Happy July! At the nursery, June went by way too fast. Some might say it's because so much has happened. And that's true! So much, in fact, that much will be omitted from this newsletter. Nonetheless, we'll be talking about the hustle and bustle of summer, the planting of an orchard, the CPNCQ AGM and chicken. But first, we'd like to thank all those who came to see us at the Asparagus Festival at Agricola Farm (June 4) and to the participants in the fruit tree pruning workshop with Horti-Cité (June 10). It's always a pleasure to meet you!
By this date, summer had been hot and dry, then very wet. At the beginning of the month, we had to water our crops every day. The drought was making itself felt (not to mention the forest fires). Lately, there's been a lot of rain. At first, not much, but then thunderstorms and tornado warnings from Environment Canada. Despite the storms, these conditions have paid off (no pun intended). Our crops are growing fast and well! Seedlings are enjoying a good growing season, cuttings are taking root and transplants are taking root! In fact, here's a photo of a Korean pine grafted onto a young white pine.
That's right! You read the introduction right: planting an orchard! More specifically, a few hundred black walnut trees have been planted as orchards. If all goes well, in 15-20 years' time, a beautiful canopy should shade this former field. The trees have been planted close together, the aim being to select the most interesting genetics and eventually cut the others for their wood. Here are the planters at work:
Believe it or not, but the day after this orchard was planted, some members of the nursery went to the AGM of the CPNCP or Club des Producteurs de Noix Comestible du Québec at Val Notre-Dame Abbey in Saint-Jean-de-Matha. Of course, there was a bit of bureaucracy (being an AGM), but on top of that, there was a tasting of dishes made from the harvests of some of the producers. Wild berry salad and oval hickory nut syrup, manomin (or "wild rice") with non-woody edibles, mushrooms and black walnut parmesan, and heritage sugar pie with butternut (nut) were just some of the items on the menu! Just goes to show that it's more than possible to make the most of Quebec walnuts in a thousand and one ways! And to whet your appetite, here's the sugar pie :
Finally, do you remember the chicks from the May newsletter? Well, those little yellow chicks are all grown up and coming to term. Starting July 20, you'll be able to buy chicken raised by us just in time for construction week. Our chickens are raised on semi-pasture in our orchard, providing fertilization for the trees and allowing the chickens to thrive. Keep an eye on our social networks for full details of the sale.
This concludes the July newsletter. If you have any questions or comments, don't hesitate to contact us! Until August, be well!
La Réfriche nursery team