This past September I purchased 15 acres near Algonquin Park in Ontario (initial site analysis attached). I would like to plan a food forest on the property that can be passively managed as we will not likely reside their on a permanent basis. Ideally, the food forest could support some homestead type hobbies that could be accomplished without tons of active management (e.g. wild fruit/nut trees, berries, food for wildlife to support hunting, stream restoration to support healthy fish populations, wood for crafts/construction projects, etc...).
The property is just south of a cold water lake (90+ft deep in parts) and has frontage along the creek that exits the lake. The property is on the southeast corner of the Algonquin Dome, which is a large dome situated in between the Georgian Bay to the West and the Ottawa Valley to the East. My understanding is that this is a somewhat unique geographical feature that results in warm moist air being blown from the Georgian Bay by the prevailing westerlies. This warm air condenses over the dome and the resulting precipitation forms the headwaters of five major waterways. Having said that, the property is actually quite dry due to it's relative elevation and a sandy podzolic soil.
The property is actually comprised of two separate parcels that are divided by a 4-season recreational trail for hikers, cyclists, horses and ATVs. The property fronting the highway is 4.5 acres and the property fronting the creek is 10.25 acres. The 4 season trail was formerly a railroad that I believe was abandoned in between 1950-1980. If you look closely at the aerial photos, in between the creek and the 4-season trail is a small path. This was formerly the highway, which was later moved to the southwestern edge of the 4.5 acre parcel.
The property has a mix of deciduous and coniferous trees. It is more or less on the edge of two distinct forest ecosystems, northern boreal and southern hardwood. The dominant tree species appear to be sugar maple, birch, balsam fir, white pine and speckled alder. There are smaller numbers of oak, cedar and black cherry.
At this point, my plans are to take full advantage of the old road bed as it accesses the entire 10.25 acre property. This spring I intend to have a shipping container delivered to be used as canoe storage and a small bunkie. I will likely set it up along the creek, which can be easily accessed via the old rd bed. I have also placed orders for the following growies to be planted this spring: stone pine, beech, mulberry, chesnut, hazlenut, highbush blueberry, sour cherry, apple, arctic kiwi, pawpaw and raspberry. The idea is to get a wide variety of things in the ground ASAP to see what does well. I plan on making small clearings around the old road bed for the plantings. I will burn the slash in shallow pits to make biochar and ash, which will be used to amend the planting sites for the more alkaline loving plants. I'm thinking to dig the pits on contour at the planting site to create mini swales.
Any and all feedback would be much appreciated! Let me know if you need additional info.