Munching Rabbits and Apple Trees

This spring has been filled with a lot of good. My Mum would probably tell me not to end a sentence like that.

I’ve been feeling like a bunny as I munch the dandelions coming up and snipping at the chives. I had some darn-good parsley from the Guelph Center for Urban Organic Farming (GCUOF), which is making me feeeeeel good. Speaking of GCUOF, all the wood chip mulch, apple trees, and understory (beneath apple trees) plants have been delivered (Ahhh celebrate! Logistics complete!). I’ve got the apple trees (bare root 1 year whips) heeled in using straw and up at Ignatius Farm (1 of 3 sites for research) they are heeled into some sand. The trees have already been planted in Mississauga, which will be quite interesting to see how they like heavy clay… I know they wont, but it will be an interesting piece in the experiment to see the difference between the different treatments.

Wanted to say thanks to all the folks that are talking me down from the high peaks of anxiety as I learn the curves and bends with doing research with nature. You’re all stable rocks. I appreciate all your help so much 🙂


My wood chips delivered safe and sound right next to the plot. Thanks, Yoryi! all wood chips will be the same (consistent mixture of virgin hardwood chips).


Me, Paul, very happy with receiving all the understory plants. Thanks, Ben! We have Siberian Pea Shrub (see below), comfrey, bergamot, lupine, white clover, chocolate peppermint, sorrel, garlic chives, and walking onions.



This is how I am storing my apple trees (bare root 1 year whips) until planting, which will be in the next few days. There are 15 of them all in a rain barrel with roots covered by clean straw. A little bit of water was added to moisten the roots, but no pooling. Covered the tops with a plastic bag because of the frost tonight. It’s also within a plastic tent.


Ben Ceasar from Fiddlehead Nursery hooking a brother up with some great plants. “Ehhh, whatchu lookin’ at Plum!”.


Here are the trees at the Iceland Teaching Garden in Mississauga! People don’t believe me when I tell them that we are planting apple trees there. AWesome! The soil is extremely heavy clay, especially 8-10 inches down. I mounded the soil about 3-4 inches to help with any pooling water and also with the clay layer possibly being restrictive. We will see how it goes.


The wonderful, hard-working volunteer, Shawna. Thanks for allllll your help and support, girr. Seriously, you rock. We are both fairly tired, haha. 3 hours of planting, weeding, mulching through hail, rain, wind, sun, and clouds.IMG_0213

Lorne working the soil in at our third research site at Ignatius. Soon we will be planting there, too 🙂IMG_0214


4 thoughts on “Munching Rabbits and Apple Trees

  1. Do you find your permaculture master plan changing over time? Do you have any advice for people starting out? Your photos look amazing, well done!

    • It’s an interesting thing, this academic research. There are many things that I would do much differently on each site, but research needs fairly stringent planning and replicated design.

      This research is dipping into certain aspects of permaculture, mostly the forest garden principles. I am trying to test if the theory and practice of forest gardening relating to soil bacteria and fungi and internal inputs have correlation.

      Advice for people starting out:
      1) Actually dedicate some time to observing. Do test pits, watch where water pools, where can you store things, how will you transport things, where will water come from. Why are you doing it. <–Good anchoring question to come back to over and over again.
      2) Doing three sites at a time is likely to drive you mad. Haha <–crazy laugh.
      3) If you are able to, have a design charrette. Invite people to come and constructively criticize your design. Then work on it some more. Really helps!

    • Mhmmmm. I was so pumped when they arrived! My friend was growing them, too. A little forest garden nursery, how great 🙂

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