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Anyone in Saskatchewan?

Jess Dee


Joined: Mar 10, 2011
Posts: 19
Location: Saskatchewan zone 2
Hi, folks!

My husband and I just moved to ten acres in North / Central Saskatchewan (Zone 2), and are trying to figure out what to clear, and what to plant (the acreage is badly overgrown, mostly with caraganas, which at least fix nitrogen, I suppose, but are a bloody nuisance in this climate).  We've already ordered a number of hardy fruit and nut trees, but have not really figured out what else we will put in. 

In addition, we have some land further south in the province (Zone 3b), which we would like to eventually use for a tree-crop based market garden, using permaculture concepts.  We've been planting trees down there for a few years, now, but again would certainly not mind advice or suggestions for what all else to plant. 

It is challenging to find out what even grows here, let alone figuring out what would go well with what...Is there anyone in SK already doing this?


the poster formerly known as badkitty

http://ruraldream.wordpress.com/
                        


Joined: Jan 26, 2011
Posts: 3
Hey!
I'm just getting started just east of S'toon - but I've got 160acres to work with, its all in pasture right now, Ducks Unlimited had leased the land prior and had it seeded to native grasses.  There is a bit of an issue with sweet clover invading, but, its a nitrogen fixer, so its not too bad.  We built our house this past summer, this season will be spent developing garden beds, shelterbelts, and fences.

I've got a bunch of chokecherries and manitoba maples on order from PFRA - unfortunately they didn't have any burr oak (again!).  Last spring we tapped the maples on the in-laws farm and laid in approx 3 gallons of "prairie" maple syrup.

I know carraganas can be trouble to control once they've taken over - a local farmer might lend you some pigs to run in there, they would clean it up.  The non-permaculture alternative ops: would be a clearcut operation/burn followed by a couple passes with a double-disc to clean up the roots.  Then you get to start from scratch.
Jess Dee


Joined: Mar 10, 2011
Posts: 19
Location: Saskatchewan zone 2
Hi, ktg!

We have a quarter south of Saskatoon, and my Mom owns the neighboring quarter, so, like you, we have a little space to play with.  We have not made any PFRA orders yet - we need to figure out where the houses are going to go before we get into planting shelter belts.  We've made a start on an orchard area, though, and will be planting another couple dozen trees this year, from apples and pears to pine nut pines and walnuts. Our land is also pasture - it was in the care of Ducks Unlimited for more than 10 years at one point, due to a big (10+ acre) slough, plus several little ones, which are stopping points for migratory waterfowl.  We have a bunch of Manitoba maples and poplars that are in poor to mostly-dead condition (neglected former shelter belt), some chokecherries, and who-knows-what in the various bluffs around all the little sloughs.  I'm looking forward to exploring those areas in more detail.

We're outside of PA right now, which restricts our growing options even more.  We're planning to selectively remove several acres of the caraganas the 'non-permaculture' way...otherwise, nothing else can grow here.  the brush is so dense that we cannot even walk in to find out what's hiding in there.  We are going to try to save most or all of the bigger trees in that patch, though, if we can. 

I would love to hear what plants you are looking at for your own plantings...

How did the prairie syrup turn out?  If we can rehabilitate our maples, I'd love to try tapping them someday...
                        


Joined: Jan 26, 2011
Posts: 3
It took a lot of boiling to get the sap down to the right consistency, and I ran/squeezed it through coffee filter paper to get the maple sand out - its a hit on pancakes...
I've been trying to find a source of beaked hazelnuts to get some clippings started this spring.  My parents have an orchard that I can get lots of different stock from - saskatoons, haskaps, apples, plums etc...  I would also like to try the subarctic kiwi that I've heard so much about.  What kind of walnuts are you planting?  I didn't think they would survive in this zone...  also interested where you got your pine nut pines from...  or did you get some unroasted nuts from the bulk shelves at Stuporstore?
                        


Joined: Jan 26, 2011
Posts: 3
BTW there is a PDC in Saskatoon this August from Jessie Lemieux - http://www.pacificpermaculture.ca/   I've got the registration form, just not sure if I can get the time off work (just starting a new job next week).
Jess Dee


Joined: Mar 10, 2011
Posts: 19
Location: Saskatchewan zone 2
If only I had a spare grand in my back pocket, and a place to stay in Saskatoon!

The pine nuts - apparently a wide variety of trees produce pine nuts, and several of them are Zone 2 or 3.  I got a couple of Korean Pines (pinus koriaensis) and a couple of Swiss Stone Pines (pinus cembra) from http://www.nuttrees.com/index.htm .  They are from Ontario, and I have never ordered from them before.  We'll see how it goes.

For the walnuts, there are a couple of types of black walnut that claim to be zone 3 hardy.  I have ordered a couple, and we'll see how they do.  I thought that there were really no nut options for Sask, besides beaked hazelnuts, but now as I am doing more research, I am finding a lot of stuff, like beech, pine nuts, butternuts, and hickory.  There's even something called a Russian Almond, which supposedly tastes like the real thing.  I am also going to try planting a zone 4 pecan, just to see if it'll survive our winters.  Even if it only sets fruit once in five years, I think it would be worth having. 

Mom tells me that beaked hazelnuts grow wild all over SK and AB.  I don't know what they look like, so cannot comment, but Mom is pretty reliable with wildcrafting information.  I got some hybrid hazelnuts a couple of years ago from http://www.ttseeds.com/PHP/home.php , and while they have not set any nuts yet, I can attest that they are hardy for our winters.  One even bounced back from being chewed off at ground level by a dog.  I like T&T Seeds - they have excellent customer service, and good quality stuff. 

One thing I know nothing about is propagating / grafting trees.  Is that how you are getting trees from your parents' orchard?  Maybe you could take some cuttings from the hazelnuts we have, if that would be useful to you. 
                              


Joined: Apr 02, 2011
Posts: 6
Hi from northwest of stoon

I'am new to this fourm and happy to see some of you from my area.

Planning to do some water diversion to protect from flooding out again and using some swales to improve my pasture.

I know nothing about nut trees in this area, but willing to learn.
Jess Dee


Joined: Mar 10, 2011
Posts: 19
Location: Saskatchewan zone 2
Hi, Saskrr - welcome to the forum!

Maybe we should arrange a Saskatoon Permie Coffee or something.  Sounds like there are a few of us around...
                              


Joined: Apr 02, 2011
Posts: 6
sounds good to me.

here is a video of my flood last year

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQLBxVoQRP0
Jess Dee


Joined: Mar 10, 2011
Posts: 19
Location: Saskatchewan zone 2
That's some flood!  I just moved back after being in Alberta for ten years - Mom told me the rains and flooding were bad, but I did not see it, myself.

Looks like you are out on the highway towards N. Battleford? 
                              


Joined: Apr 02, 2011
Posts: 6
We also moved out of Alberta 4 years ago.

On the north shore of the North Saskatchewan River about half way between Battleford and Saskatoon.
                              


Joined: Apr 02, 2011
Posts: 6
Forest Garden Workshop Ness Creek Sask, June 2011

For anybody who wants to P9250009build skills in forest gardening, site analysis and permaculture design process.  Permaculture with a Canadian twist, a four day hands-on cold climate 'Forest Gardening Workshop,' demonstrating cold climate techniques for low-maintenance eco-systemic food production.  Join us for this exciting opportunity in Northern Saskatchewan

I found this info at
http://www.pacificpermaculture.ca/.

anybody attending this workshop?
Jess Dee


Joined: Mar 10, 2011
Posts: 19
Location: Saskatchewan zone 2
I hadn't seen that one.  I might look into it more.  To be honest, I'd love to, but finances have been a bit tight with the move and all...
peter mukunda


Joined: Nov 27, 2010
Posts: 109
You probably know that in extreme drought (definitely not an issue in much of Sask the past few years!) caraganas may be the last trees (or shrubs, as they might be classified) left standing, so they were/are popular as shelter belts, but yeah, they can spread out and take over... They don't like boggy areas... I understand the seeds to be edible (they're legumes), but I just read that they should be cooked before being eaten. Really, I don't know anything about their edibility, so probably best to research it more before trying... Anyway, it sounds like you have a permanently established food source, so consider leaving some... Bees like em, too. Lots of pretty yellow flowers...

I live near Saskatoon. I'm interested in permaculture, sharing land, ecovillages, etc.

Best,  H 
Sionnain Otuathail


Joined: Feb 08, 2012
Posts: 3
Howdy all,

I live 80km north and west of Saskatoon and just joined this site. I'm looking for people to exchange ideas and skill-share with. I have no land of my own as of yet, but I am looking and also looking for others who want to land-share. If anybody needs an extra pair of hands with gardening and building projects I am open and willing to help out if I can travel there.

This spring in addition to my usual garden I would like to start beekeeping, and if I find land to stay on for long enough perhaps get some chickens and goats. If there is anyone out there who does these things already and would like to share/show what they are up to, please drop me a note, I would love to meet or correspond with you. I don't like the idea of paying money for workshops but I am more than happy to share my labour in exchange for learning.

I go to Saskatoon frequently and am also planning on attending Saskatoon's Seedy Saturday so if anyone here is going to be there and wants to meet, let me know!

Happy seed planting,

Shannon

Cee Ray


Joined: Nov 26, 2011
Posts: 33
Location: Sask. / BC
does anyone know where I can get some Saskatoon berry seeds, ideally from one of the named varieties?
Alexander Duncan


Joined: Nov 24, 2012
Posts: 15
Anyone in Saskatchewan willing to take in a family of 3, my wife and I and our 1 year old?
We can work for our keep, we just need a bit of spending money for diapers and milk and a few other things.
I have experience in farming as well as propagation, wanting to learn more about permaculture.
Vern Faulkner


Joined: Jan 01, 2013
Posts: 35
Would also love to get my grubby hands on Saskatoon berry seeds ...
John Eee


Joined: Jan 22, 2013
Posts: 18
where are all the craikians at
John Eee


Joined: Jan 22, 2013
Posts: 18
Jess Dee wrote:Hi, folks!

My husband and I just moved to ten acres in North / Central Saskatchewan (Zone 2), and are trying to figure out what to clear, and what to plant (the acreage is badly overgrown, mostly with caraganas, which at least fix nitrogen, I suppose, but are a bloody nuisance in this climate).  We've already ordered a number of hardy fruit and nut trees, but have not really figured out what else we will put in. 

In addition, we have some land further south in the province (Zone 3b), which we would like to eventually use for a tree-crop based market garden, using permaculture concepts.  We've been planting trees down there for a few years, now, but again would certainly not mind advice or suggestions for what all else to plant. 

It is challenging to find out what even grows here, let alone figuring out what would go well with what...Is there anyone in SK already doing this?


just release my dog out there lol, he loves eating down caraganas treelings. have you ate a caragana flower? they are kinda tasty, light and sweet.
 
 
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