Design and Education for Ecological Culture
Tag Archives: nut trees
We were honored to have our research and breeding trials featured in this Sunday’s Burlington Free Press Article:
Nut farming hard to crack in Vermont
Nut trees serve and protect.
ELMORE – Pears dropped with a distinct plunk as David Fried ambled through a varied crop of fruit and nut trees. Kiwi vines, black walnut trees, and hazelberts lined the path.
Squirrels hoard the nuts, and deer eat the drops, but Fried, 56, isn’t easily goaded. “For us it’s something we like, but for them it’s survival,” he said.
His 18 acres, once an abandoned hay field, is now an abundant Eden in Elmore. After being told only apples could grow this far north, Fried has discovered, over three decades of experimenting, what is possible for Vermont.
His Elmore Roots Nursery has sold about 50,000 fruit and nut trees since he opened for business in 1979.
These trees also protect Vermont’s changing landscape in the face of extreme weather patterns. One tree in particular, the Hazelbert, saved one farm during Tropical Storm Irene three years ago.
Vermont hazelnut trees are called Hazelberts, created by Fred Ashworth who was a fruit explorer in upstate New York in the 1800s. “He crossed a European filbert with an American hazelnut,” Fried said. “We carry on that lineage of his trees.”
A line of Hazelberts on the edge of the Lamoille River saved Willow Crossing Farm in Johnson from heavy damage during Irene and the flooding that preceded that storm. “The trees caught four feet of flotsam,” owner Keith Morris said. “Hazelberts bend and slow the water, then they bounce right back.”
Morris, 36, also owns Prospect Rock Permaculture, a landscape design and build firm that helps people plant protective infrastructure into their homesteads. Morris is on a mission to see more nut trees as shelter belts around vegetation, as wind breaks, animal fencing, and on river’s edges across the state.
Nut farming in Vermont is a frontier largely unexplored, Morris said. “We look at how we can make farms more resilient,” he said. “Nut trees and can do that.”
Fried’s certified organic nursery boasts eight different kinds of nut trees. He sells about 600 hazelnut, black walnut, pine nut, bur oak, shagbark hickory, butternut, buartnut and American chestnut annually.
Willow Crossing’s Morris started collecting nut trees in 2000, and Morris experiments with about 3,000 species now. The Hazelbert is the most exciting, he said. “There is a huge market for it,” he said. “Nutella is a great example.”
Nutella is a sweet spread made from hazelnuts that has replaced peanut butter in many homes across the nation recently.
Hazelberts produce nuts within a few years of being planted as opposed to other nut trees that generally take about 10 to 15 years to produce, Morris said.
While Nutella is a fairly new item in Vermont kitchens, the butternut pie is a long-standing tradition. “Butternut trees have a dear place in my heart, on my farm, and in the entire state for that matter,” Morris said. “Butternuts were a staple crop for most homesteads here for generations.”
Now Butternut trees are endangered. There is a fungal blight in the state. “The outlook isn’t good,” Morris said. “We are working with the state, and with some hybrid trees that are blight resistant.”
Shelburne Farms Head Market Gardener, Josh Carter, has been growing Hazleberts in Shelburne for three years. “We’re thinking our Hazleberts will start producing enough nuts to sell to the Inn next year,” he said.
The Hazleberts were planted to add interesting, non-traditional crops that fit with the farm’s educational mission. “Since we run a farm-to-table restaurant on site we diversity our market garden operation as much of possible for greatest variety in the menu,” Carter said.
Nut farming is not economically viable, Carter said. “We don’t grow many nuts around here in the Northeast,” he said.
Growing nuts is similar to growing hops for beer, Carter said. “People like the idea of growing local hops for local breweries, but there’s a lot of infrastructure involved for starting up and brewing for this refined and processed product to make it viable.”
Carter admits he doesn’t have a passion for growing nuts, in particular, but does have a passion for trying different crops and learning as he goes.
Five years from now, everyone might want Hazleberts, Carter said. “It’s always nice to be ahead of the curve,” he said. “We’re building a pool of knowledge to cash in on in the future.”
Morris said he doesn’t think Vermont will ever have a competitive advantage with nut growing, but nut trees are important to the state’s landscape. “With more growers on board, it makes sense to look into nut butters and oils,” he said. “Hazelnut oil from Europe is a very valuable high quality commodity.”
Morris is also working on a hybrid pecan and hickory tree called a hickan tree. “People say pecans won’t grow in Vermont, but they do,” he said.
It might take 15 years to see nuts grow on a hickan tree, but there will be 500 years of nut harvesting after that, with no tilling, weeding, or seeding.
“I hope my work will build a legacy, so that generations of Vermonters to come might have plenty of pecans,” Morris said.
Thank you Lynn for a great story!
Here is a link to the original article: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/local/vermont/2014/09/06/nut-farming-hard-crack-vermont/15214289/
I will return and annotate/ correct this as there’s even more to the story!
Stay tuned for an audio file of our Nuts for the Northeast presentation at NOFA MA- we’re also looking for someone who wants to collaborate on making a simple video from the slides or who would like to edit the audio.
Thanks to everyone for coming out and sharing our event with DARREN DOHERTY! It was a great success.
Out ROOT CELLAR DESIGN BUILD WORKSHOP will be October 18-19- stay tuned for more details or email to register!
I know we’ve been sending out a lot of plant sale announcements lately, so we just wanted to take a minute and THANK YOU for supporting our work!
Costa successfully funded the Northeastern Permaculture Documentary in 2012
with footage taken here with Prospect Rock Permaculture at Willow Crossing Farm.
They are now fundraising for the finished product, which is looking incredible! Check it out:
We’ve put a few hundred more fruits, nuts, berries, vines in the ground this spring thanks to your support of our work!
Next week, we’ll begin design and installation for a Permaculture Plant Nursery at St. Michael’s College, while training the schools first Permaculture Design Certification Students!
I’ll be announcing a few public events if you’d like to come check out a film or speaker, meet the students, and network with some other professional growers, ecological designers, and builders.
Bare root Hybrid Hazelnuts, Black Locust, and Gooseberries are still available from the farm. A limited selection of all of our plants will be available in pots by appointment throughout the summer.
Stop by or give a call if you want to pitch in on some farm building or tree planting this spring, and otherwise I hope to be off the computer!
Peace and Trees!
Apologies for the late notice, but those of you in or near Massachusetts may want to catch a keynote presentation with Dr. Elaine Ingham- renown soil biology researcher, founder of Soil Foodweb Inc., and chief scientist for The Rodale Institute.
She’ll be presenting her keynote “The Organic Biological Revolution” this evening, Saturday, August 9 at 7:30pm.
I’ll be presenting at 10 am with Connor Steadman:
Agroforestry for Riverlands and Beyond
Agriculturally productive buffers (APBs) are an emerging agroforestry option for vulnerable river lands, which combines crop production, conservation, and flood resilience. This workshop provides an overview of ecological functions, crop systems, planning, and economic considerations for productive riparian buffers, plus case studies from current APB trials on Vermont farms.
And at 1 pm:
Nuts for the Northeast
Upcoming Events -
ROOT CELLARS AND COLD STORAGE DESIGN/ BUILD:
Oct 18 -19
Basement Retrofits – Root cellars and food storage can be retrofitted into most any existing basement providing easy access to crops in winter and a more an overall more affordable project. In this project we will retrofit an existing basement with super insulated walls, and doors and install venting and shelves for effective crop storage. Participants will use power tools, build and hang doors, fashion a passive venting system out of Pipe and fittings, and learn important factors for design and construction of a small family sized cellar in an existing victorian home basement in downtown Jeffersonville.
Farm and Restaurant Coolbot Walkins – Learn how to build a super insulated and durable affordable Walk-in cooler that will be used for storing farm produce at Willow Crossing Farm. In this workshop we will construct a Cooler shell in an outdoor Kitchen to be cooled by a coolbot operating system tied to an air conditioner providing an affordable summer and on farm cold storage alternative. Participants will learn to estimate storage volumes needed for crop storage, scale mechanical systems for energy efficiency and effective cooling, learn the pros and cons of using this system instead of Compressor based mechanical system, and effective ways to build a super insulated and durable shell for long term commercial use.
Winter- Spring Weekend Format PDC!
Please write to express your interest. Details TBA soon.
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.
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
Hardy Organic Nuts for Farms and Yards
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Our 2014 Summer Permaculture Design Certification (July 20 – August 1) is filling fast- please be in touch if you would like to reserve your space!
This is Vermont’s oldest independent Permaculture Design Certification Course, with the most highly regarded PDC and teaching team in the Northeast. Prospect Rock Permaculture has largest body of PDC alumni/ graduates in the North America! We hope you can join us.
Its almost full!
With the Happiest Wishes for your New Year, and Warm Winter Blessings,
The Prospect Rock Permaculture Family and Crew
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.