Matt Leger

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since Oct 31, 2018
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A few years ago, we bought my grandparents property in Eastern Ontario with the intention of building a homestead for our family. My grandparents lived on this property for 30 years and they did a lot of amazing things here. Now it's our turn to pick up the torch and, based on my research, permaculture was the perfect fit for the type of homesteading approach we wanted to take.

We're still learning and that will never stop. However, we've made significant progress in the short time that we've lived here. So far we've set up several zone 1 raised bed gardens and a 3-stage compost bin, all made from reclaimed materials. We've constructed many hugel mounds with wood chip pathways and swales. We hand-craft gallons of our own maple syrup every spring. We are slowly transforming our front yard into a food forest, my pride and joy, based on whole systems designs. We make our own mulch from forest debris mixed with leaves, we are in tune with nature and our environment and we have a lot of fun working on our various projects.

Permaculture is very enchanting to us and we find it quite rewarding. That's what pushes us on to see what else we can do. There's always something new to learn so we never get bored with it.

Check out what we're up to on social media and drop us a line. We'd love to hear from you!

Thank you for reading my bio and for your ongoing support. Best of luck in all your growing and homesteading adventures, my friends! Take care and be well.

-Matt Leger, MGP
St. Andrews West, Ontario, Canada (Zone 5b)
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Recent posts by Matt Leger

WATER - a topic of much debate and one that is clearly not fully understood, especially when you consider how much water we humans waste on a daily basis. It's a long'ish video but if you can sit through it, it will be worthwhile, I promise!

There are few topics I know better than water so if anyone has any followup questions or wants to continue the discussion here. To the community of Permies.com, I particularly value and appreciate your comments because they are ALWAYS filled with important feedback so please chime in on this one if you have something to add or to correct me on something you disagree with. Thank you in advance! :)

1 month ago
How to make CRUNCHY Pickles 🥒🌶 - featuring Zoe and Dad. After a good growing season, preserving your harvest is half the work. Luckily, there are simple and delicious ways to accomplish this such as pickling, canning and fermentation. As Zoe demonstrates, it's so easy even a Dad can do it! 😉👨‍🌾

1 month ago
Forgive me for resurrecting this thread but I wanted to add to it. In my experience, the Trust apple has performed very well against CAR. Not only is it resistant, but it grew many times more than any other apple tree of it's size/age over the last 2 years. It fits its name very well. You can trust it!  ;) I will definitely be planting more of these because I also have a CAR issue in my area (Eastern Ontario, Canada, Zone 5b). I have not found the source of the infection yet but I have so many cedars on my property and nearby that it would be practically impossible to find it anyway.

Also, of my two "rando" apple trees that I adopted, so far one has been resistant and one has been mildly affected. They are not producing fruits yet so I don't know if the disease would affect the fruit or not but I would imagine it would.

The good news is, all of my other trees (hazel, apple, pear, cherry, plum, wild berries) don't seem to be affected by the CAR. I don't have any junipers either so I don't have to worry about considering those in the mix. On that note, in case anyone didn't know, juniper trees can carry and pass along CAR like cedars do, so take that into consideration if you have any. But on a side note, apple trees do not apparently infect each other, so there's that to work with. And you can always use a healthy root stock to graft other, more resistant trees like others have mentioned.

Every orchardist I've ever talked to says it's just part of the game and you have to adapt, like anything else. So good luck in all your disease management strategies, guys! Share your findings! :)
1 month ago
It's been a while since we had ourselves a good old 'Great Canadian Adventure', so here we go! And what better place to go than the Springer Market Square farmers market in Kingston, Ontario, one of the oldest and longest running markets in Canada.

For more information, check out the official Springer Market Square website using the links below.

Springer Market Square
https://www.cityofkingston.ca/explore/springer-market-square

There's even a webcam of the market so you can get a bird's eye view of all the happenings before you go.

Springer Market Square Webcam
https://www.cityofkingston.ca/explore/webcams/springer-market-square

1 month ago
I did exactly that on my walk through the woods the other day. I made a real, concentrated effort to be as mindful as possible... about everything that was happening around me. All the sights and sounds of the forest. All the smells. All the action and drama. It almost began to resemble some type of code that my mind couldn't quite decipher, like a melody of a tune you've heard before but can't quite place it. Well, whatever I did, it worked! I was able to spot at least 12 different kinds of mushrooms, identified 5 different types of birds (3 of which I had never seen on my property before) and found a couple new spots to collect wild edibles, including a new patch of black currant I had never noticed before.

It's amazing what the human mind can do when put back to its natural state, in quiet contemplation for example. Neutral gear for the mind. It doesn't have to be hardcore close-eyed meditation every time either. It can be as simple as taking a stroll through the forest with an open mind and an open heart, taking note of all the life around you and how you are connected to it. Many of the answers to the questions we ask can be found by just searching within. All it takes is the right mindset and the right setting, as with most things. We forget this because of the business of today's modern life. Our brains are over-stimulated to the point of being unconfortable when all that stimulus is removed.

It's a lesson I've been trying to teach my kids and it hasn't been easy. Learning how to just "BE" is a long forgotten art/skill and one that's still very much needed these days, in so many ways.

1 month ago
Thanks for sharing, Travis! I totally agree. Morning light is the best for photography/videography. Dusk is nice too but it's just not the same. Dawn tends to have whiter, colder light I find, maybe that's why? Dusk tends to show warmer light and more orange and yellow hues. As someone who has poor vision, both times are a challenging time for me, especially while driving, but dusk tends to be much worse.

I absolutely love that you chose to include a shot of an old bike on your property like we have. A friend recently asked me why I had mine sitting next to a tree behind the Hugulkutur mounds, as though he was expecting an answer that would support some type of usefulness. But no, it's purely for esthetics and that's ok. A lot of us seem to get in this mindset where we just forget about what looks nice and focus too much on what purpose it serves. There's nothing wrong with having something around that just looks nice? That's art in a nutshell - something that's out of context to make you think a little or remember old times. Whatever the reason there's nothing wrong with adding stuff to our homesteads to make them look nice (preferably with something that would be going to the landfill anyway).

Your property looks very beautiful, my friend, and it's easy to understand why you've spent so many mornings out there taking photographs. Your geology work in the winters also sounds interesting to me. What type of stuff are you doing exactly? What are you looking for?
2 months ago
Early mornings on a homestead are a truly magical time of the day. They are great opportunities to pause, reflect and take it all in. So much can be learned by simply examining the tapestry of life around you. It's with this child-like wonder and appreciation that I bring you my newest "No Talking" video. Hope you enjoy! 🦋🙂🌳

2 months ago
After it's all said and done, our first couple of trial runs with microgreens and sprouts were pretty successful! In today's Homesteading for Beginners video, I share some of the tips and tricks I've learned along the way. I still have a lot to learn but I now have a solid foundation of knowledge and first hand experience. I'm confident that the next time I try to do this, I will be even more successful by applying succession, properly light cycles and a higher focus on moisture/temperature levels.

That said, we brought in a few dozen cups of greens/sprouts on our second attempt and even sprouted some on one of our first year hugel mounds! So I'd call that a success. :) If anyone has their own best practices for growing microgreens/sprouts, please share! I'd love to hear them.

For those who have never tried or have limited outdoor space for growing, this is the crop for you! Not only are they easy to grow, require little maintenance and cheap but they are also super foods and highly nutritious. The only downside is not being to consume them all if you grow too many. Wouldn't it be nice if all our problems were based on over-abundance? ;)

3 months ago
Call it what you want - wild garlic, wild leek, ramps, whatever. It's one of my favorite wild edibles but it's one that is also under threat from over-harvesting and poaching. That's why I approach this one cautiously. Please forage responsibly!

3 months ago
Part 6 of our Wild Edibles series. Today we're looking at Wood Sorrels. No, it's not clover, but it's often mistaken for it. This tangy, lemony delight grows everywhere and is super easy to identify. It's a great topper for any garden salad. It also makes a great ground cover crop that's easy to grow and requires no maintenance. ☘️

4 months ago