The Nuttery : Volume 14 Number 2 (1995)

In this Issue...

This issue of the Nuttery may be the smallest ever, not because there is little to report, but because alas the Editor was unable to give the time required to do a proper job.

However, there are important matters reported herein. Please pay very close attention to the enclosed flyer from the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority about upcoming event at the Fillmore R. Park Nut Grove. Also, see the note inside this issue.

Oak Valley has had a banner year in 1995, and everyone looks forward their upcoming Fall Field Day. See the announcement of the field day inside for dates, times and a synopsis of this year's achievements.

Dolman Ridge is keen to find volunteers to pitch in the fall help release some of the nut trees. Though no date has been set for the field day as yet, Steve Palmer, Chair of the liaison committee is preparing. Call Steve if you want to join in.

A signal event for eastern Ontario! Alcon Welding and Small Engine Repair of Nepean is offering the first commercial service to the public mechanically dehulling black walnuts and possibly other species. Recall that the walnuts have a thick hull or rind that rapidly decomposes into a black, indelible, liquidy mess. Removing the hulls, however, makes storage and further processing of the nuts "a piece of cake"! So, if you always wanted to collect walnuts but were put off by the very slow and tedious job of manually removing the hulls, Alcon has come to your rescue! See the article inside and the enclosed brochure for important information.

Also, there are articles on the composting black walnut leaves, on the Superior Nut Tree Contest, and on the national survey of Nut Production in Canada.

As always, note the membership phone number and the calendar of chapter events....

Due to circumstances beyond our control, time does not permit the very important reports from the Chapter's various and numerous projects to be included in this issue. The Editor apologizes our Chapter project leaders who took valuable time to prepare their reports. The Editor promises humbly to see all included in the winter issue.

A bountiful harvest to all!!

A Special Event at the FRP Nut Grove

At the Fillmore R. Park Nut Grove Fall Field Day, a white oak will be dedicated to the memory of George Joiner. For many years, George, who was one of ECSONG's first members nearly two decades ago, lead the hands-on field work to maintain and improve this nut grove. His energy, enthusiasm, and focus attracted many others to pitch in. It is fair to say that George carried the nut grove through those tough times when the first excitement of starting a project so innovative and far reaching wanes, and the long haul begins. George was the right man in the right place at the right time! The trees and grounds maturing to the beautiful and productive grove you see today would not have happened without George.

At 2:30 PM, at the FRP Nut Grove, ECSONG and the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority will dedicate the special white oak and unveil a special plaque to George's memory. Everyone is encouraged to attend to pay their respects. Friends wishing to say a few words are encouraged to step forward.

The FRP Nut Grove issues as special invitation to members and friends to come to the site in the morning to make a special effort to further the nut grove in the same spirit George invariably displayed! He would be pleased. Bring your shovels, rakes, loppers, secateurs and lunches. Dress for the weather.

Make this Fall Field Day the best ever for George! Call Cliff Craig for more information, or to offer your services.

Oak Valley Progress

Our Oak Valley Plantation Committee, chaired by Ralph McKendry, reports a very good year of progress for the plantation in Oak Valley near Winchester Springs, Ontario.

A lot has been done this year already at Oak Valley. More white cedars have been added by the SNCRA to the wind breaks. Fifty black walnuts were planted by Ralph, Ernie Kerr and Josée Brizard in an SNRCA spruce plantation about two miles east of Oak Valley, and are surviving. Mac Saunders subdued all the weeds with his new 4-foot rotary mower. Watering had to be done for the newest trees from a 200-gallon tank in a corner of the nursery during the spring drought. The entrance has been enhanced with large boulders, trees and gate. Hazels are thriving and some bearing. Inspect George Truscott's tree nursery. See Ted Cormier's special nut species plantings. And on and on! Oak Valley is a flourishing nut grove...

The Fall Field Day for the plantation will be held on Saturday, October 14, 1995. Take advantage of the achievements to be seen and learned, so you can apply them yourself. Lend a hand. Everyone is welcome, including members, friends and neighbours. Arrive anytime after 9:00 AM. Plan to stay the day. Bring a picnic. Take a family picture in the lovely setting. For more information, call Ralph.

Alcon's Nut Hulling Service

This is it! You always wanted to collected more walnuts but couldn't face cleaning by hand? The folks at Alcon Welding and Small Engine Repair in Nepean have been working for nearly two years to build special machinery for removing the troublesome hulls. And the they have succeeded!

This fall, for the first time in eastern Ontario, you will be able to rent a service locally that will quickly, easily, cleanly and cheaply get rid of the unwanted hulls. The service can readily handle quantities ranging from as little as a shopping bag full, to hundreds of bushels! Get collecting this fall for all those projects you have had to hold back on (If you want ideas on where to look for trees, call Alcon)!

Alcon is making these machines available to the public under several programs. At their shop on Bentley Road, you can do-it-self, or bring your harvest for custom cleaning, or have it picked up and delivered. Or you can rent or lease the machines for off-site use. You can even commission to have one built for you, as Ernie Grimo of Grimo Nut Nurseries, Niagara-on-the-Lake has done!

Alcon had help, of course. Ted Cormier and Ernie Grimo provided basic design information and beta testing of the prototypes. The Eastern Ontario Nut Tree Culture Project, jointly between ECSONG and the Eastern Ontario Model Forest, Inc. provided a $1000 grant. Alcon itself has invested over $12,000 in capital and labour.

Alcon's Nut Hulling Service is now open for business. A brochure is available. Call (613) 723-9648 for more information or to reserve machine time for your harvest.

Leaf Composting

Like to compost tree leaves for your garden? It's a good idea! The September/October issue of Organic Gardening has an excellent article on the hows and whys of leaf compost. "By all means, save the leaves!" by Vicki Matten. Most noteworthy: essentially all tree leaves are good candidates, even black walnut. Though the ... "leaves contain juglone - a compound that inhibits growth in most nearby plants... a month of composting will destroy the juglone..."

Update on the Nut Contest Plan

Work is now underway to plan the contest to find superior nuts in eastern Ontario. The contest's objective is to attract members of ECSONG and possibly others to search for superior nut tree specimens already growing well in eastern Ontario. When found, these trees would be propagated vigorously, short-circuiting the time it normally would take to develop adapted cultivars of commercial value.

With financial help ($250) from the Nut Tree Culture Project (NTCP, Ted Cormier, Project Manager), Cobjon Enterprises Inc., which specializes in the environmental information and services, began work in early April, 1995.

We welcome input from readers. Guy Lefebvre of Source Wood Products in Cornwall has faxed a brochure about a Nebraska contest. We will contact these folks to learn the details. I will be consulting Guy again for more guidance shortly. Ted Cormier suggests that folks start right now thinking about the trees they know that could become candidates and to collect samples and data pending the implementation of the contest. Ernie Grimo tells me that the NNGA ran a contest successfully back in the 1930's.

Though unfortunately delayed, an outline for the plan has been developed and a draft of the plan should be underway soon. If you have input for this project, call Hank Jones (Nuttery editor), President of Cobjon Ent. Inc., who has the task of developing this plan.

The National Nut Harvest Survey

The project to carry out a national survey of nut growing, harvest and use is underway, with $300 funding from the Nut Tree Culture Project (NTCP). The grant will be substantially augmented with in-kind support from Cobjon Enterprises Inc, an Ottawa firm specializing in environmental information and services, which will carry out the work.

The survey questionnaire will cover three aspects of nut culture. First, it will document the kinds and amounts of nuts and byproduct currently being produced in various regions across the country, with also a look to the future. Second, it will query interest in mechanical equipment specially suited to nut producers. Lastly, it will profile interest in technical information products and services needed by producers. The questionnaire draft is nearing completion.

The various organizations across Canada associated with agro-forestry, agriculture, forestry, horticulture, etc have been identified, including a number of local, regional and national organizations, and some thirty universities and colleges. They will be polled shortly for expressions of interest and where possible mailing lists. A database of individuals and groups is now being compiled, and already has some 150 entries. The complete database will likely exceed one thousand. From this database a sample will be selected to receive the written questionnaire. Where permitted, follow-up interviews will be conducted with a subsample of the respondents. The survey will end with the publication of a report.

For more information, or to comment, contact Hank Jones, President, Cobjon Enterprises Inc. (Editor, Nuttery).

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