Happy November! October was a very satisfying month for us! We hope it was the same for you. We'll give you a summary of the previous month's events at the beginning of the newsletter. Then, it has to be said, the year is already drawing to a close, but it's far from over. There's still a lot to do at the nursery before the first good snowfall. And how do you prepare a nursery for hibernation? We'll explain! Finally, we close with a little research and development. Enjoy our newsletter!
In October, we took part in several fall markets: Le Marché du Vieux-Hull in Gatineau, the Bal des citrouilles in Ripon and the Main Market in Ottawa. As always (we're repeating ourselves here, but only because it's true), it was a pleasure to meet and chat with you! We've got one more market left before the end of the year, and that'll be on November 19 at the Ripon Christmas Market. Come by, we won't bite! Now it's time to take a look back at the OPEN DOORS! Laughter, fun and emotion were the order of the day. Whether it was for a guided tour of the farm, or for our succulent BBQ, we were extremely grateful for the sustained attendance on this rainy day! It really warmed our hearts to see you all gathered at the farm with us. Many thanks to everyone who was there! In addition, a very special thank you goes out to all those who helped us behind the scenes to organize the event. We look forward to seeing you next year!
Winter is approaching, and like some mammals (or more directly, like Nordic trees), the nursery must go into hibernation. But what does this mean? Does it go into a warm den for the winter? Well, not exactly. However, the image, though laughable, isn't so far-fetched when you get right down to it. Basically, the cold period is part of the life cycle of our plants, and therefore unavoidable for their development. That said, it's still a time when they "sleep". Our trees do it all by themselves, so what should we nurserymen do during this period? Preparation can be divided into two categories: protecting what has already been achieved, and producing for future generations. In the first category, we find all the work that's done to ensure that young trees survive the winter. In our case, we're not doing anything (yet) to protect our trees from the cold. The reason is simple: we want them to be as resistant as possible to the Quebec climate.However, a great deal of energy is invested in protecting them from pests such as rodents and insects, or from physical damage that could break their heads. In the second category, there's the preparation and sorting of the seeds that need to stratify in order to germinate the following season. This is a meticulous task performed with love at the nursery. In order to mimic the germination of a seed that would have fallen onto Ripon soil and climate, we bury them in buckets so that they can overwinter outdoors. This technique enables us to naturally select the seeds best suited to the cold and length of our winters. So you can see why we say the year is far from over! Finally, once all these tasks have been completed, it's us, the nurserymen, who take refuge in a warm den until spring!
To begin with, we must inform you that the 2023 fall sales period ends this Friday (November 10). Also, there are still some pasture-raised frozen chickens for sale (link at the end of the newsletter). That's all for that. Now it's on to research and development. Indeed, we're working behind the scenes to bring you potential new products! We can't give away too many details, but certainly enough to make your mouth water (literally). Hot chestnuts, someone? We begin this overview with chestnuts! Although their establishment is still uncertain, Victor has been busy collecting seeds and testing the hardiness of American, hybrid and, why not, Asian chestnut trees! This isn't the first time that Quebecers have taken an interest in chestnut trees: in an article in La Presse, we read that this crop, once very local, is striving for a renaissance (link at the end of the newsletter). Our first chestnut saplings are about to experience their first winter. Are you in the mood for a pecan pie these days? We sure do! Especially since we got our hands on northern pecan seeds! It certainly makes you dream of a 100% Quebec pecan pie! Finally, have you heard of the persimmon tree? Also known as Plaqueminier in French or kaki in Japanese, this tree produces a fruit called plaquemine (a name derived from Algonquin). The fruit is orange, juicy, sweet when ripe and packed with vitamin C. The American species is widespread on the East Coast of the United States, but efforts are being made, by us among others, to acclimatize it to the cold. Of course, these aren't the only tests we carry out, but we have to keep a few secrets!
A gutted plaquemine and its seeds
This concludes the November newsletter. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us! Until December, be well!
La Réfriche Nursery team