my name's Jonathan Bennett, I've got a family farm in ontario about an hour outside of toronto near Orono. The land was used about a generation ago for raising cattle, however it hasnt been used for a while and I want to plant some stuff.
I want to start off with nut trees and fruit trees. My question for nut trees, is how long is it going to take before they start bearing fruit?
I'll take an opening stab ... just to get the conversation started.
How quickly can you bring nut trees and shrubs to bearing? This depends on a lot of factors, of course.
Growing season? Frost free days?
What will grow well in your area? Do you have oak? Do area oaks produce acorns? Any beech trees? Look for hints by looking for what already wants to grow around you and perhaps from the experiments of others who have asked the same question before you in your neighborhood.
What grows nutty an wild around you? Usually, there are at least some hazelnut shrubs.
And everything depends on how well a plant is grown ... how free of environmental stresses like wind and depredation of animals for example.
How "rich" and nourishing is the soil.
I've grown a lot of different nut and fruit trees. Take for example something like hardy, hybrid chestnuts (which I like to grow). If I can catch a precocious (early in life stage producer), and fairly fast growing, I've seen chestnut trees produce nuts three years from their own nut stage. In other words, from nuts harvested in 2000, trees are started and first nuts present by 2003. But this is VERY unusual, and still a far cry from a crop of nuts worth getting excited about.
And I have some trees that did not produce until they were 10 years or older.
So the question you ask takes me all over the board of possibilities. Chestnuts and hazelnuts can produce viable crops earlier than black walnuts. Oaks can take two generations to produce a serious crop.
What do you want to grow? Start with what you like and give it a try. I've killed many thousands of trees through sheer stupidity and experimentation. How well can you personally grow a tree? Find out what it takes and do your best.
Please tell us more about your region and local conditions.
There is an organization, The Northern Nut Growers Assosciation, that has a large membership in your area. I would reccomend looking up the NNGA online, and talking with some of their experts that are also local to your area. Nut tree culture is very site specific, and not particularly easy or quick, IME. The folks at NNGA are very nice and love to help a rookie. Good luck!
You should talk to the owner of Grimo Nut farm they sell some of the most hardy nut trees around and some really great hand shelling walnuts.
Diversified Food forest maker . Fill every niche and you'll have less weeds (the weeds are the crop too). Fruit, greens, wild harvest, and nuts as staple. Food processing and preservation are key to self self-sufficiency. Never eat a plant without posetive identification and/or consulting an expert.
It will grow well here and it seems to be the cold climate equivalent to the stone pine (pinus pinea) in relation to it's ability to produce loads of pine nuts.
I know basil grows well here too so I see pesto on the horizon