy, vigorous, productive, and forms a well-branched tree. $30
“Aurora”: 5/8″ caliper diameter, bare root. One of the best tasting pears you can grow, Aurora was developed in Geneva, NY and keeps well into December. $30
“Nijiseiki” 5/8″ caliper diamter, bare root. One of the most popular Asian Pears, Nijiseiki is a large, crisp, juicy and flavorful, yellowish-green variety. The fruit often found in markets in mesh bags, Nijiseiki ripens in late August into September. Can pollinate and be pollinated by European Pears. $30
‘Lodi’ 3/4″ caliper diamter, bare root. The “early bird” of the orchard. Be the first in your neighborhood to enjoy homemade pies, cider and applesauce. While similar to Yellow Transparent, these apples are larger and keep better. Resistant to powdery mildew. Cold-hardy. Ripens in July. A licensed vareity of Cornell University. $40
Black Walnut: 2-3′, Bare Root. A stately ornamental and the most valuable timber tree, Black Walnut grows very well- capable of growing to 100 ft. or more in height, Black Walnut’s broad spreading form is awe inspiring. For timber production, trees should be planted close together or within rings of Black Locust, Sea Berry or other N Fixers to encourage upright growth, straight trunks, and help fertilize the soil. Black Walnut nuts are rich, flavorful, and nutrient dense- high in beneficial fats, oils, and proteins. Great for fresh eating and in baked goods. Able to be tapped for syrup. These 3 year old seedlings are 4-5 ft. in height and well-rooted. $20
Shagbark Hickory: 3-4′, Bare Root. A beautiful and interesting tree, the shagbark hickory bears delicious nuts and is valuable to wildlife, serving as a summer roost for VT’s rare bats. Valuable lumber, firewood, and able to be tapped for syrup. $25
Butternut: 12’18”, Bare Root. Lamoille Valley’s native White Walnut. A beautiful specimen tree, valuable lumber, able to be tapped for syrup, and produces delicious oily nuts. This species is listed as endangered and most are succumbing to the Butternut Canker- lets plant more and select the survivors! $20
*Hardy Pecan: 2-3′, Bare Root. Created by using wild tree germplasm from the Northern-most parent plants found in Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, and Michigan. Selections are based primarily on the early ripening characteristics. Trees are surviving well in Northern VT, but may or may not be able to fully ripen their nuts. $25
*Carpathian/ English Walnut: 2-3′, Bare Root. This is the species of walnut used in commercial walnut production- high quality nuts, thin shelled, full flavored. We are propagating from zone 4 survivors. $25
*Manregion Walnut: 4’5′, Bare Root. This hardy form of English Walnut is prized for its large, easy to crack, and delicious nuts. Plant with other J. regia for cross-pollination. This is highly experimental for northern VT, and is recommend for trials in the Champlain Valley, Southern VT, MA, NH, etc. $25
Hybrid Hazels: 12-18″, Bare Root. The parents of our strain of hazelnuts come from breeding programs in Alberta, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, and upstate New York. Our breeding goals include: high yields, pest & disease resistance, suitability for low-input and certified organic conditions. Our seed is open-pollinated, and selected from the top producing plants in pollen-controlled breeding plots. Beautiful ornamentally, suitable for hedges, windbreaks, privacy screens, and living snow fence. Nuts rich in beneficial fats, proteins, and oils. $15
Jefferson Filbert: 1 gallon pots. One of the latest selections from Oregon State University, this disease-resistant european filbert bears abundant crops of very large, delicious hazelnuts. Derived from Barcelona, the main commercial variety, Jefferson is even more productive and immune to Eastern Filbert Blight. Plant with other hazels for cross-pollination. $20
Seedling American Chestnut: ~18″ Bare Root.
Xanthoceras (Yellowhorn) 3-4′ Bare Root.
Sea Berries, or Sea Buckthorn, are a promising new crop for VT. As fruit-producing Nitrogen Fixing plants, they are also excellent additions to any fruit, nut, or berry planting, literally bringing Nitrogen out of the atmosphere and making it available to plants in the soil. Bred extensively as a superfood in Russia and Germany, sea berry is increasingly being used in a variety of health foods, juices, hair products, and other supplements. Hardy to -40º.
Check out our friends and clients: The Vermont Sea Berry Company. All Varieties: $20
Leikora (F): 2-3′ Bare Root. Prized for both its fruit and its striking branches, often used in floral displays. Leikora bears abundant crops of high quality large, juicy, flavorful, bright orange berries, ripening in early Sept. and remaining on the plant even after heavy frost.
Please share this with potentially interested friends and networks. Hope to see you!
Fruit Tree Grafting Workshop and 3nd Annual Scionwood Exchange
April 13, 10 am – 4 pm
Willow Crossing Farm
Join us for a day of hands-on fruit tree grafting. We’ll begin the day in the classroom understanding the science of grafting, and practice bench-grafting apples, pears, plums, and other stone fruits.
Everyone will have the opportunity to graft their own trees to take home!
After lunch, we’ll go out and tour grafted and ‘multi-grafted’ fruit trees (including peaches grafted onto plums) and ‘top work’ multiple varieties onto pears, apples, plums, and other stone fruit. We’ll discuss some pruning basics, different grafting strategies for ‘fruit salad trees’, healing damaged trees, reworking new varieties, revitalizing old orchards, enhancing cross-pollination, and space considerations. We’ll also look at and evaluate both successful and failed past grafts.
We’ll contextualize our work in briefly telling some history of our farm and touring our incredibly diverse collection of nuts, berries, vines, nitrogen-fixing plants, and regenerative DIY farm infrastructure. We’ll also explore the incredible history of grafting, the range of grafting possibilities, and practice with professional grafting tools which make for more successful grafts by novices and experts alike.
Each attendant will leave with an apple or pear variety of their choosing on semi-dwarf or standard rootstock, or a stone fruit variety of their choosing on native american plum rootstock.
$80 suggested donation sliding scale includes cider and tea, and your own grafted fruit trees to take home. No one will be refused for lack of funds, but everyone must pre-register.
Due to the popularity of this event, you much pre-register. There is a possibility of another event later in March or in April, please send an email to express your interest.
Please RSVP by filling out the registration form and submitting payment via paypal to: Keith@ProspectRock.org, or sending a check to:
‘Prospect Rock Permaculture’
P.O. Box 426
Jeffersonville, VT 05464
We must get your email address from you, as the weather will determine where we park cars. and we will also send you some information about how to best collect scion wood if you want to propagate some favorite fruit trees.
The workshop will be taught by:
Zach Leonard is a master horticulturalist and as been the farm manager of Elmore Roots Nursery for 15 years. He and his family have created High Hopes Farm, a diverse off-grid homestead.
Nicko Rubin is the owner of East Hill Tree Farm, where he has been growing and propagating hardy fruits and nuts in the foothills of the Groton Mountains. He completed the master’s program for sustainable landscape design at the Conway School.
Dave Johnson is a timber framer with a passion for fruit trees. His competence with sharp tools and wood translate readily into many successful grafts and a legacy of multi-grafted old wild apples throughout the hills of Vermont.
Keith Morris has been collecting and experimenting with rare fruits, nuts, and medicinal plants since 1996, and is professor of ecological design at the University of Vermont. He’s slowly built his family’s farm debt-free with sweat-equity and has contributed to creating resilient and diverse food systems on 5 continents.
Willow Crossing Farm
As a reminder- only a few spaces remain for our 7th Annual Prospect Rock Permaculture Design Certification Course, July 20 – August 1, 2014.
Our Fruit, Nut, Berry, Vine, and Medicinal Plant Sale will be Saturday, May 3- Please pre-order to ensure you can get the plants you want!
May 3- Plant Sale and Plum Flower Party!
Most plants are pre-ordered to be picked up.
Details will be announced soon, but we will have several varieties of
Rootstock for Apples, Pears, and Prunus (Plums, Peaches, Apricots, etc.)
And much more!
Read below for last year’s variety descriptions (most will still be available).
If you are looking for any plants in particular, please email Keith directly at Keith @ ProspectRock.org (no spaces).
Sorry- we are not set up to ship plants this spring!
We have a variety of plants for sale here from Willow Crossing Farm!
We hold one of the northeast’s most diverse collection of cold hardy fruits, nuts, berries, vines, medicinal herbs, nitrogen fixing and pollinator attracting plants.
Pre-ordered plants will be available for pick up at the farm May 3-4, and in Jeffersonville, Johnson, Burlington, or Stowe farmer’s markets in early May, dates TBA.
Our final availability for spring 2014 will be updated in March, please email if you’re looking for anything in particular, or would like to be notified directly when we have our list finalized.
Here’s some of what we’ll have available:
Bare Root “Northstar” Cherry.
A unique and tasty pie cherry from Minnesota. This self-fertile, naturally dwarf tree bears heavy crops of large, tasty, bright red fruit with red flesh and red juice. Northstar grows to 6-8 ft. in height and is hardy to minus 40°F. $25 1/2″ caliper trees.
Bare Root “Buartnut” Walnut/ Butternut cross A cross of Butternut and Heartnut, this handsome, medium-size shade tree iproduces abundantcrops of tasty nuts. Buartnuts combine the hardiness and delicious flavor of Butternut with the high yields and easy to crack shell of the Heartnut. Trees are resistant to the Butternut fungalblight. $15 1′-2′ seedlings.
Bare Root “Cherry Red” Red Currant
A very pretty small shrub, Cherry Red bears heavy crops of beautiful, juicy, flavorful red berries. Great for fresh eating, Cherry Red Currants also make attractive and tasty jams and jellies. $12
Bare Root “Hinnomaki Red” Gooseberry
An attractive new variety from Finland and with abundant, dark red, sweet, large, and deliciousberries. Thorny. $10
Bare Root “Jostaberry” Currant / Gooseberry Cross
A unique cross of Gooseberry and Black Currant, Jostaberry is the most vigorous of all ourCurrant varieties. A very disease resistant and easy to grow small shrub, Jostaberry produces very large, jet black, sweet-tart fruit, high in Vitamin C and good for fresh eating and excellent for jams and jellies. Exceptionally large rooted bushes- $15
Potted Hardy Kiwis:
“Anna“- One of the most popular varieties for gardeners and commercial growers alike, Anna’s attractive, very sweet and flavorful fruit can weigh up to 1/2 oz.
“Tatyana“- This exceptionally hardy female variety bears abundant crops of tasty, sweet, large,lime-green fruit.
“Natasha” (From Vladivostok, Russia, this exceptionally hardy variety bears abundant crops of sweet and delicious, large round fruit.)
$15 Each. Will require a male plant to fruit.
Potted Sea Berry “Botanica”
A Nitrogen Fixing Fruit bush! One of several superior varieties from a Soviet breeding program in Moscow, Botanica™ is prized for its abundant crops of very large and richly flavored, bright orange fruit. Botanica™ is a very reliable and productive variety. $15
Potted Flowering Currant “Mary’s Peak”
Brighten your landscape with the bright, reddish-orange floral display of this new form of Flowering Currant. Mary’s Peak™ produces profuse, striking, 3-4” long, fuchsia-like flower spikes. $15
Please note bare root trees are completely naked and not in pots- they will need to go right in the ground (and be watered) after picking them up.
Check out http://www.prospectrock.org for more details. We’ll be pulling out Grapes, Blueberries, Hazelnuts, Sugar Maples, Walnuts and much much more in the next few weeks.
In early May we’ll have a party at the farm and appreciate the incredible flower show with the Native American Plums, stop by if you want to see some of these plants available a bit more mature than the ones we sell.
Last year we had a record crop of plump, juicy, and unblemished organic Peaches- right here in the Lamoille River Valley of Northern Vermont!
Please share this with friends!
Willow Crossing Farm
Prospect Rock Permaculture
Other Nursery Plants that may be available:
Local sales only. Please call, email, or comment for prices and availability.
Sugar Maple Acer saccharum
‘Sweet Sap’ Silver Maple Acer saccharinum
Hardy Kiwi Actinidia arguta
Arctic Kiwi Actinidia kolomikta
Shagbark Hickory Carya ovata
Hardy Pecan Carya illinoensis
‘Hican’ (Pecan/ Hickory hybrid) Carya
Black Walnut Juglans nigra
Persian Walnut Juglans regia
Butternut (White Walnut) Juglans cinera
‘Buartnut’ (Butternut/ Heartnut hybrid)
Swamp White Oak Quercus bicolor
‘Ashworth’ Burr Oak Quercus macrocarpa
‘Hazelbert’ (Filbert/ Hazelnut hybrid)
American Chestnut Castanea
Hands on- Fruit and Nut Tree Pruning
A day long exploration of the science and practice of ecological tree crop management for diverse yields.
Willow Crossing Farm
SUNDAY, MARCH 2
10 am – 4 pm
Join VT’s Master Horticulturalist Zach Leonard and Tree Farmer Keith Morris for a day of hands-on practice with fruit and nut tree pruning, in a diverse permaculture forest garden setting.
Spend the morning in the large yurt learning the science and ecology of how trees lose limbs and ‘heal’, and explore the deep traditions of how humans beings observe and interact with this phenomenon. We’ll synthesize a variety of pruning ideas, strategies, and techniques to help you develop your own philosophy, understanding, and confidence to go out and work with trees in your landscape in a regenerative and yielding way.
After lunch and some hot cider we’ll go outside to explore one of VT’s oldest permaculture designed food forests- a reforestation of old pasture and hayfield in the floodplain of the Lamoille River. We’ll briefly tour ‘Productive Buffers’, wildlife corridors, and stop to work in zones of Plums, Apples, Peaches, Pears, Berries, Vines, Hazelnuts, Walnuts, and more- driven by the group’s interest, and discussing pruning techniques for trees both young and old.
We’ll look at and evaluate previous years of pruning decisions and ensuing consequences, and explore some natural tree injuries and healing responses, helping participants to better understand the implications of our pruning decisions over varying periods of time.
We’ll finish the day practicing with different tools to cut wood cleanly- with an eye towards maximizing production, fruit quality, ease of future maintenance, and minimizing pest and disease pressure. We’ll also set the stage for top-working, multi-variety grafting, species changes (i.e.. Peaches on Plum roots), and other forms of propagation. In preparation for our March 16 Grafting Workshop and Scionwood Exchange
We’ll also prune mature, bearing Hazelnuts and manage black locust, walnut, butternut/ buartnut, pecans, and more for nuts, firewood, high-value lumber, succession, aesthetics, and other long-term aims.
We’ll pass around, demonstrate, and allow you to trial favorite tools, including pruners, saws, pole saws, etc.; speak to their selection and maintenance, and discuss hygienic practices to promote orchard health and reduce cross-contamination.
This workshop kicks off our series for 2014!
Please enter your email in the box on the right hand side of the page, or ‘like’ us on Facebook to get the calendar and details for our other offerings such as: fruit tree grafting (March 16), nursery plant sale, natural beekeeping workshop, nut production, diverse understory planting, spring development for gravity fed irrigation, natural building, compost heat, season extension, earth oven construction, stone masonry, and more.
Our Plum Flower Festival and Nursery Plant Sale is scheduled for May 4, with some plants available for pickup Saturday May 3, or delivery into Burlington.
Our 2014 Permaculture Design Certification Course will be held July 20- August 1, and is filling quickly. Applications for our Advanced Permaculture Design / Build /Grow / Teach internship, and APDC guided portfolio development will now be accepted on a rolling basis!
Event is $60 suggested donation/ sliding scale, including warm or cold cider during lunch and a round of hard cider tasting (21 and over) afterwards. No one will be refused for lack of funds.
*We are looking for photographers or videographers to help document the event, or create a short educational video.*
Please pre-register, and dress to spend the day outdoors.
We’ll need your email address if you’re planning on coming because the weather will determine where we’ll have people park. Feel free to bring your *clean, sterile, and sharp* pruners and saws.
Zach Leonard is a master horticulturalist and was farm manager of Elmore Roots Nursery for over a decade. He and his family have created High Hopes Farm, a diverse, off-grid homestead, where they preserve heirloom apples, sheep, and more. He runs High Hopes Tree Care, Vermont’s most experienced orchard restoration and maintenance service specializing in Organic Management.
Keith Morris has been collecting and experimenting with rare fruit and nut trees for 14 years, and is professor of ecological design at the University of Vermont. He has worked to help create resilient, diverse, socially just, and economically viable food systems around the world since 1996.
Please spread the word to potentially interested friends and networks.
Thank you for your support of our work!
Keith and Crew
Willow Crossing Farm
Hi Friends and Colleagues,
Here is a last minute invitation to any of you who may be interested in joining a small group of students, researchers, and folks with NOFA and UVM Extension for an informal tour of the ‘productive buffers’ and Tree Crops collection at Willow Crossing Farm in Johnson, VT.
As our rivers, riverside farms, and riverside towns are increasingly put to the test with erratic weather we look forward to contributing to the conversation about the health of our rivers and agricultural economy with over a decade of experience testing 100s of species of plants suitable for ‘productive buffers’ and productive floodplain reforestation. This event is to prelude a larger event this fall, and a multi-day ‘Tree Crops Symposium’ scheduled for the late spring of 2013 with some of the world’s foremost experts in tree crops, nut production, agroforestry, and non-timber forest products.
Willow Crossing Farm (Prospect Rock Permaculture) has been dedicated to making floodplain reforestation profitable and ecologically regenerative since 2001. Through combinations of native riparian plants with both native and rare nut, fruit, sugar, timber, and firewood producing trees, berries and medicinal herbs, we’ve worked to reforest our river’s corridors and flood prone sections of our farm aiming to prevent erosion; conserve soil and nutrients; shade waterways and improve water quality; create fish, wildlife, and pollinator habitat; and offset atmospheric carbon- all while adding to our long-term bottom line.
We grow many different varieties of plums, apples, cherries, pears, apricots, peaches, berries, paw paws, and over 17 species of nut trees.
Last summer, our systems were put to the test with two 500 year floods within 4 months and largely performed as designed- catching and diverting flotsam and protecting cultivated areas, greenhouses, and other farm infrastructure. Now, we are inviting other farmers, and anyone interested in watershed health and the potential for ecologically regenerative and carbon-negative farming systems to take inspiration from our trials, and share in our mistakes, successes, and other information gained.
Please be in touch with Keith Morris (Keith@ProspectRock.org or (802) 734-1129) if you are interested in attending.
Please feel free to share with students or other potentially interested contacts or networks.
Open Consultation, Participatory Design Charrettes, and Lecture Series
Turtle Hill Community and St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY
August 9 – 11
Tuesday August 9
9:00-12:00 2-Part Open Lecture:
Permaculture is an evolving and expanding design system used to create agriculturally productive human habitat at scales varying from balconies to broader regions. Spend the morning with professional ecological designer Keith Morris exploring this design science used by individuals and communities to create ethical, socially just, and ecologically regenerative perennial support systems during an ‘Open Consultation’ for the Turtle Hill and St. Lawrence University Communities.
The History of Permaculture and ‘Participatory Ecology’
As permaculture rapidly expands around the world, the field is constantly evolving and taking new directions. We’ll discuss the history of permaculture and ecological design as we look to the sciences of ecology, anthropology, and evolution for inspiration and guidance to establish our homes, gardens, and communities as ‘human ecosystems’ that are less fuel reliant, beautiful, productive, ecologically regenerative, and more wholly nourishing.
What is the potential for human beings as ‘Keystone Species’? How have we acted as such in the past? We’ll explore the ways human beings have ‘co-created’ ecological communities in the past, at present, and our potential to do so more insightfully in the future, with a particular eye to the unique challenges and opportunities of the Adirondacks and Northcountry region.
Designing an Ecological Energy Descent Culture
As we acknowledge the convergent crises of the 21st century, we can be overwhelmed with visions of apocalypse- or embrace some of the greatest opportunities to restructure society with ecological and ethical sanity, localized resilience, and abundance. We explore the relationships between the built environment, food security, energy, water, and natural communities, in order to retrofit this infrastructure to better adapt to a changing and potentially challenging future. By examining today’s multifaceted problems from a systems perspective, we focus on the intersection of social and ecological health, and find the best opportunities for leverage to affect change in our personal lives and communities.
Introduction to Turtle Hill Community and Site
Turtle Hill Orientation and Site Walk
Observation of Nature/Natural Patterns
4:30 Introduction to SLU Community and Site
7:00-8:00 Public Lecture:
Breeding with Climate Change: New Plants for the North:
While no one’s celebrating ‘Global Weirding’, a changing climate does offer some new opportunities for growers in the cold northcountry. As important as political and personal efforts are to stem the causes of climate change, it may be even more important that we anticipate and prepare for different future scenarios. We will look at the ‘movement’ of ecosystems in nature, and explore ways we can harness this fact to our benefit, and mimic natural adaptation by selecting for delayed flowering and earlier ripening with promising marginal species and varieties. In particular, we’ll look at some ‘new’ fruits, nuts, vines, and grains presently being bred for ‘northward migration’, and will discuss more general strategies for resilient food systems amidst the many uncertainties of the future.
Wednesday August 10
9:00-12:00 2-Part Open Lecture:
Season Extention/ Greenhouse Integration: (Winter Vegetables- even for the far north!)
Greenhouses are an essential component of diversified and season-extended growing in the northcountry, and also a great addition to a low energy and resilient household. Learn how greenhouses can be integrated with homes, animal shelters, barns, and other structures to reduce energy needs, supplement heating and fresh food in the winter, and even- if well designed- help cool buildings in summer months. We’ll introduce the basics of passive solar design, thermal mass, ventilation, subterranean heat storage, orientation, and glazing options, as well as meet some of the unique plants greenhouses allow us to grow. We’ll also look at ‘Quick Hoops’, ‘Rolling Greenhouses’, and other strategies for unheated year round vegetable production, see some photos, (and share some secrets) from some of Vermont’s most established winter vegetable production farms. This spring, presenter Keith Morris received a grant to build Vermont’s first winter-production greenhouse on wheels at Willow Crossing Farm.
Designing your Design Process
Here we’ll get into the ‘brass tacks’ of ecological design. We’ll discuss goals articulation, base mapping, analysis and assessment (ie. ‘reading the landscape’), data overlay through the ‘Scale of Permanence’, and other planning and design strategies. This is in preparation for an afternoon of map-making, graphical analysis, and walking the land with an eye towards refining and communicating our visoins of more resilient food production, processing and storage; on-site waste management and cycling; decentralized energy production; as well as a beautiful and functional landscape that brings neighbors together in abundance and enhances the broader social and ecological communities that provide our context.
Participatory Design Workshop: Analysis and Assessment/Group map-making, etc.
Group Design Session
Thursday August 11
Open Lecture: Invisible Structures – Economic, Decision-Making, etc.
2:00 Meeting with SLU grounds staff and SLU design wrap-up
Keith Morris has been applying his lifelong love of nature and culture and experience as an activist to permaculture and ecological design since 1996. He has worked professionally as a designer, builder, and grower of ecologically regenerative, socially just, and culturally appropriate whole-systems in cities and countrysides around the world since 2000. He is the founder of Prospect Rock Permaculture (www.prospectrock.org), Willow Crossing Farm, co-founder of the Permaculture Institute of the NorthEast (P.I.N.E.), and teaches ecological design at the University of Vermont, the Yestermorrow Design Build School, Sterling College, Paul Smiths College, Burlington Permaculture, and with other community organizations. While his expertise is ecological regeneration, high-performance food production, and shelter systems for cold temperate/ arctic conditions, he works regularly in New York City and has designed and implemented systems in New Zealand, Colorado, Chile, Argentina, California, New Mexico, Arizona, Nigeria, Ghana, Denmark, and the Netherlands.