Vermont's Permaculture Institute

FALL HOEDOWN! 3 days and 2 nights of Celebration…




Hi Friends!


Samantha spins fire with Cirque de Fuego

Sorry its been awhile since we’ve had any updates from here, but things are busy on the farm!

We’re so excited to announce the line up for this fall’s Hoedown- and invite you come and join us for 3 days and 2 nights of music, celebration, and permaCULTURE!

In addition to a diverse collection of some of the best and up and coming bands in playing in Vermont– there will be fire-spinning and breathing performances, comedy, wild-crafting tours, herbal labyrinth walks, permaculture and natural building workshops, yoga classes, sandy beach access and paddle surfing demos, great DJs, and AWESOME LOCAL FOOD!

Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the gate and include camping Friday and Saturday night.

Stay tuned to the Facebook Event Page for the most up to date details, to ask questions, arrange car pools, and for packing lists and special announcements.

Kat Wright and the Indomitable Soul Band   Barika   Lucid   Cosmic Dust Bunnies   Seth Yacovone Dead Sessions           Hillside Rounders   Tallgrass Getdown   Grundefunk   The Edd   Revibe   Right Coast Leftovers   Elephant   Tar Iguana   Binger   Canopy   Kroma Kode   Bravacado   Doctor Rick   Pabst Blue Rhythm   DJs:  Katrall   Fatty Shay

Cirque de Fuego and special guests and surprises!


Barika plays sunset at Willow Crossing Farm


Leah FuegoEvent Venue

Food Vendors and Sponsors Include:  Rock Art Brewery   Downtown Pizza   Northern Fire and Slice   Wild Branch Foods Kingdom Creamery   Papa’s Gyros   Slouvaki Shack   Taco Truck All Stars   Willow Crossing Healing Arts & Botanicals

FOR TICKETS:  Please paypal $40 “send money to friends or family” to  You can also send money free and instantly through Facebook Messenger.  Tickets are available at Downtown Pizza in Johnson, The Farm Store in Jeffersonville, and by phone, walk in, or online through the Flynn Theatre Box Office in Burlington:

Can’t wait to have you out!  Thank you for your support and SHARING this event with friends and networks.


Keith, Family, and Crew


RISING APPALACHIA in JOHNSON! With Barika, Tenderbellies, Farm Tours, Herb Walks, Yoga


Rising Appalachia with Barika!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Gates 2:30 pm

We are so excited to announce a day long farm-based mini-festival, with special guests; irie food vendors; labyrinth walks; permaculture, wild-crafting, healing arts, yoga, and herbal workshops; and opportunities to connect with various environmental and social justice campaigns.

When: Sunday, August 23.  Gates at 3pm.  Tickets include camping Sunday night and Yoga class Monday morning.
Where:  Willow Crossing Farm.  2780 Route 15 West, Johnson, VT 05656.  Google Maps: “Willow Crossing Farm”.  Beautiful riverside organic venue- an incredible retreat in itself!
Tickets:  $25 in advance, includes camping.  12 and under free- family friendly event.  $20 Student, Activist, Farmer Discount.  $30 Day of Show- discounted tickets must be purchased in advance.  Tickets available by paypal to, at the Flynn Theatre Box Office (and online or by phone through Flynn) , at Downtown Pizzeria & Pub in Johnson, VT, and The Farm Store in Jeffersonville, VT.
Facebook event page (for most up to date details, questions, carpools, camping packing list, and other announcements):
Sisters Leah Song and Chloe Smith are multi-instrument virtuosos, who grew up in a southern appalachian string band musical tradition and have gone on to create a unique sound blending folk, funk, world music, african polyrhythms, spoken word poetry, and simple, beautiful harmonics.
They are known for headlining music festivals all over the world- but their connections with the Vermont herbalist, organic farming, permaculture, and activist communities brings them to play an intimate show for a few 1000 people on a small family farm in Johnson.
As young buskers, performers, and traveling community activists, they were taken in by legendary Vermont based herbalist and author Rosemary Gladstar and have since embraced medicinal herbalism, and wild plant based supplements- to which they attribute their ability to stay happy, healthy and well adjusted while facing the rigors of the road in an internationally touring musical act.  Their most recent hit song ‘Medicine’ is dedicated to Rosemary and other herbalists.
Slow Music:  Their albums are entirely self-produced and self funded- including crowd-sourced, community-based financing.  Rising Appalachia advocates a “Slow Music Movement” approach to touring – an effort to promote sustainable touring practices and to be immersed in local communities. “It’s an effort to take the glitz and glam out of the music industry and bring performance back to its roots. A place where musicians are not just part of fast-paced entertainment, but instead influence the cultural shift as troubadours, activists, and catalysts of justice,” explains Leah. The ‘Slow Music Movement’ encourages musicians to try out ‘non-industry standard’ ways of bringing music into the world by “linking to local communities and staying with local friends; pursuing alternative venues for performances and supporting local businesses with farm-to-table hospitality; providing local non-profits at each show a platform to display information; exploring alternative methods of travel including train, bike, low impact vehicles, boat, horse, or simply focusing on regional touring; and encouraging concert goers to take in more than just the catharsis of the music.”
They’ll be joined by Barika, a Burlington based band which playsBarika traditional Malian (from Mali) music, infused with a funk and psychedelic undertones.  Their latest album was declared by Seven Days to be “among the finest local albums you’ll hear in this, or any other, year. Really.”   Horns, drums, bass and keys compliment the N’Goni- an ancient african form of harpsichord, and predecessor to the american banjo.   N’goni master Craig is a native Vermonter who spent years studying as a percussionist in Africa and now also plays for the Mike Gordon band.
Willow Crossing Farm is Vermont’s longest running permaculture research site- focused on exploring the connections between food, culture, and ecology.  Started in 2000 by Keith Morris, WCF now holds the most diverse collection of tree crops in the northeast, exploring in particular the potential of nuts, fruits, berries, vines, and herbs, to create ‘ecologically regenerative’ and ‘carbon negative’, and flood resilient agricultural systems.  The farm serves as a classroom (and Keith is a professor) for the University of Vemont, Sterling College, St. Michael’s college, the Yestermorrow Design Build School, and other community groups.
Event Venue
Rising Appalachia Website:
Rising Appalachia Wikipedia:
Barika Website:
Keith Morris
(802) 734-1129

Herbal Labyrinth, Sacred Geometry, and Holy Defecation!

Herbal Labyrinth Design and Construction


at Willow Crossing Farm


May 24  9 am – 5 pm


Ariadne- Mistress of the Labyrinth

Join us for a day of hands-on practice in the design and construction of a medicinal herbal labyrinth- and explore and practice the history of their sacred use.

with Ivan McBeth and Fearn Lickfield of the Green Mountain School of Druidry

and Kori Gelinas of Willow Crossing Healing Arts and Botanicalslabyrinth

$60. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.  

A full day of learning, practice and co creation of a new 7 circuit herbal labyrinth! Participants will learn the history and mythology of this ancient spiritual tool, as well as the principles of sacred space, earth energies, spirit of place, design and dowsing.

Hands on learning will include dowsing practice, and installation with stone, herbs, wood chips, and compost. We will complete the day with a ceremony of blessing for the Labyrinth.

Today- Saturday will be an open work party day.  Sunday will be be a classroom presentation and hands-on labyrinth design build learning workshop.

To register contact Kori Gelinas:

More details and car pools, etc. in the discussion HERE.




NEXT WEEKEND!  Join Nick Neddo – author of The Organic Artist – for hands-on wildcrafting your own Paint and Paintbrushes!   Details Here

PLANTS FOR SALE!  We still have beautiful berries, fruit trees, nut trees, and more!  Click HERE

JUNE 6-7!    Hands-on Design Build and Classroom/ Studio Study of the GAP MOUNTAIN MOULDERING TOILET  with co-designer (and Gap Mountain Permaculutre Co-Founder) DOUG CLAYTON!  We’ll study and evaluate a wide array of COMPOST TOILET TECHNOLOGY for regenerative use of waste, and full-circle NUTRIENT CYCLING!  More details will be announced very soon.  Call or email to reserve your space in this weekend workshop.


The Gap Mountain Mouldering Privy- Designed by Doug Clayton, drawing and design contributions by Dave Jacke


There are very few spaces remaining in our JUNE 20 – JULY 2  *or*  JULY 10 -31 offerings








IMG_0016 396714_479598428751020_19998606_n PRP_PDC_13Stay tuned and subscribe for details about SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKERS- FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC as always!



Permaculture Plant Sale!

PlantSaleWillow Crossing Farm holds one of the most diverse collection of fruits, nuts, berries, vines, and medicinal herbs- in the northeast.   Please stay tuned, as we’ll continue to add varieties and more detailed descriptions to this list.   LIMITED QUANTITIES-  please reserve your plants ASAP. NUT TREES! We have some of the biggest and most beautiful nut trees we’ve ever had available this spring. BUARTNUTS (Juglans x bixbyi):  A hybrid of our native butternut and the heartnut (hence bu-art), offering the hardiness and flavor of butternuts with the prolific nuts and ease of cracking of heartnuts- and resistance to the butternut blight.  These are very large trees which have been root pruned in the nursery to create branching healthy root systems.  These hybrids exhibit ‘hybrid vigor’ and will grow faster and bear sooner than other walnuts.  The first of all of our Juglans plantings to bear here.                                   5′-6′ tall bare root trees: $45      6’+ tall bare root trees: $55  (already overhead!)  Mature trees can also be tapped for syrup. BLACK WALNUTS (Juglans nigra):  The most valuable lumber tree in the the northeaster forest, and long-lived producer of delicious nuts.  Mature trees can be tapped for syrup, a favorite for silvopasture design.  Not recommended near areas where tomatoes or potatoes are grown. 2′-3′ tall bare root trees, $25 heartnutHEARTNUTS (Juglans ailantifolia cordiformis):     An attractive and valuable nut tree, with easy to crack mild flavored nuts.  As seedlings, nuts may vary slightly from the archetypical ‘heart’ shape.                               3′-5′ bare root trees, $30

‘COLOSSAL’ CHESTNUT (Castanea x):     A disease resistant hybrid of Japanese and European chestnuts which bears abundant crops of sweet nuts.  1′-2′ bare root trees, $15

‘THETA’ FILBERT (Corylus avellana):      A recent introduction by Oregon Statue Univerisy, this is a true European Filbert with immunity to the Eastern Filbert Blight.  Flavorful, medium sized nuts. $30 tall trees in gallon pots.


PEARS:  0900

ORCAS:   Discovered on Orcas Island, Washington, this excellent, disease-resistant variety produces good crops of very large and attractive, carmine blushed, yellow pears with smooth, sweet,buttery flesh. Excellent for fresh eating, canning and drying, Orcas is very reliable and productive and ripens in early to mid-September. These beautiful and tasty Pears can weigh of 1 lb. each!  5/8″ caliper trunk diameter bare root tree, $30

NIJISEIKI ASIAN PEAR:     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.                  5/8″ caliper trunk diameter bare root tree, $30


KRISTIN COLT:    Develo2120ped 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.    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.                                                                                   1/2″ caliper trunk diameter bare root tree, $25

LAPINS:  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.   1/2″ caliper trunk diameter bare root tree, $25


ITALIAN:     A sweet, dark purple, freestone Plum with firm, amber flesh, Italian is great for fresh eating and excellent for drying. Widely planted in the Northwest, this European variety is productive, reliable and easy to grow. Italian ripens in late August into September.   3/4” caliper trunk diameter bare root tree, $35


PUGET GOLD:  Puget Gold was developed in western Washington and is the easiest to grow and most disease resistant Apricot variety we have found.  5/8″ caliper trunk diameter bare root tree, $30

PAW PAWS: The largest fruit native to north america- a delicious mango vanilla custard.  (experimental in our area)

PENNSYLVANIA GOLDEN:  Grafted 9″ Pot $25       

NC-1:  One gallon Pot  $25

CORNELIAN CHERRY: A unique and attractive form

3849of Dogwood, Cornelian Cherry is native to Ukraine and other regions around the Black Sea. Growing as a shrub or small tree, it is valued for its tasty fruit and for its ornamental value. We are pleased to offer you unique Ukrainian varieties that produce large, sweet, and flavorful fruit. Depending on the variety, Cornelian Cherry fruit can taste like a Cherry or a wild plum. It is very high in Vitamin C and is good for fresh eating, preserves, juice, and wine. As an ornamental, Cornelian Cherry is valued for its very early, delicate yellow flowers appearing in early March before the leaves, its yellow and red fall color, and its bright red fruit.

PIONEER:     Pioneer™ bears abundant crops of strikingly large, pear-shaped fruit. Up to 1-1/2″ long, the dark red, early ripening fruit is juicy, sweet, and aromatic.               4′-5′ bare root trees, $30

RED STAR:     Red Star™ bears good crops of large, 1-1/4″ long, oval fruit. A later ripening variety, Red Star™ holds its fruit well into September. The glossy, dark red fruit has an appealing sweet-tart flavor and is very juicy and aromatic.                      5′-6′ bare root trees, $35

RIBES:  Favorites in the traditional european gardens- these fruitful multi-stemmed shrubs will bear in partial shade and make excellent companions to larger fruit trees or borders around annual gardens.  Variety descriptions will be added soon.

WHITE PEARL WHITE CURRANT:  1′-2′ potted:  $15

SWEDISH WHITE:   1′-2′ potted:  $15

CHERRY RED:     2′-3′ potted:  $20

JOSTABERRY BLACK CURRANT:  1′-2′ bare root bushes:  $15 HINNOMAKI RED GOOSEBERRY:   Gallon Pots, 2’+ bush: $25 HINNOMAKI YELLOW:     Gallon Pots, 2’+ bush: $25

SEA BERRIES:      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: $25  (Descriptions will be added soon) LEIKORA     RUSSIAN ORANGE      RADIANT      

HONEY BERRIES:     A very hardy and unique small shrub, Honeyberry is a species of Honeysuckle with sweet and tasty fruit. While the Honeysuckle family consists of over 200 species of vines and shrubs, almost all them are used solely as decorative plants. This edible and very hardy species is native to Eastern Siberia, the Russian Far East, and Northern Japan, where, from ancient times, the native people have gathered and consumed the fruit in large quantities. Honeyberry is valued for its tasty blueberry-like fruit, its extremely early ripening, often two weeks before strawberries, and for its exceptional hardiness, to minus 40° F. or below. Great for fresh eating, Honeyberry also makes delicious preserves. BERRY BLUE    BLUE HOKKAIDO   1′-3′ potted:  $20


These attractive, vigorous, disease and pest free vines can quickly cover a wall, fence, arbor, or trellis.  Their delicious, lime-green (and fuzz free) fruit is sweeter and more flavorful than the store-bought Fuzzy Kiwi, and can be eaten like grapes!  Once established, they survive the coldest winters.  All varieties $25 in Gallon pots
Andrey (M): A super hardy (-40ºF) Eastern Russian male pollinator.
Anna (F):  The most popular variety for commercial production- bearing abundant crops of large, very sweet fruit.
Tatyana (F):  A super-hardy Russian cultivar
Natasha (F):  A super-hardy Russian cultivar
All plant sale proceeds support permaculture research, education, and the reforestation of VT Farms.  Discounts for bulk quantities are available for most plants, subject to availability.
Still spaces in the June 20 – July 2 Farm and Wilderness Immersion Permaculture Design Certification Course!
Details here:
Thank you for your support of our work- and PLEASE SHARE THIS LINK / EMAIL with your friends and networks.

INHABIT- A Permaculture Perspective: Pre-Order for Earth Day release!

Screening for FREE at WILLOW CROSSING FARM- This WEDNESDAY, July 22, 2015InhabitPosterBTV

Thanks to everyone who came out and made the Burlington screening such an overwhelming success!  Stay tuned (add your email to the top right of this page) for some other special film events coming in the future.

     We are honored and humbled to be included in this stunningly beautiful work of filmmakers Costa Boutsikaris and Emmet Brennan.  Catch it before its Earth Day release to the public, and enjoy it on a big screen!  Join with filmmakers and cast for questions, and a celebration of the film’s completion after the screening.

All proceeds from ticket sales will support the Permaculture Institute of the Northeast, and farm-based permaculture research and education.

Read more about the film below.  You can also pre-order a digital rental or purchase for Earth Day release HERE!


We’re also excited to announce an Herbal Labyrinth Building Workshop with Ivan McBeth and Fearn Lickfield- more details will be posted here soon, but you can check out the event on Facebook


This summer’s Permaculture Design Certification Courses are filling fast!

Register now to save your space.  We continue to deepen our practice at Vermont’s longest running Permaculture Research Farm, and invite you to join with students from all over North America and the world in

farm, nature, and ecological design immersion!

We’ll be offering two courses this year one June 20 – July 2 and another July 19 – 31.  Both are optionally available for up to 5 College Credits.

We’re very excited to announce we’ll be joined by author and founder of FOOD Not Lawns HEATHER FLORES and other VERY SPECIAL Guests!

Past special guests in our courses have included Joel Salatin, Dave Jacke, Darren Doherty, Starhawk, Scott Kellogg, and more.

We’ll tour some of the nations most inspiring orchards, vineyards, herb, vegetable, and seed farms, and other ecologically regenerative businesses and develop design for real clients- as well as your own sites!



Plant sale details will be announced very soon!  We’ll have thousands of fruits, nuts, berries, vines, nitrogen fixers, medicinal herbs, and other very rare plants available in late April and early May.


Follow this link: to watch a preview with the ability to purchase or rent the movie.

Humanity is more than ever threatened by its own actions; we hear a lot about the need to minimize footprints and to reduce our impact. But what if our footprints were beneficial? What if we could meet human needs while increasing the health and well-being of our planet? This is the premise behind permaculture: a design process based on the replication of patterns found in nature. INHABIT explores the many environmental issues facing us today and examines solutions that are being applied using the ecological design lens of permaculture. Focused mostly on the Northeastern and Midwestern regions of the United States, Inhabit provides an intimate look at permaculture peoples and practices ranging from rural, suburban, and urban landscapes.

From the filmmakers:

The World Premiere of INHABIT had an amazing turnout at Permaculture Voices in California, and got lots of cheers and whoops as each new scene began. We’re estimating a crowd of 500. The following day at our booth we spoke with many people eager to setup their own screenings and many wanted to “finally show a film to their families that explains what this is all about!” We are very excited to see how this film can act as an on-ramp for people new to these ideas and allow the permaculture community to setup screenings as a way to begin the conversation.

Art Exhibit and Hands-On Wild-Crafted Paints and Paintbrushes with Nick Neddo of ‘The Organic Artist’- May 30

“Hummingbird talks to Bear” by Nick Neddo- with wildcrafted walnut ink and bear fur paintbrush.

We’re very excited to announce that we’ll be offering an opportunity to study and practice the creation of wild-crafted art materials hands-on with Nick Neddo– author of recently published book “The Organic Artist”!

Art Exhibit and Free Public Talk  

Saturday, May 30     7:30 pm 

Wild-Crafted Paints and Paintbrushes

Saturday, May 30     10 am – 4 pm

at Willow Crossing Farm in Johnson, VT


Learn to make paint from stones! We will hunt and gather rocks from the landscape and grind them into powder. From there we process and refine the rock powder into a fine pigment and transform it into paint!

We will also approach the art of making paintbrushes from a variety of angles, using a wide variety of natural materials found on the living landscape.


Some of Nick’s ground stone paints.


Some of Nick’s wildcrafted paintbrushes.

You will also be able to purchase “The Organic Artist” directly from the author, and have him sign your book (with a wildcrafted pen and ink ;)

The workshop is sliding scale- suggested donation $80 with materials provided.  No one will be refused due to lack of funds!  However- space is limited and registration is required regardless.

Wild-Crafted pens made from feathers, reeds, sticks, bamboo, antler, random found twigs made by Nick Neddo. Photo courtesy Quarry Books.

About the Instructor: 


Self-Portrait- Nick Neddo. Wild-Crafted Pens and Berry Inks.

Nick Neddo is a sixth generation Vermonter who has been making art since he could first pick up a crayon. He grew up exploring the wetlands, forests and fields of his bioregion and developed a profound curiosity, respect and love for the community of life around him.

He makes his art supplies from materials that he gathers from the landscape, which is the topic of his new book: The Organic Artist. Nick enjoys clean air, water, food and dirty hands.

As a young teenager Nick identified primary focuses that would become life-long pursuits: study of the natural world, Stone Age technology (popularly known as primitive skills) and creating art. Trusting the inherent value of these skills, he continues to embrace their pursuit with a ravenous appetite fueled by a genuine love of the living world and the creative process. He has traveled the country extensively, visiting the last great wildernesses, seeking traditional skills and experiencing the landscape’s majesty, which are common themes in his artwork.

Nick has been teaching wilderness survival and living skills, tracking, drawing and nature awareness professionally since 2000, although he considers himself a perpetual student. He currently instructs at Roots School in Vermont, as well as other venues. You can find his latest artwork, other creations, and purchase a copy of ‘The Organic Artist” at

About Willow Crossing Farm:

Willow Crossing Farm is Vermont’s longest running permaculture research and education center.  We are committed to fostering ecologically regenerative culture, and sharing our efforts to meet human needs while increasing ecological health.  We are an entirely community supported, debt-free farm, incredibly diverse tree and medicinal herb nursery, wildlife refuge, and pollinator sanctuary.


Please SUBSCRIBE to receive relatively infrequent notifications about other similar events by entering your email on the right hand side of the webpage.

You can also follow us on Facebook.


June 6-7 is our COMPOST TOILET DESIGN BUILD WORKSHOP- email to reserve your space stay tuned for more details.

There is still space in our farm-based Summer Permaculture Design Certification Courses!      Click HERE for more information.

Details for our annual Nursery Plant Sale can be found HERE.

The full calendar of events can be found HERE.


We are still accepting applications for Internships, Apprenticeships, and looking for a Vegetable Production Partner and Chef.  Opportunities can be found HERE.

'Swamp Dancers' by Nick Neddo.   Wild-Crafted Cattail Pen, Pine Soot Ink, Cattail Paper

‘Swamp Dancers’ by Nick Neddo. Wild-Crafted Cattail Pen, Pine Soot Ink, Cattail Paper

Our Nut Research Featured in Sunday’s Free Press!

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.

Photo Gallery: Eden in Elmore

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.

Vermont's Nuts 14

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.


BUR 0907 Vermont's Nuts 12.JPGNut 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.



Contact Lynn Monty at and follow her on Twitter at


Thank you Lynn for a great story!


Here is a link to the original article:

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!

Rising Appalachia with Barika at Willow Crossing Farm!


A day long, farm-based mini festival, with special guests; irie food; labyrinth walks, permaculture, wild-crafting, and herbal workshops; and opportunities to connect with various environmental and social justice campaigns.

Stay tuned for updates and more details.

Tickets available paypal $25: ‘send money to a friend’.

Tickets will also be available online and by phone through Flynn Tickets ($3.50 service charge) and downtown Burlington at the Flynn Ticket Box Office (no service charge).  You can also buy tickets in person at the farm, downtown Jeffersonville, and soon to be announced locations in Johnson.

Join the conversation, ask questions, and stay in the loop with last minute details at:



-Vermont’s Community Supported Permaculture Institute since 2000-

Hi Friends- Happy summer to you all!  We’re pleased to announce some new events, some opportunities to share in the fun of our 8th Annual Permaculture Design Certification Course– and a very special FARM BASED CONCERT with RISING APPALACHIA! Join with Food Not Lawns author Heather Flores– presenting free and open to the public on Monday, July 20.FNLbook

Food Not Lawns: Neighborhood Design Workshop
Explore friendship based community organizing with author & founder of Food Not Lawns, Heather Jo Flores.  Food is central to a thriving community; a hub around which people gather.  Learn through community dialogue, games and envisioning what’s possible for your yard and your community.  Are you ready to start a neighborhood-based garden project or to turn your yard into a garden and your neighborhood into a community?  Then this workshop is for you.
Heather will also join our course teaching team to include aspects of social permaculture.  IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO SIGN UP!  EAT Button
We’ll be diving in to permaculture design at Vermont’s longest running permaculture research site- and designing the new home for High Mowing Seeds! (FB EVENT PAGE)
Grow Food- Not Lawns!

Grow Food- Not Lawns!

INHABIT- A Permaculture Perspective     InhabitPosterBTV

Screening Free and Open to the Public- Wednesday, July 22, 7 PM

You are also welcome to join us for an all farm-sourced meal- dinner is served at 6pm, and is $14 buffet style.  Reservations are required for dinner.  Please contact head chef Candace Taylor with number in your party and dietary preferences and restrictions (we are happy to meet the needs of omnivore, vegetarian, gluten, vegan, etc.) to make dinner reservations. Candace:


Medicine Womyn’s Retreat!


Join us to nourish and nurture your inner divinity. Come gather with sister allies and connect deeply with your authentic self. This will be a day filled with ritual, creative expression and blissful self love! The workshops throughout the day will be based on Aromatherapy, Herbal crafting, Flower Essence, Fiber arts etc…There will also be a medicine walk, a labyrinth journey, rituals and songs, sacred Heartfire Henna, guided meditation, Yoga with Fletcher Boote and a rockin Kirtan to end the evening. $60-75 sliding scale August 8th, 10-5 at Willow Crossing Farm RSVP with Kori Gelinas to reserve your spot:







Details TBD- Save the Date!  Please help us spread the word.


August 9 – Mayan Fire Ceremony for Families with Mayan Grandmother Nana Wilma


We still have plenty of CURRANTS, SEA BERRIES, BLACK LOCUST, and many other rare FRUITS, NUTS, BERRIES, and VINES available for sale!

Thank you for your support and for SHARING our events with your networks!

-Keith and Family

Open Lectures! Energy Descent Culture, Free ‘INHABIT’ Screening

Hi All-

We’d like to invite you to join with this July’s Permaculture Design Certification Course for a few evening sessions- free and open to the public- as always!

You are also welcome to join us for an all farm-sourced meal- dinner is served at 6pm, and is $14 buffet style.  Reservations are required for dinner.  Please contact head chef Candace Taylor with number in your party and dietary preferences and restrictions (we are happy to meet the needs of omnivore, vegetarian, gluten, vegan, etc.) to make dinner reservations.


Monday- July 20, 7:00 PM:



Inhabit- A Permaculture Perspective


Wondering what “Permaculture” is all about?  Join us for a beautifully crafted overview of the field- including rural, urban, suburban, homestead, and social-economic examples of this global phenomenon in ecological design and sustainable agriculture.

  Can’t make it?  Follow this link: to watch a preview with the ability to purchase or rent the movie.

Humanity is more than ever threatened by its own actions; we hear a lot about the need to minimize footprints and to reduce our impact. But what if our footprints were beneficial? What if we could meet human needs while increasing the health and well-being of our planet? This is the premise behind permaculture: a design process based on the replication of patterns found in nature. INHABIT explores the many environmental issues facing us today and examines solutions that are being applied using the ecological design lens of permaculture. Focused mostly on the Northeastern and Midwestern regions of the United States, Inhabit provides an intimate look at permaculture peoples and practices ranging from rural, suburban, and urban landscapes.

From the filmmakers:

The World Premiere of INHABIT had an amazing turnout at Permaculture Voices in California, and got lots of cheers and whoops as each new scene began. We’re estimating a crowd of 500. The following day at our booth we spoke with many people eager to setup their own screenings and many wanted to “finally show a film to their families that explains what this is all about!” We are very excited to see how this film can act as an on-ramp for people new to these ideas and allow the permaculture community to setup screenings as a way to begin the conversation.

Previous Public Presentations:

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.

Professor Keith Morris is the founder of Willow Crossing Farm, and has worked creating healthy ecologically regerative food systems in Europe, Africa, South America, the South Pacific, and throughout North America.

Nursery Plants Pre-Orders

Spring 2015 Nursery Sale Pre-Orders

Click HERE for 2015 list

-pre-order and wholesale pricing available to subscribers winter 2015-

Please add your email to the box on the right and confirm your subscription (‘Following Blog’).


We will have a large variety of select fruits, nuts, berries, and vines proven in the Lamoille Valley of Northern Vermont.  At this time, we do not ship plants.  Plants area available for pickup at the farm in Johnson, VT or our barn in Jeffersonville, VT starting Earth Day- April 22, 2015, and celebrating with Special Events for International Permaculture Day- May 3, 2015.

Please send an email with specific requests- especially if you are looking for wholesale/ orchard/ production/ hedgerow quantities.  Plants are available in bundles of 10 of the same variety for wholesale or farm production planting pricing.

Available as Bare-Root Plants Picked up in Northern Vermont:

Apples      Pears     Walnuts     Hazelnuts     Chestnuts     Hickories and Pecans     Currants and other Ribes     Kiwis      Sea Berries and other N Fixers      Strawberries      Asparagus      Hops      Plums      Cherries     Peaches and Apricots     Hops    Medicinal Herbs and Companion Plants     Grapes     Schisandra     Tobacco     Paw Paws     Honey Berries     

Please see below for some examples of the varieties we had for previous seasons.  We should have all (or most) of these and are looking forward to introducing several more!

Potted Plants:

We have a limited number of plants.

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 Pear ~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!


Spring 2014

(for reference only- most of these plants will be available for similar prices Spring 2015)

Hey All! 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


Ericoid Mycorrhizae infect the roots of blueberries, and expand their reaches for minerals, nutrients, and water exponentially!

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! Image


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