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A Crossman

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since Mar 01, 2018
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forest garden bee homestead
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Recent posts by A Crossman

Hi, I am growing American elderberry and am looking forward to having elderberry for medicine. I need to get John Moody's book. Anyone else in Canada growing the named varieties and how are they compared to American elderberry? I am in Saskatchewan.
11 months ago
I have grown a mulberry from seed successfully bit then moved from Ontario to Saskatchewan so was not able to move with it. I have 6 Hardy Chinese peach trees that I successfully grew from seed. The key to peaches is to crack the pit a little. I stratified them in the fridge for a while and then they sprouted. Out of 7, they all sprouted, one had some mold on it and didn't survive. I have grown a lot of other trees from seed as well. Don't let them dry out.
2 years ago

Jarret Hynd wrote:Up north the land is really nice. I'm only an hour or so south-west of PA and that kind of grass in the sheep&horse photos doesn't exist around here.

Prince Albert is only an hour and a half from Saskatoon (pop:300,000). The price of the property sounds like a deal with all that permaculture equity. I've never heard of apricots being that far north - impressive :)

Just to build on Shawn's question, how long did it take you to get the property to it's current point? You mentioned 5 years of chemical-free, but I wasn't sure if that was how long you'd been on the property.

Hope you find a buyer soon!

It took two years to get the grass looking like that. Grazing rotation, moving every day or two. The livestock ate all the dead stuff down first so the grass could actually grow. The pasture land may not have had chemicals on it before we bought it but the market garden area had been used to grow grain. It took three years to get the grain to stop growing in the market garden and we have been growing topsoil every year in the garden through using composted manure and mulch. The soil doesn't blow away like the neighbouring land.
I am growing Manchurian apricots but will be leaving them behind. I am getting Capilano apricots this year that I will be taking with me.
The picture is tomatoes and squash are in a hoophouse on top of the hill so they don't get wind damaged. Just composted manure and the tomatoes grow until we have a really hard frost.

Shawn Klassen-Koop wrote:Hi A,

As someone who grew up in Manitoba I'm not sure I could make the switch to Sask and I have plans for my own property here. I am curious though (and I'm guessing others might be too), of the $330,000 asking price how much would you estimate is a result of all of your well-developed systems? If all of your systems were removed and it was just bare land with the same buildings, how much different would your asking price be? I think this would be really helpful info for those considering flipping properties permaculture style.

Good luck selling and all the best to you,


Hi Shawn,
This price is comparable to other properties in the area that do not have any permaculture systems. We put a lot of work into renovating both houses.  1 or 2 acre acreages go for $280-300,000. Buyers like fencing and fruit trees but the banks like to only go by the house. Southern Saskatchewan or farther out from the main cities are less expensive but depending on area, you may not have many customers to sell your excess to. There are some properties that are available south for a lot less that the houses are condemned or near to that but then you have to consider how much will it cost to build a house or renovate a house (complete plumbing and electrical) unless you have access to a yurt and you can get it approved by the RM. I have a friend up the road who bought bare land and went through a big hassle with the RM to build a rammed earth house. The RM doesn't have a problem with composting toilets or greywater systems but the main shelter for housing for people they want plans approved by an architect.  In this RM, you can build anything for agriculture, but you need a permit to add on to a house. We considered buying bare land and living in a tent (pretty cold in early spring in SK) but have to have a water source for the animals, some kind of shelter at night for the livestock. We are working toward solar but that is a big expense.
Permaculture acreage for sale just north of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada. $330,000, we are accepting offers. 8.06 beautiful acres. 2 houses, one has grey water system all set up outside. House on the hill gets a lot of sun and could be solar powered. Please contact for all details on houses. 6 acres are fenced for livestock with bush on three sides and a strip dow the middle (silvopasture). The pasture has wild roses, saskatoons, chokecherries, currants, gooseberries, high bush cranberries. 1 acre market garden, early food forest, Swales on sloped area every three rows. Fruit trees and bushes include sea buckthorn, hazelnut, apple, pear, apricot, haskaps, etc. Zone one is planted with all different herbs, currants, mints, etc. Nursery beds with young grafted fruit trees. Spot dug for walipini/Cirtus in the snow type greenhouse.  Pretty quiet place. There are two farmer's markets close by as well as three lakes. We have put in three small ponds and several huguelculture beds. We are currently lambing this month and will be doubling or tripling our sheep flock. We have outgrown our present farm  for our grass fed livestock as well as we trial hardy nut and fruit trees and need more space for growing large numbers of trees. We have had geese, ducks, quail, chickens, sheep, goats, horses, and a cow here. Lots of wildlife in the area. A pair of bald eagles nest up the road. This property has been chemical free for the past five years and we have been rotational intensive grazing in the pasture as well as using aged manure to fertilize the garden area.

Paul d'Aoust wrote:I'm very interested! We've been saving seed for a number of years now, both for ourselves and the local seed library (hosted in the actual library, very cool) so we probably have some stuff other people would be interested in. Tomatoes, herbs, squash, flowers, cucumbers, dry beans, et cetera. Some we've been growing for long enough that they've probably started to adapt to our Okanagan climate. We also live 20 minutes south of the Gellatly Nut Farm, home to a lot of fanciful nut breeding experiments (some of which were quite successful and were propagated all around North America). Being nuts, those are only available certain times of the year (i.e., when we go out for a family outing to the farm in October; already been this year, sorry). I'll try to post a list when I'm using an actual computer. And not trying to make breakfast for the kids

I am trying to figure out how to order nuts from Gellatly?
2 years ago

Deb Stephens wrote:I did a bit of research and found that Litsea cubeba is also known as ... Dieng-si-sing, Earking, Entsurem, Jayar, Mang tang, Mejankeri, Ser-nam, Sernam, Shan ji jiao, Siltimur, Siqbil, Tanghaercherkung, Terhilsok and Zeng-jil. I looked each one of these up and aside from finding sources for the essential oils (apparently used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine) could find no source for any of them. From the descriptions of the taste, however, I thought you might like to try a substitute. The fragrant sumac, Rhus aromatica, produces tons of small red berries coated with very tart malic acid. The seeds inside are hard and a bit like black pepper, so that when the berries are dried and ground, they taste a lot like lemon-pepper. They have been used for centuries as a spice in middle-eastern dishes (although it is a different species of sumac that they use--I think it is Rhus coriaria). If a tart, peppery flavor is what you are after, this is a great substitute and best of all, it's an easy to find and grow, hardy native plant. It is also supposed to be really good for you, so it's a win-win. (By the way, all the sumacs in the genus Rhus are edible. They should not be confused with poison sumac, which is Toxicodendron vernix, a relative of poison ivy.)

Here is a good photo of the native variety, Rhus aromatica ... It makes great "lemonade" as well as a spice. (Tastes like a combination of lemonade and cranberry juice.)

I will have to try it as a spice. I will be growing fragrant sumac and staghorn sumac this year. Sumac seeds can also make 50% of the diet for quail. It is a more natural food source for them and will make them healthier.
2 years ago

Alicia Winkler wrote:I have never written a business plan. About a year ago, I started on one, but stalled out. I am so lost, so I will come back and read, carefully, through these tips. I wish there was a place to look at really good small farm biz plans, so I know I am even going about it right.

HMI Farm planning course. We did it for our farm and it helped a lot. It helps with the break down of all costs and then the income and how much you are making per acre. You can add up to 15 enterprises and it adds them all together to see if you can live with what you are trying to do. You watch a webinar once a week, have to communicate with others on a forum so you can help each other out and you have homework every week to determine the main things that are holding you back, gross profit analysis, etc. This course emphasizes that if something isn't working, break into parts and figure out where the problem is and then you can find the solution.
2 years ago
north of Prince Albert. I have been buying wholesale whips (fruit, nut, and for pollinators) but have been growing some trees from seed. We have outgrown our current homestead so we are looking at moving further south in Saskatchewan. This year I will be buying a propagation greenhouse that I hope to hook up to solar at our new location. I will be getting an order of tree seeds from Ontario Tree Seed Plant (which is closing in August). Have you tried the black walnut from Select Seedling? I will also be getting butternut from Pine Needle Farms in Ontario. Have you tried anything from Nutcracker Nursery? My mulberry from Richters was about 6 inches tall and was not in good condition when I got it and didn't make it. I am thinking about ordering mulberry from either Grimo Nut (1-3 feet) or Nutcracker Nursery (4-5 feet). i am also hoping to trial some pawpaws in a polyculture this year depending on the move. I have some Hardy Chinese peach I am growing from seed that I got from a FB friend in Ontario. They finally germinated and are doing well.
2 years ago