The Nuttery : Volume 12 Number 2 September 1993

In this Issue...

Another big issue of the Nuttery! There are so many ECSONG activities now that it is hard to keep up on all of them. The Nuttery does try, however.

First, read the announcement for the ECSONG fall field day immediately! It will be a bus tour of eastern Ontario's best nut tree sites, chosen by Ted Cormier of The Seed Source. Good sightseeing and nut collecting: sign up ASAP.

Moe Anderson's Dolman Ridge project is heating up, thanks to the American Chestnut. Review the Oak Valley Spring Field report, and note their fall work day is Saturday, 23 October, 1993.

From the Dominion Arboretum Liaison Committee we can see possibilities of a "China Connection" for sources of new species and varieties.

Get your favourite nut recipes ready for Kathleen Jones' new ECSONG cookbook.

Ted Cormier's Eastern Ontario Nut Culture Project is looking for guidance (send in your completed questionnaire ASAP) and new nut tree planting sites on private land.

Join in on the fun and learning at the Macoun Club ECSONG 'nutty' Saturday.

Remember Pauline Johnson? See the article on her estate grounds revisited.

Soon we will have more copies of our cookbook and manual available for sale, thanks to Art Read.

Make sure you receive your official ECSONG membership card.

Look for Mark Schaefer's new ECSONG banner at our next event.

Missed the CBC Radio Garden Party last June? You will get another chance in 1994.

Ever wonder how to use nut dyes? Read what Carol Parker has to say.

Get ready for the first Nut Growers Workshop for Eastern Ontario next spring, to be arranged by Howard Edel

Have an artistic bent? Help build the ECSONG exhibit display.

Check the Nuttery Marketplace for good seed and stock buys. If you have nut things to sell, advertise in the Marketplace.

Note our membership list and form, and review the ECSONG calendar.

See you on the Nut Tour 2 October 1993!

The Fall Nut Tour

This year's ECSONG fall field day will be extra special! Ted Cormier of The Seed Source has prepared a nut hunter's dream tour of Eastern Ontario. With Chris Cummins' help, Ted has arranged for a bus tour to take members, family and friends to see (and collect seed from) yellow buckeye; big red, white and bur oak; shagbark hickory; mature black walnut, including a gigantic 175 year old specimen planted by Mr Larue; and what may be Japanese walnut or heartnut. The tour will take all day on Saturday, starting from the Kemptville College of Agricultural Technology (KCAT), and visiting Prescott, Larue Mills, the Howe Ferry just west of Gananoque, the Mohawk Reserve Desoronto and the Legion grounds in Picton. Not only will we see magnificent nut trees (the ultimate fruits of our labour), and gather seed, but the fall colours could be at their peak!

We will travel by coach (the modern comfortable 'bus' variety, complete with washroom). We leave from the WB George Centre at KCAT at 9:00 AM, and should be back by 5:00 PM. Cars can be left in the parking lot there.

Bring your picnic lunch and refreshments. We will stop in the Howe Island ferry area for lunch. The outing will cost $20.00 per person. Please bring your fare with you.

We have a choice of two sizes of coach: a 22 passenger and a 48 passenger bus. We need to know several days in advance about how many will attend. A telephone survey will be conducted soon. If you have not been called, simply call Ted Cormier, Chris Cummins or Hank Jones to make a booking, or for more information. As you can see, space is somewhat limited, so call in immediately!

Bring bags for collecting seed, your lunch (and maybe a nut cracker), drinks and a camera!

  1. To reserve your place register no later than noon on Wednesday September 29 1993. Call Ted Cormier Oxford Mills 258-2570, or Chris Cummins Dunrobin 832-0414 or Hank Jones Ottawa 731-5237 to register.
  2. Arrive at the WB George Centre situated at the back of the campus of the Kemptville College of Agricultural Technology (KCAT) in the town of Kemptville before 9:00 AM on Saturday October 2 1993. The bus will return to the Centre between 5 PM and 6 PM.
  3. The tour costs $20.00 per person. Please have your cash money or cheque ready on boarding the bus.
  4. Bring your own lunch, drinks and bags for collecting seed.
  5. Bring your camera or camcorder if you have one. ECSONG would like pictures for the record.
  6. If you have any questions at all, call Hank or Ted or Chris.

Dolman Ridge

The Dolman Ridge project is heating up. Moe Anderson prepared a site maintenance plan in June, as follows:

In view of my report in the September 1992 issue of the Nuttery (vol.11 no.3) dealing with the various nut stands, e.g. arboretum and plantation complexes, in the former Central Research Forest (CRF) in the Ottawa Greenbelt, I herewith outline below some procedures in how to manage these stands, possibly to be carried out by ECSONG members in the fall. The funding for the project may be supported by the National Capital Commission (NCC); if not, we must volunteer to do it. Almost all the trees in each stand need pruning, thinning and removal of inferior trees. If a specific site proves suitable for certain nut species, in view of present performance, new stands could be established or extended. The stands outlined in the September report only include those visited by the members. However, more walnut and butternut plantations were established in the valleys, which unfortunately may have been destroyed due to severe weed competition, inadequate soil condition (clay), poor drainage and rodent damage.

The following information follows the sequence of the compartments and stand numbers outlined in previous reports.

Compartment 4-14P
Anderson Rd. Arboretum (NCC parking lot)
Various nut species, total area .02 ha.
Treatment: prune lower dead and live branches; if possible avoid damaging the bark on the main stem. Remove inferior trees suppressing the main species. Since the hickories and the sweet chestnut appear to be developing satisfactorily, more should be planted in the area. No thinning necessary. About 54 trees - 1 person-day

Compartments 4-7,8,9,10,11,12 & 17P
The Anderson Rd. Plantations (on the north escarpment)
Bur, Red & White Oaks in individual stands, total area .68 ha.
Treatment: pruning in all 3 oak species and removal of inferior trees in most areas. Removal of alternate trees in one bur oak stand only. About 1090 trees - 3.5 person-days

Compartments 2-6,7 & 8P
Anderson Rd. Plantations (below base of north escarpment)
Bur, Red & White Oaks in individual stands, total area 1.04 ha.
Treatment: as above, except for removal of alternate rows. Except for the bur oak, a great percentage of trees within the other two oaks has been destroyed by the meadow vole, and inadequate soil and moisture conditions. 453 trees - 2 person-days

Compartment 2-9P
on west boundary near old city dump
Butternut plantation, .23 ha.
Treatment: removal of poor trees. Make proper spacing and prune. 154 trees - .5 person-day

Compartment 7-1P
Borthwick Ridge Rd. Plantation (on the south escarpment)
Black walnut plantation, area .28 ha.
Treatment: pruning of dead and live branches. Some of the trees produce an abundance of nuts. 226 trees - .5 person-day

Compartment 8-5P
Dolman Ridge Rd. Arboretum
Black Walnut and Butternut, area .02 ha.
Treatment: pruning only, or leave as is. About 40 trees - .1 person-day

Compartment 8-4P
Dolman Ridge Rd. Arboretum (immediately behind 8-5P)
Various nut trees, area .10 ha.
Treatment: pruning only and a minimum clean-up on the site. 76 trees - .4 person-day

A total of about 8 person-days, total area 2.37 ha. (Handy tools to use throughout: a pruning saw or pole pruner, hand pruners, lopping shears, chain saw or other tools.)

I propose to expand existing nut tree sites and to establish more of those, mainly on the escarpments, where soil and moisture conditions offer good drainage.

Find enclosed a base map showing the location of the existing nut sites, and a few proposed sites for future nut species. Even the old nursery site could be used to produce the seedlings for our use.

Moe Anderson

The first compartment Moe mentions, the one by the NCC parking lot, contains sweet American chestnut. The existence of these trees has been brought to the attention of the Canadian Chestnut Council. The following note was in the May 1993 issue of "...on the Chestnut Trail", the CCC's newsletter.

A Surprise Find

Colin McKeen recently learned from the Eastern Ontario Nut Grower's Association that there was a small planting of American Chestnut on the National Capital Commission property just east of Ottawa. Along with several other hardwood species sixteen Chestnut trees were planted on the site in 1976. The planting was made by the Canadian Forestry Service before it was transferred to Petawawa sixteen years ago. Eight trees have survived and show reasonable thrift. Several show multiple stems with the largest having a diameter of about 5 inches (12.5 cm). After the snow melted in mid-April burrs were found on the ground at the base of the largest trees. This indicates that the American Chestnut can withstand more severe climates than was originally thought.

Recently, we received a letter from Dr. Colin McKeen who is the founder of the CCC:

Canadian Chestnut Council
3 Keppler Crescent
Nepean, Ontario K2H 5Y1
Tel. (613) 829-8949

Mr. Ted Cormier
Member of ECSONG
Oxford Mills, Ontario
K0G 1S0

Dear Ted:

Re: Developing and Caring for Trial Stands of American Chestnut and other Cold-Sensitive Trees for Eastern Ontario

About twelve months ago it was discovered that a small planting of American Chestnut ( Castanea dentata ) is growing on woodlot property lying adjacent to Anderson Road in Ottawa East. This planting was made by the Canadian Forestry Services about seventeen years ago. I have visited the site twice this year and am astounded at the excellent growth of these young trees. I understand that seventeen trees were originally planted in a mixed hardwood planting, and without any supervisory care eight trees have survived. The survivors range in height from fifteen to thirty or more feet and have single or multiple trunks ranging up to 17 cm DBH.

These trees are growing one degree of latitude north of any known American chestnuts in Ontario and indeed 100 miles north of any in eastern USA. They are flowering and last autumn a few nuts were harvested. Incidentally, 1992 was a very poor harvest year for chestnuts everywhere in eastern North America. Hopefully, 1993 will be a good seed year. This planting may well become a promising source of seed from blight-free trees for eastern Ontario and perhaps elsewhere.

On this site the chestnuts are in competition with other hardwoods and show evidence of being good competitors. However, I believe it would be advantageous to remove a few of the competitors and thereby assure the chestnuts of an opportunity to grow better. If this were done, I feel confident that the trees will continue to increase their trunk diameter by 1.5 to 2.0 cm annually.

Also, there are other species such as Quercus, Carya, Fraxinus, etc. in the planting that would profit from removal of some of the competition. If funds are available from the Eastern Ontario Model Forest Development Plan, I would like to see some monies directed to the care and maintenance of this precious stand of cold-sensitive species.

There are other sites in eastern Ontario that possess soil characteristics suitable for growing the American chestnut which might be explored. With appropriate supervisory care, eastern Ontario shows promise of growing chestnuts free from blight. This could immeasurably assist the restoration program promoted by the Canadian Chestnut Council.

Yours truly
Colin D. McKeen (Chair)

At the last ECSONG Executive Meeting, Alec Jones noted that this American chestnut situation could prove to be the most significant event for ECSONG. It was decided to propose that a joint committee should be formed involving ECSONG, The Canadian Chestnut Council, The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and the National Capital Commission to oversee the Dolman Ridge nut plantings. Steps are now underway to form such a committee.

Report on Spring Field Day, Oak Valley

Conditions - Overcast but rain free. Ground soft but not too wet. Ralph had coached Adri Verhey in site preparation using backhoe on May 14, so the enlarged nursery plot and other areas near barn foundations had been stripped of grass and weeds which facilitated planting and ease of movement.

Plantings - Ted Cormier's team planted the balance of more than 100 young trees of Campbell, Grimo, St.Lawrence or Windmill Point nursery stock. These included American chestnut, black walnut, butternut, Carpathian walnut, heartnut, buartnut, hazelbert, hican, shagbark and shellbark hickory, northern pecan, digger and shortleaf pine, and bur and chinkapin oaks. About 75% were interplanted among white pines in Section East and the remainder around the barn foundations. These major contributions to the Oak Valley collection were acquired through the Eastern Ontario Model Forest Project.

George Truscott and his nursery crew filled half the enlarged nursery area (70'x40') with 75 of '92 black walnuts, 50 or so horse chestnut seedlings started indoors by Ernie Kerr, and an assortment of oak, beech and other natives (from the cold frame) as well as a score of '92 catalpa seedlings (from Ralph's tree). The under-tin germination of walnuts and butternuts was either delayed or poor as of May 15. Tin was removed and nuts covered with shredded wood pending a final verdict on germination rates.

Site Preparation - During two backhoe visits this spring dozens of Manitoba maple stumps were dug out and brush and other debris from around the foundations removed to the far SW corner of the property. Machine scalping cleared the nursery and several other areas of grass and shrubs ready for planting. Steve and Heather Palmer cleared woody weeds from Section West which is now ready for discing. Ernie and Ralph scouted most suitable lines for internal access roads in Section East and Joseé concurred in their selection. Much clearing of woody weeds by brush saw and loppers was undertaken and the roads should soon be smooth enough to make grass mowing feasible. The realignment of the main road across the property was staked so plantings would not encroach. The borrow pit/pond is proving useful as a handy source of water for young trees. Most of the components for 450' of cedar rail fence are on hand in anticipation of a fencing bee on June 26th. A neighbour, Norman Tinkler, has indicated an interest in using his machinery to dig post holes - and also to till Section West. His local knowledge and help could prove very beneficial in accelerating progress in the 20/20 Plan.

Another visitor, in addition to Mr. Tinkler, was a Mr. Frank Jackson (b.1920) whose father is credited with coining the name Oak Valley. Seventy-five or more years ago he had found work in harvesting the big oaks which then covered much of the land. Upon delivering a load of logs he learned that the sawmill's records required that he provide a name for the area of their source. Since that area then bore no particular designation, he invented "Oak Valley" on the spot - and so it has remained.

In addition to those already mentioned the valued help of Alec and Kathleen Jones, Paul Truscott, Myrtle and Heather McKendry and Heather's friend, Danny Young, was needed to accomplish the satisfying block of work carried out on May 15th at Oak Valley. It did much to bring us close to schedule in an ambitious but late-starting season.

So thanks to all, but don't relax yet since there is still plenty to be done. Any time that you crave some out-of-doors exercise feel free to satisfy your needs by tending our tender young nut trees at Oak Valley. I visit there about once a week so if you would like some tools - or some company - let me know at 728-6511

Ralph McKendry

Ralph has arranged a Fall Field Day open to all members, their families and friends on Saturday, October 23, 1993 to participate in work to develop the plantation.

Dominion Arboretum Liaison Committee

Contact with China - Preliminary Report, 4 May 1993

On 29 April '93, I received a call from Dr. Ken Charlton, a member of EC/SONG, who is a pathologist with Animal Diseases Research Institute, Agriculture Canada, at Barrhaven. He was leaving for Beijing on a month's visit to an establishment of the China Dept. of Agriculture near the capital. He asked whether he might make any enquiries about nuts on SONG's behalf while there.

I called Ted Cormier and discussed the question with him. We agreed that the opportunity should not be missed, even though there was practically no time to ponder the matter. Ted gave me his advice and also relayed some ideas from Doug Campbell. Ted had already been thinking of contacting the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa to seek ways of initiating commercial transactions with China.

Next, I called Ken back and gave him the following three questions to guide him:-

  1. (general) Are there any nut trees in China that the West knows little about?
  2. We are hybridizing Chinese chestnut (Castanea mollisima) with American chestnut (Castanea dentata) to get a blight-resistant product. But the plant is, like the Chinese ones that are being used, marginally cold-hardy in Ontario. Are there any 'northern' varieties of the Chinese chestnut that might give us a hardier hybrid?
  3. The Korean nut pine, in which we are very interested, grows at a latitude just north of that of Beijing. Are there any Chinese pines from the north with properties and seeds like the Korean pine?

Ken accepted the task, pointing out that he would have little opportunity for other than local travel, but would ask his Chinese counterparts for leads or information.

A.C. Jones

A New Cookbook for ECSONG

Everyone knows about the Chapter's cookbook published way back in 1988, edited by Polly Jones. It has been a steady seller, earning monies for the Chapter. It is still in demand, and Art Read will be reprinting it for us. At the same time, the executive has responded positively to an enquiry about also publishing a second cookbook. Kathleen Jones has volunteered to receive and compile recipes for the book. She now seeks recipes from members, preferably (but not necessarily) original recipes, that have or could be tested. The new book (as yet untitled) will be similar in layout and size to Polly's. However, it could include recipes for other kinds of nuts as well.

If you have candidate recipes, please forward to Kathleen. For more information, or if you would like to get involved, Kathleen can be reached at Ottawa 828-6459, or call any executive member.

Eastern Ontario Nut Culture Project , Spring 1993

Orders for nut trees have been made with Ernest Grimo, Campberry Farms and St.Lawrence Nurseries. Funding for these purchases will occur on Friday March 12, 1993, with the issue of cheques from the Eastern Ontario Model Forest Group. This will reserve our orders for this coming spring.

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has lent its cooperation to the project by its assistance in grafting 20 Krean Nut Pine scions onto white pine rootstock. The scions were collected this week, and grafted trees will be kept in the Kemptville Nursery greenhouses until such time as they can be planted outdoors.

The MNR has a Heritage Seed Project under way in Southern Ontario. Scion material is collected from natural white spruce stands across the province to ensure the genetic diversity of white spruce seed stock for the future. This project is seeking the cooperation of groups such as ECSONG to participate with them in their own field of interest (i.e., nut trees). Correspondance from the project coordinator, Cathy Neilson, should be forthcoming.

Upon discussion with Alf Campbell, supervisor of the Kemptville nursery, nursery beds at the facility could be made available for the propagation of nursery stock from nuts and seeds supplied by project funding and donations from membership of ECSONG and other sources. Propagation efforts could benefit from the expertise of nursery personnal and facilities.

A private Lands Research Agreement is being drafted to include participation of private landowners in our research trials. Project funding would supply the nursery stock, and the landowner, the trial sites. Limits on stock availability for the coming spring season may curtail private land planting.

Ted Cormier

EONC Project, June 1993

April 24: Most of the planting stock for the spring of 1993 picked up from Campberry Farms by Ernie Grimo and put in cold storage until the commencement of field planting

April 29: Nut Culture Advisory Committee meets to plan strategy for spring work program. It is decided that an early start to spring planting is optimum for stock survival. Stock will be mulched with landscape cloth and straw. Trees are to be fertilized with 10-52-10 soon after planting has occured. Strategy for pest control discussed. Trees to be identified with coded metal tags.

May 3 to 17: Stock is planted on sites throughout Eastern Ontario. The weather turns hot for ten days, but recent cool damp conditions should benefit survivability of stock.

May 17 to 31: Planted stock is fertilized and mulched. A water soluble fertilizer is used to facilitate plant watering at the same time. At the Long Sault site a fertilizer with rooting hormone was used to see if it has a beneficial effect on transplanting of stock.

Out latest observation of planting sites shows a high survival rate at the present time. Most trees have flushed well and show vigorous growth. A low percentage of stock was very small in size, damaged, or seemed to be in poor vigour. A few trees showed signs of browsing at the Long Sault site; applications of Rotel repellant have been carried out and tree guards are being placed on recently planted trees.

Our supply of grafted Korean Nut Pines needs a year of care in the nursery greenhouses and will be available for planting next year. Upon last observation most grafts looked to be taking. Interested members of ECSONG can arrange to view the Korean Nut Pines at the Kemptville Nursery.

Maps of the planting trial sites have been made and an identification code for our metal tags has been devised with the help of Alec Jones. This was recommended by the Advisory Committee to keep theft of stock to a minimum.

The Eastern Ontario Nut Culture Project wishes to thank Brian Barkley, EOMF manager; Clarence Coons of OMAF; Cliff Craig, RVCA staff; Josée Brizard, SNVCA; Cathy Neilson and other MNR personnel; Campberry Farms; Ernie Grimo; Windmill Point Farms; St. Lawrence Nurseries; St. Lawrence Parks Commission; and Alfred Agricultural College for their cooperation and counsel toward the goals of our project.

I especially want to thank the Executive and general members of ECSONG for their valuable participation in our field work program. Enthusiastic support makes the shovel work a little faster.

Ted Cormier

EONC Project Questionnaire for the members of ECSONG

Goal: To facilitate the broader participation of the ECSONG membership in the direction and management of the Eastern Ontario Nut Culture (EONC) project of ECSONG and the Eastern Ontario Model Forest.

  1. Which species of nut trees do you think our project should concentrate its efforts on? Hazelnut, Carpathian walnut, black walnut, butternut, American chestnut, hickories, nut pines, oaks, others?
  2. What other sites in Eastern Ontario would you recommend for future nut groves? One of our goals in this matter is to enhance public awareness and education.
  3. Should we be choosing grafted stock, seedlings or selections from both?
  4. Should the project be concerned with species with edible nuts or those not commonly used for human food sources, e.g. oaks, hackberry, horse chestnut?
  5. Last year, stock was purchased from Campberry Farms, Ernie Grimo, St. Lawrence Nurseries, and Windmill Farms. Can you suggest other nurseries with different varieties of nut tree species that are available, especially sources of hardy varieties?
  6. In 1993, we had 23 Korean Nut Pines grafted for use in our project. Other species such as Pinus cembra 'Siberica' and Pinus edulis might also be suitable. Are nut pines a good area for research? Do you have information on other nut pine species that might be suitable for our area?
  7. We have a possible opportunity to test rooting of cuttings and other vegetative propagation in co-operation with the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Alfred School of Agriculture. Is this line of investigation worthwhile? Do you have any information to contribute about this technology?
  8. The Forest Genetic Resource Program is conducting "freeze" tests in a controlled indoor environment to study hardiness in different white pine sources from Southern Ontario. Would it be worthwhile for us to participate in having nut tree varieties tested for hardiness using this facility?
  9. Grafted tree varieties have more difficulty in surviving winter conditions. This is related to weaknesses in the graft union. What possible solution could you recommend to overcome this problem?
  10. Add any general comment, insights, criticism and direction the steering committee might consider in future plans.

Please send your response to: Ted Cormier, EONC Project Manager R.R. #2, Oxford Mills, Ontario K0G 1S0

EONC Morrison Island Interpretive Nut Grove

12 August 1993

St. Lawrence Parks Commission
Eastern Ontario Nut Culture Project

Proposal: Morrison Island Interpretive Nut Grove

One of the goals of the Eastern Ontario Nut Culture Project of the Eastern Ontario Model Forest Group is to promote public awareness and education of nut trees in Eastern Ontario.

The Group Camp located on Morrison Island in the Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary provides a unique environment for the establishment of a Nut Grove in an area utilized for nature interpretation and related educational programs. The Morrison Island Group Camp Area is a natural site for nut tree species such as Bitternut Hickory, Butternut, Red Oak and, especially, Shagbark Hickory, of which there are many large specimens and which are abundant throughout many of the camping areas. The Visitor Interpretive Center located nearby provides the opportunity to use this proposed Nut Grove area as an educational demonstration site.

We propose to establish a nut grove in this area and to complement the facilities of the Visitors Interpretive Center with educational displays, brochures, pamphlets and videos pertaining to nut trees and their importance to our local environment. The Eastern Chapter of the Society of Ontario Nut Growers (ECSONG) would on occasion be willing to participate in any special programs or events planned by the St. Lawrence Parks Commission with support of ECSONG members of educational demonstrations.

Hank Jones, Chair, ECSONG

Ted Cormier, Project Manager, EONC/EOMF

EONC Nut Culture Sites

Sites established in 1993:

Public sites proposed to be established in 1994:

Private Lands Agreements:

Macoun Club Nut Day

On Saturday October 23/93, ECSONG will host a meeting of the Macoun Club (the 'farm team' for the Ottawa Field Naturalists). The club's members are children from grades 3 to 8, ie from about 8 years old to 13.

They would like to learn about nuts, their uses and their origins. A hands-on day of identifying trees, making herbaria; gathering, cleaning, cracking, cooking, eating nuts; use history, dyeing, staining, carving, and carpenting; horticulture, arboriculture, silviculture, and permaculture are all relevant topics.

The room will be in the basement of the Victoria Museum on MacLeod Street in Ottawa. These rooms are large like classrooms. It has been proposed that the space be divided into several areas, each equipped to deal with its own topic. The kids could roam, visiting each area as they wished, to examine the displays and to talk to the ECSONG person hosting the area. For example, one area could be for the showing of our videos, including the PBS program "Nuttin' on the Farm" and pruning, planting videos. Another could be for dyeing and staining. One 'area' would be an outside tour in the locale around the museum to see nut trees: there are horse chestnuts, black walnuts and ginkgos close by. Another would have seeds and seedlings in pots, showing the anatomy of the trees and answering questions about germination, stratification, transplanting, etc. Of course, one of the areas would have nut crackers and lots of nuts for eating!

As you can see in paragraph one above, there are many topics of interest. Only the tour, however, would require a formal presentation. All the other areas would be Q&A and possibly demonstration (eg carving birds in black walnut).

If you would like to join the ECSONG group hosting this program, please call Hank Jones.

The Estate of Pauline Johnson Revisited

The Estate of Pauline Johnson lies on the banks of the Grand River on the Six Nations First People's Reserve just south of Brantford. The reports of many large nut trees on the surrounding grounds can be confirmed. There are many large black walnuts and shagbark hickories as well as some butternuts. There are also some massive burr oaks as well as some chinquapin oaks. There must be over five hundred large nut trees overall. Unfortunately, this is a poor crop year for walnuts and hickories in Southern Ontario, but the burr oaks did have some acorns this year. This area should be a valuable resource for people interested in nut culture. Ted Cormier.

Reprinting the Chapter's Manual and Cookbook

We have essentially run out of copies of "the Nut Growers Manual for Eastern Ontario" and "Recipes in a Nutshell". At the same time, requests continue to come in. The Executive decided reprinting the books would be a good idea. Art Read, Treasurer, kindly volunteered to undertake this task. If you would like to give Art a hand, it would be really appreciated.

ECSONG Membership Cards

Notice that your personal ECSONG membership card is included with this issue of the Nuttery. If you did not see it in the envelope, double check. If it is not there, call Art Read, Treasurer. Many thanks to Art for designing and preparing the cards.

In the future, these cards could get members privileges of various sorts, such as discounts on purchasing growing stock or seed from nurseries and seed houses, or for locally grown food nuts, etc. If you have any questions about the cards, call Art.

The ECSONG Banner

At the most recent ECSONG executive meeting, attendees had an opportunity to view the new ECSONG banner. The banner was the idea and creation of Mark Schaefer. Mark had noted that since we were attending more and more exhibitions with our displays (including Guy Lefebvre's educational and attractive 'nut box') we needed a banner. The banner is about 2 feet high and 6 feet long. It is green with brown lettering. Our logo and name are both on it.

It is very attractive, and everyone liked it. From now on, every event ECSONG attends should fly our new 'flag'! Many thanks to Mark!

The CBC Radio Gardening Show

Every June, CBC Radio Noon hosts an outdoor garden party from which the program is broadcast. The event has taken place in the formal gardens of the Dominion Experimental Farm by the Dominion Arboretum the last two years. Displays by local gardeners and suppliers are included. ECSONG has provided its display twice now.

This year, the weather was beautiful. Hundreds of people attended. Twenty or thirty exhibitors were on hand. The program was extended to include late morning through to supper time, twice as long as last year! Still, there were visitors during the whole time. Several folks took turns manning our booth. Ted and Isabelle Cormier, Hank and Mary Jane Jones, and Alec Jones. Many, many people stopped by. Think about getting in on the fun at next year's show!

FRP Nut Grove

On Saturday June 19, 1993 I attended the official opening of the Fillmore R. Park Nut Grove with my mother Mrs. Kathleen E. Joiner (wife of the late George R. Joiner). I was very impressed with its organization and dedication of the members.

I personally have little or no knowledge of nut groves, but I feel it would be interesting to learn. Like my father, I don't mind getting dirty and a little wet. Please accept our membership donation on behalf of the Taggart family. I am hoping that our 8 year old son Devon will continue in my dad's footsteps in conservation and preservation of trees.

Beverly P. Taggart

Notes on Dyeing Wool With Walnut Hulls from Carol Parker

Natural dyes are far more exciting than synthetics for those of you who are spinners and weavers of raw wool. I would caution you to make enough dye to do all the wool you need to be the same colour. Subsequent dyeing will give a different shade.

Walnut hulls without using a mordant (fixer) will give a rich, dark brown. For a more golden brown, try using alum as a mordant. Also experiment with butternut, hickory and pecan hulls for different shades of brown.

A five gallon enamel or stainless-steel pot will be needed for a full pound of wool. You will also need a long-handled wooden spoon or stick for stirring, rubber gloves, and preferably soft water. Rain water is ideal.

Preparing the wool: make the wool or yarn (if pre-spun) into bundles of 4 ounces. Wash yarn or fleece that has any dirt in it, or soak clean yarn or fleece in water for at least half an hour prior to dyeing.

Mordanting the wool: it is preferable to do this before dyeing. One pound of wool require 4 ounces of alum, 1 ounce of cream of tartar, 4 gallons of soft water. Dissolve the alum and cream of tartar in boiling water (2 cups). Add to the 4 gallons of water. Put in the wet wool and gradually bring to simmering; simmer gently for 1 hour. Cool and let stand in liquid, do not rinse. Squeeze gently to get rid of excess liquid when ready to dye.

Dying the wool: Soak green hulls in water overnight. Boil for two hours, let cool. Place pot of dye liquid on stove on low heat. Add the wet wool. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring very gently from time to time. Simmer gently, checking occasionally until colour is what you want. The colour will darken as it dries. Dry the wool by pegging it on the washing line, or laying on bushes in the garden, not in bright sunlight. Use for whatever project you had in mind!

Carol Parker

A Nut Growers Workshop

The Eastern Ontario Nut Culture (EONC) Project calls for a workshop to be held on nut growing in this region. The EONC is a joint project between ECSONG and Eastern Ontario Model Forest Inc. (EOMF). Five hundred dollars have been earmarked for the workshop. The projected best time is the end of March or beginning of April 1994. This would enable ECSONG to announce the workshop at its winter meeting, usually held in the third week of January, and again at its Annual General Meeting in late March..

Ted Cormier is the Project Manager for EONC. He has asked ECSONG to provide a team to organize and manage the workshop. Staff at KCAT have tentatively offered space for the workshop on campus, and also may be able to help financially. Cost, of course, will still require participants to pay a modest fee. Ted has also tentatively lined up several experts to provide technical input. Possibly we could have an exhibition with the workshop, with private companies, government agencies and others mounting displays and offering products for sale.

Already, Howard Edel, who has considerable experience with mounting workshops, has volunteered to head the team. If you would like to be a member if this team, call Howard or Ted or Hank Jones.

A Integrated Display for Nut Growers

The Eastern Ontario Nut Culture (EONC) Project calls for a display on nut growing to be developed by the end of this calendar year. (The EONC is a joint project between ECSONG and Eastern Ontario Model Forest Inc. (EOMF)). Fifteen hundred dollars have been allocated to this task.

ECSONG has a number of display items that have been developed over the years. This task is a grand opportunity to revamp our display and generalize it. A team is being assembled to design and build the display. It will be portable so that ECSONG and the EONC project can easily transport it from event to event. The work must be completed by the end of the calendar year.

The team already has Ted Cormier, Darryl Abbinett and Dave Baker. If you would like to jump in on this, call Hank or Ted.

Provided by ECSONG. Feel free to copy with a credit.