Vermont's Permaculture Institute
Tag Archives: edible forest gardens
Nuts for the Northeast- Keith Morris presenting at NOFA NH Saturday, January 30, 2016
We’ve been taking some time away from the computer- but now that the days are getting longer, our minds are on spring and all of the great things we have in store!
Nuts for the Northeast
With Keynote by WES JACKSON!!
Rundlett Middle School, 144 South Street, Concord, NH
Medicine Womyn’s Winter Retreat– February 6, 2016 SOLD OUT
In the heart of the winter, we are invited to go deep within and learn different ways to heal and connect with ourselves and our community. Join us for a day of connection, of inspiration, of nourishment, healing and sisterhood. We will be offering many amazing workshops throughout the day – some based on Botanical medicine aka Plant magick: Aromatherapy, Flower Essence and Herbalism…some based on different types of Art; Fiber arts-Weaving/Felting….some based on Movement and Yoga. There will be Kirtan, music and sacred song. There will be herbal teas, healing broths, yummy foods, and nourishment all day long. This amazing space has saunas that we can use, and hot tubs to soak in…
Stay in touch for more info about the Summer Medicine Womyn’s Summer Retreat August 13-14
Pruning the Forest Garden- February 27, 2016 REGISTER NOW
Hands-on in Vermont’s most diverse collection of Fruits, Nuts, Berries, and Vines!
5th Annual Grafting Workshop and Scionwood Exchange- April 2, 2016 REGISTER NOW
Learn how to make more of your favorite apples, plums, peaches, pears, and more- and go home with your own grafted fruit tree!
Our 9th Annual Farm and Wilderness Immersion PERMACULTURE DESIGN CERTIFICATION COURSE- July 17-29, 2016 REGISTER NOW
An unparalleled learning experience- with the most experienced teaching team in the northeast and beyond!
FRUIT, NUT, BERRIES, VINES, and MEDICINAL HERB PLANT SALE! Pre-orders open now, for pick up beginning April 23.
Thank you for reading and sharing with your friends and networks! Look forward to seeing you.
Keith and Family
We’re honored and excited to announce an evening presentation with Dave Jacke- author of ‘Edible Forest Gardens’ and the northeast’s most recognized permaculture pioneer-
FREE and open to the public.
Ecological Culture Design: A Holistic View
Monday, July 21
Willow Crossing Farm
Nature operates based on a set of foundational laws and principles by which all systems must abide, or they fail. These principles have much to teach us about how to organize human societies. Fundamentally, permaculture aims to design complete cultural systems that consciously mimic ecosystem properties, principles, patterns, and processes.
Ecologically, culture functions as the primary adaptive mechanism of our species, and it is culture, as a whole system, that we must redesign. What is culture? How might we approach the design of cultures as whole systems in an ecological context? We can design systems that minimize stress and competition, and maximize cooperation, harmony, productivity, and diversity, while allowing each community member to remain true to their intrinsic nature. We’ll get into some ecological nitty gritty and imagine how we might use what we learn for our own purposes.
Dave will join us with extra special guest and Gap Mountain Permaculture co-founder Doug Clayton!
This is the first of a series of events which will be open to the community over the next few weeks as we host people from all over the country (and world) for our 7th Annual Permaculture Design Certification Course.
We’re so excited to continue of tradition of sharing our most excellent guests and bringing folks in to share in the experience of one of the nation’s most highly regarded Permaculture Courses!
All evening lectures are FREE and start at 7:30, donations to support farm reforestation and ecological regenerations are gratefully accepted and shared with our guests.
ALL ORGANIC FARM-SOURCED DINNER is served at 6 pm, and available by reservation only for a sliding scale fee of $12-20. We are happy to meet the needs of vegetarians, vegans, wheat intolerant, ethical omnivores, and localvores.
To join us for dinner, please contact Head Chef Emily Wheeler by phone or text message at
For questions or driving directions, please contact Keith@ProspectRock.org or call (802) 734-1129
WEDNESDAY, JULY 23- LISA DEPIANO
Will speak on Community Scale Permaculture and Permaculture Economics and share her experiences as a leading activist and empolyee-owner of a diversity of regenerative businesses.
MONDAY, JULY 28- MEGHAN GIROUX of VERMONT EDIBLE LANDSCAPES
Interested in attending the course? Please call to see if there are any last-minute cancellations.
Next year’s is already beginning to fill! It will be July 19-31, 2015.
Thanks for SHARING this with your friends, interested networks and listservs, and on social media!
Please ‘like’ us on Facebook, and add your email address on the right hand side of this page to be kept in the loop of other events.
UPDATE! There will be a special screening of the FULL FILM with cast and crew members APRIL 3 at the ROXY THEATRE in Burlington, VT- Stay tuned for more details and email us for advance ticket reservations.
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!
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.
2015 event details HERE
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.
Permaculture and The Edible Landscape
4-5 PM, UVM Aiken Center, Room 102
Free and Open to the Public
Permaculture and The Edible Landscape
Climate Resilient, Multi-Generational, Ecologically Regenerative, Carbon-Negative, Income Producing, Nutrient Dense, Pollinator Supporting, Soil Building, Flood Tolerant…
Tree Crops for Vermont’s Farms, Gardens, and Cities
As Explored Through a Case-Study of Willow Crossing Farm, Johnson, VT
A Keynote for Branch Out Burlington‘s Annual Winter Seminar.
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Prospect Rock Permaculture is a growing edible forest garden, ecological homestead, and education center in Johnson along the Lamoille River. We combine reforestation, wildlife refuge, and ecological restoration with food production and community building, while educating about and experimenting with sustainable techniques and ways of building. We grow seed with High Mowing Organic Seeds, keep bees and wild craft medicinal plants for Honey Gardens Apiaries, grow fruits, nuts, and berries with Elmore Roots Nursery, and also work researching and educating about biodiesel. Be in touch for updates about classes, workshops, tours, and internship or apprentice opportunities.