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Posts: 24
Location: Zone 5a (Canada)
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Hi - I'm new to this site. I've always been inclined to sustainability, but had not heard the term "permaculture" until I saw a documentary about the dependency on oil in current agriculture. Permaculture was the term I'd been looking for

The only step I've taken so far is finding land. In Ontario, half way between Ottawa and Toronto (can expect winter lows to -30C).

I'm reading and searching online and assessing possibilities, but the more I read, the more options and questions I seem to have.   I have the following priority tasks/topics

1) Build up map of land identifying what's already there (ongoing).

2) Plant nut trees "soon" (hazelnut, walnut and maybe pecan... any other suggestions?). Also how "sheltered" does a spot need to be for these (and other) species?

3) The land has a large, shallow beaver pond.They've felled many trees, drowned some trees, but this "damage" is already done. I think I want to keep them (they have more right to be there than I do! But the top predator has gone also...), but at the same time I don't want to lose all my trees, or breed too many mosquitoes

I plan to
- protect specific trees (fence / sand paint?)
- limit the extent of the pond (Clemson Leveler?),
- let them get on with their lives whilst I learn and figure out what to do.

4) One big area of uncertainty for me is native vs introduced species. I don't want to make mistakes I cannot undo.

ceog

 
Chuck Freeman
Posts: 116
Location: Southcentral Alaska
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Welcome to the Great White North. What do you get in snow fall? That will have a big affect on starting small trees. My place in Alaska get about 15+ feet of snow a year that makes life rough on new trees. As or the beavers they don't travel far for food when their food supply starts to go they will pack up and leave. Look at what they have already taken down for food you should be able to make a good guess as to how much longer they'll hang around,

By the way you are the top predator.
 
                          
Posts: 24
Location: Zone 5a (Canada)
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We get on average 5 to 6 feet of snow per winter.

I should have said "morally unencumbered top predator" 
 
Chuck Freeman
Posts: 116
Location: Southcentral Alaska
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ceog wrote:
We get on average 5 to 6 feet of snow per winter.

I should have said "morally unencumbered top predator" 


Your snow fall shouldn't be to much of a problem, You might have to protect saplings for their first few winters with straw bales and mulch.
 
                              
Posts: 2
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Welcome, indeed. Nut trees - you can check out St Lawrence Nursery in upstate New York, which has a fine selection of trees that will withstand Zone 3, which they are, and sometimes colder. Don't know about shipping to Canada, but they should address that on their website and if they don't, may be able to point you in the direction of a Canadian source.

Good luck!
 
                              
Posts: 6
Location: Hilliers, BC
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We successfully planted nut trees as well as apples, plum, and bush fruit like currants, raspberries and gooseberries in our yards in both Calgary and Edmonton which is zone 3a, cold, dry and snow in the winter. We mulched them with leaves before the snow came and then made sure we piled snow against them in the coldest weather not to stop them from freezing...to stop them thawing, freezing, thawing...re-freezing as this is worse for trees. The mulch/snow also seems to protect them better from drying out in the cold and dry prairie winds. We had success with all the trees but one and they were pretty well established after 3 years. Probably the best thing you can do is go to a reputable nursery and buy trees that are right for you climate, don't plant in a frost pocket, amend your soil well and mulch in winter. As suggested by the other posters here.

Best Wishes!
 
                          
Posts: 24
Location: Zone 5a (Canada)
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thanks for everyone's comments - they have all been noted.

humblebee: What varieties of nuts and plums did you grow? Or perhaps more importantly - what were the most successful?
 
                              
Posts: 6
Location: Hilliers, BC
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Hi again! We planted beech nuts (American Beech) Black Walnut, Hazelnuts (or Filberts if that's what you call them locally) and Shag Bark Hickory, it's the only Hickory that will grow in zone 3. Good plums are Brookred, Methley, Pembina and Green Gage. I particularly like trees that are self pollinators because then if a late frost takes out some of your blossoms, others will still get pollinated. While I really love red freestone plums, the green gage are delicious! Wish I could have moved all my trees with me. The black currant and goseberries also did exceptionally well and they suffer a certain amount of abuse and neglect. I can't wait to see how our apples do next year. We got some lovely trees from Harry Burton on Salt Spring Island and he has a wonderful selection of bare root trees in the late winter, mostly heritage apples. Nothing fancy, just healthy young trees.
 
Travis Philp
gardener
Posts: 965
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
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Hi Ceog, welcome to the forums. I think you may be pretty close to me. I'm in the triangle of Peterborough, Lindsay, and Bobcaygeon, about 1.5 hours northeast of Toronto. Whereabouts between Ottawa and Toronto are you?

Can't help with the beaver situation but I can give you a list of some tree nurseries I've been looking into:

A wide variety of nut trees, and some fruit trees, from southern ontario
http://www.grimonut.com

native plants and common fruit trees, a bit northeast of oshawa:
http://www.pineneedlefarms.ca/

From Quebec, lots of fruit and nut options, odd and common varieties, grown organically.
http://www.greenbarnnursery.ca/


Located in Uxbridge, they have  a selection of the more common varieties of fruit
http://www.siloamorchards.com


A native plant nursery near me:
http://www.grow-wild.com/catalogue.php
 
                          
Posts: 24
Location: Zone 5a (Canada)
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Humblebee: I agree that leaving plants behind is difficult. I used to have many blackcurrent bushes on an allotment 10 years ago. I would make the most delicious jam I've eaten, on the down side I've hardly had blackcurrent jam since. My expectations are too high

Thanks Travis for the links. Some good options there.

We're a bit east of you. Between Madoc and Kaladar not far off Highway 7.
 
                        
Posts: 4
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Hi Ceog

I am brand new to this site also. Thanks for replying to my querry about my hilly grassy yard.

My Durham Region backyard is north facing &  is surrounded by and includes many large trees - oak, poplar, mountain ash . It makes for great privacy from the ravine and neighbour to the west.

Front yard of course is south facing  & I have a huge  Magnolia tree  that was planted by the original English garden owners. Its a sight to see in May but usually drops its gorgeous blossoms almost the second that they open. Its a mess to clean up but worth every beautiful bloom.

There is a Native native nursery but afraid it is north of Six Nations Reserve so not easy to get to  and they are only open during the early growing season. Their stock is totally condusive to our climate & meant to grow in Southern Ontario.

Also Kingsway Garden in Oshawa has incredible stock during the growing season as well.  They are Seventh Day Adventists & its like a little village unto itself.  Really great plant, trees, shrubs, etc. there.

And then their is Richters for seeds of all kind.

Hope some of that is of use ?

Cheers


Georgina

 
Travis Philp
gardener
Posts: 965
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
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Ceog, if you want to come visit the farm some time, you're more than welcome.

That goes for anyone really. I want people to see what we're doing here, meet other permies, exchange ideas...

It looks like you're about 2-3 hours from us. We're at 1563 Pigeon Lake Road, Lindsay.
 
            
Posts: 75
Location: Ontario, Canada (44.265475, -77.960029)
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Welcome to the neighbourhood.  I think that I'm just down the road from you, give or take a few km's.

Golden Bough Tree Farm is a good source of local climate nut trees.  They also have a red mulberry which is endangered in Ontario.  Their prices are great and they replace anything that doesn't take.  More importantly, they have a good attitude.

Also, in your general area:

Terra Edibles
Natural Themes
The Cottage Gardener

We've used them all and have only good things to say about them.

Transition Town Peterborough has a pretty good list of Canadian seed & plant sources.  It's not complete by any means but it's not a bad start.

There are beekeepers in the area as well including a Kenyan top bar bee yard north of Kingston.




 
                          
Posts: 24
Location: Zone 5a (Canada)
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Thanks everyone - I just now have to wait until spring before I can do anything with these options. 

I must say that everyone I've met in the area has increased my enthusiasm for leaving the city, so thanks for the invite, I definitely plan on meeting more people in the area.
 
Message for you sir! I think it is a tiny ad:
The Earth Sheltered Solar Greenhouse Book by Mike Oehler - digital download
https://permies.com/wiki/23444/digital-market/digital-market/Earth-Sheltered-Solar-Greenhouse-Book
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