yes we're up in Ontario, so water isn't much of an issue most of the time. Not sure what kind of hay, it hasn't come up yet, will have a word with the fellow who rented it previously though to see. I like this approach, the light touch. I also like the spot application of amendments rather than broadcasting them, initially anyways. The chop n drop strikes me as sound as well. Curious though, if the well established hay might not choke out the clover and wild flower? Or would the light harrowing be enough to beat it down a bit.
The trees will come from a variety of sources, but the most noteworthy among them is a small outfit in Ontario called Siloam Orchards (http://www.siloamorchards.com
) who have an outstanding variety of disease resistant, heritage, cider and red fleshed cultivars to choose from. Nothing mainstream in their selection at all, which is refreshing, although we will probably plant out a few of the more common cultivars like Liberty, Enterprise and Empire so we have a few names folk will recognize. But on the whole disease resistance will be one of the major selection criteria.