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Hardy, disease resistant nut trees from Mark Shepard - on sale until Dec 31.
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Bulk Nut Tree Sale - Until December 31


I’m writing this email just a few days before Christmas and you’re receiving it just a couple of days after. How was it? I’m sitting here looking forward to everything, and you guys have already experienced it.  Should I be just a bit jealous?

I hope you have had an awesome opportunity to get together with family and/or friends, share some food and good times, and if you have that tradition, share a few gifts.  

 

Before I get into how much money you can make with nut trees, I wanted to mention a few details about the sale that’s going on right now at Artemisia's, and some ‘good news/bad news’ about the nut pines coming in the spring.

 

Nut Pines - Small But Mighty

I received word this week (last week to you!) that the nut pines coming from Mark Shepard would be smaller than anticipated - 6” instead of 12”-18” as I’d thought before. The reason is that nut pines (and in my experience, conifers in general) grow more slowly than broad-leaved trees.

 

So that’s the bad news, but I was actually pretty happy about it.

 

I’ll tell you why - I’m reserving a bunch of the nut pines for a big windbreak project on my farm. When I thought they were bigger, I was anticipating how much longer they’d take to plant. Now - I can realistically double how many I’m going to plant, with the labour I expect to have available in the spring. Hopefully we'll be able to finish the whole windbreak this year.

 

But the other good news is that the price on the nut pines has now dropped - by half! In bundles of 25, they are now $6 each, instead of $12. Singles are now $8, instead of $15.

 

So - now your dollar goes twice as far. If you were thinking of getting 25, you can get 50 for the same price. Or you can get 25, and save your pennies for something else!

 

Bulk Nut Tree Sale Details

 

I wanted to clarify the bulk sale, as I made a small change to it this week. Now, the exact sale is:

 

Spend $1000 or more at the nursery,
and get $120 off.

 

In other words, you don’t have to buy 100 bulk trees, you can mix and match. If you are planning to buy 100 bulk trees, that will get you the deal, but you could also buy 75 trees, and various other single trees, herbs, and vines. Maybe you could use some hardy kiwis or pawpaws to flesh out your food forest?

 

Don’t forget - the coupon code is gonutz. Enter it at check-out, and you'll see the price reduction in the cart.
 

Selected Hazelnuts sold out

Note - Selected Hazelnuts in bulk just sold out. As of when I’m writing this, there are still Controlled-Cross Hazelnuts left - but they may not last long, so get your order in soon.

Buy bulk trees now

Or - keep reading for more reasons you might want to order nut trees.

How much $$$ can you make with chestnuts and hazelnuts?

 

Now into some detail about economic reasons to plant chestnuts and hazelnuts.

 

Personally, my own reasons for planting tree crops are multiple. I want the best, most nutrient dense, and pesticide-free food for my family. I want to change land from annual tillage to perennial crops that don’t have to be planted every year so we can keep nutrients in the ground - instead of flowing down the creek or into the atmosphere. I want to build organic matter, and promote soils that behave well with both drought and seasonal flood conditions.

 

But there is also the economic reality of making money for my family to buy things I can’t or don’t wish to grow or make myself.

So, without further ado, here are some numbers I figured out that should give you an idea of how lucrative nut crops can be.

 

Chestnuts

 

At a local market in St. Thomas, Ontario, I picked up a bunch of locally-grown chestnuts for $5/lb for raw, in shell. Assuming a normal 22lb annual yield on a ten year old tree = $110 per tree. And the trees just keep growing. Some chestnuts have produced up to 220lbs on one tree in one season! (Those figures are from Wikipedia.)

 

If your field is certified organic, or you took the nuts to a higher paying centre like Toronto, you could be looking at an even higher profit. If you want to get into peeling them yourself, you can get prices like $21.25/lb - a price I saw on Amazon.ca.

 

Chestnuts will be reliably baring around year 7, but you can get lighter crops by year 3-4 in some cases. I’ll send more information in a future newsletter on how to care for them while you’re waiting (hint - not too labour intensive).

 

Before moving on to hazelnuts, I’ll also mention that the example above that had chestnuts for $5/lb raw in-shell was harvested by hand-picking from the ground. They were making that work, and I've done that before for black walnuts.

Other ways to harvest include hand nut-rollers, and nut-roller attachments for lawn tractors. With a hand nut-roller, you don’t have to worry about what you plant under the tree - I’ll be putting in berries, herbs and more. With the lawn tractor method, you drive around under the tree when most of the nuts have fallen, and gather them all that way - so it’s most suited to if you’re going to have grass under the trees. That said, if you timed it right, and your herbs and berries were done for the season before the chestnuts had dropped, you could mow back everything with a lawnmower first, then use a nut-roller after that.  

 

Hazelnuts

 

I looked up the price of hazelnuts on amazon.ca, and found them for $10/lb in shell.  At a low-end estimate of 2lbs of nuts per tree, that’s $20 per bush per year, and that starts sooner than chestnuts, likely around year 3 or 5. Hazelnut bushes also take up less space than chestnuts (about 8’x8’, but can be less or more depending on how you prune them), and are easier to propagate from cuttings. Every year you can be separating off suckers from the base, layering branches, and taking cuttings and putting them in the soil, or in soilless mediums, and multiplying your future trees.

By the way - harvest with hazels is either by hand picking off the bushes, or with straddle harvesters. There are not too many people using straddle harvesters in Ontario currently, but if you design your plantings for using them some day, maybe you could go in with some local friends to buy one? They can be modified to do blueberries and saskatoon berries too.

 

If you have a hard time selling your hazelnuts (which you shouldn’t), you can always make your own Nutella… I prefer this sugar-free version http://minimalistbaker.com/4-ingredient-nutella-vegan-gf/

 

By the way - there’s also this more rare chestnut based sweet called puree de marron - look that up. It sounds amazing. I ended up using an ancient ad for the stuff for our chestnut creature image now appearing on our homepage.

 

And that leads to other uses for these nuts, the more unusual ones that have major niches in the future of local perennial food:

 

Oil (hazel - great on salads)
 

Foams and creams (used in fine restaurants)
 

Delicious breakfast ‘porridge’ (chestnuts and hazels)
 

Stuffing (famously chestnut, but I’ve used both)
 

Smoothies (for protein and fat - and flavour)
 

Nut milks
 

Gluten-free noodles from chestnuts
 

Hazelnut tofu

 

Then there are old stand-bys:

 

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
 

Hazelnuts in mixed nuts around the holidays (or anytime) as a snack
 

Bakes in cookies and other sweets
 

In the centre of a ferrero rocher-style candy
 

 

Sold yet? This will be the last email reminder before the sale ends on December 31 - plus, they are starting to sell out…

 

Buy bulk trees now


If you have questions or want to talk to me about your nut tree/forest garden project for advice, send me an email at readrobread@gmail.com. I’m not going to up-sell you or try to sell you trees if I don’t think your project is ready - usually the best way to start a project is with a lot of observation. Even though this sale is a really good deal, it might be better for you to wait a year. I can’t guarantee we’ll have a sale this good in the future, but there’s nothing worse than getting a bunch of trees, then not having something to do with them. (Actually - I’ll write about that in a coming newsletter, and give ideas for what to do in that situation - I’ve been there!)

Know someone else who’s interested in nut trees? Have them sign up for this list here:

http://forestgardennursery.ca/nursery/

 

Oh yeah - and we also have listed all our other new items for Spring 2017 - so you can have a peak at those, and pre-order those as well. They count towards the $1000 sale!

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Artemisia's Forest Garden Nursery · 9995 Ilderton Rd. RR#2 · Ilderton, On N0M2A0 · Canada

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