The Nuttery : Volume 17 Number 2 (1998)

In this Issue...

Six events for the fall are announced, including the fall field days for our demonstration / research nut groves, two related forestry events and the Nutters Bus Tour '98. A full slate, so chose wisely and do not miss any of them!

ECSONG has many Projects underway to promote nut growing and production in this region. Reports from the Arboretum; on Communications; our website; butternut rescue by Truscott and Boysen; Carr's Oak Valley; The Prize; and Hrebacka's Nutree Garden.

On the News front, thanks for Sandra Pilgrim; Collett's sheller/huller; the Bertrand Black Walnut Bowl; and the Kars Fair.

For Growers, note the Big Harvest; seeking nut space in the Ferguson Freezer; and the fast moving Nut Industry efforts.

Note the advertisers in The Marketplace - they are your best suppliers.

In the Membership Section, check the Calendar, write an article, pay your dues, meet fellow members, and use the membership form to recruit new blood!

See you on the Nutters Bus Tour!

Moving on the Dolman Ridge Nut Plantations

This past June, Chris Cummins (Chair of the DRNP Liaison Committee) and Hank Jones met with NCC Officials Doug Wolthausen and Groshen Rother at the Dolman site to plan its future. Clearly, we all want to see the plantations thrive, including expanding the existing nut plantings, and possibly introducing new ones. The research results are seen as important, as well as attracting tourists from the downtown area, to give an opportunity to see more of Canada's countryside. The NCC is prepared to contribute resources to such work, provided ECSONG will supervise the work in the field. The same day, Chris and Hank released the Korean Nut Pine Plantation, about two hours work with chain saws and brush saws.

With lots to do and lots to see, the Dolman Ridge Nut Plantations Fall Field Day is planned for Saturday, October 17, 1998, starting at 9:30AM. Meet at the parking lot on Anderson Road opposite the entrance to the federal Geomagnetic Lab. All are welcome.

For more information contact Chris Cummins, Chair/DRNP Liaison Committee at Dunrobin 832-0414.

Fillmore R. Park Nut Grove Fall Field Day

How time flies! The FRP Nut Grove will be twenty years old in 1999, in less than a year! Sandy Graham, Chair of the FRP Liaison Committee, is writing the history of the grove, and planning a celebration of its anniversary. ECSONG's first showcase of nut growing in the Eastern Ontario region, the FRP's trees now bear fruit regularly, its aspect is that of an attractive pleasant park, and its pond has frogs, turtle and fish. New trees are planted every year so the number of species and specimens continues to increase. Student from the agroforestry program at Kemptville now consider the site a routine art of their curriculum, and visit it regularly. Leanne Kane, the Naturalist for the area includes the grove in the tours, and paths lead directly to it. Commemorative trees are being planted. Winter ski trails traverse the site, so visitors can see nut trees clothed for summer and bare for winter (brrrr!). Can picnic benches and barbecues be coming soon?

As the excitement of the anniversary grows, the coming field day will be an grand opportunity to begin the count down with extra grooming, mapping, documenting, making handouts, all the things that make public events so worthwhile and photogenic. Remember, you are one of the important people who will be at the event and who can take special pride in this magnificent achievement! Do not miss this field day, or the spring one, and certainly plan to attend the ceremonies!

For more information, contact Sandy in Kars at 489-4159.

Oak Valley Nut Grove Fall Field Day

One last field day is planned for Saturday, September 19th, 1998 beginning at 9:30AM., to get the plantation ready for the winter.

This year, I have met several ECSONG members who have never been to the Oak Valley Nut Grove and Pioneer Homesteads Memorial Park! Come on out, have a healthy, satisfying day in the country and work with the other volunteers who have done so much to make the Oak Valley Nut Grove beautiful. Bring your tools, lunch, refreshments (we have our own backhouse now!). Learn the latest nut growing techniques first hand.

For information and directions (see the adjoining map), phone Peter Carr in Ottawa at 728-6744 or out of town at (613) 279-3212. We ll see you there!

Renfrew County Woodlot Conference

The Conference will be held on Saturday, October 3, 1998, in the Opeongo High School in Renfrew, registration starting at 8:30AM. ECSONG will mount an exhibit at the Conference. The Exhibit will be joint with the Canada's Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa and Nutculture Services.

For more information contact Hank Jones, Nutculture Services in Ottawa 828-5772 or email

The Fall Forestry Fair

The Eastern Ontario Model Forest et al is mounting the second fall forest fair at the rejuvenated GH Ferguson nursery in Kemptville on Saturday, September 26, 1998. There will be exhibits, and a wood auction in the afternoon. Len Collett will head up ECSONG's display in the exhibits section.

For more information, contact Len Collett in Lanark at 259-2273 or email

A Nutter's Bus Tour Coming Up!

The Eastern Chapter of the Society of Nut Growers (ECSONG) is pleased to announce its third biennial nut tree tour of the eastern Ontario region. All are welcome to join the tour - read on to learn how.

Black walnuts, butternuts, hickories, oaks, hazels, ginkgos, and more already are growing widely over the region. As Hank Jones, editor of ECSONG's newsletter, The Nuttery, says, "Studies show it may be possible to grow as many as seventy species and varieties of nut trees here, almost none yet in Canadian stores."

Vera Hrebacka, of Ottawa, says, "I have heard a lot about ECSONG's nut culture bus tours, so I can hardly wait for this one!"

Mark Jones of Nepean's Alcon Welding has been developing special machines to make nut harvesting easier. The bus tour is a chance for interested folks to learn about these machines. Mark likes the tours because, as he says, "Collecting nut seed on the tour is a fun change from work. It also gives me a chance to see the parent tree, so I get a good idea of how these seeds will grow".

Space on the bus is limited - so register early!

The Event: Nutters Bus Tour '98 will be an all-day, bus tour visiting selected nut growing sites in the Eastern Ontario region. The tour is a nut gathering trip in which participants travel in comfort in a fully-equipped, inter-city bus provided by St. Lawrence Coach, starting and ending in Ottawa. Enroute between stops, our experts will discuss nut culture, answer questions, provide demonstrations, and preview each upcoming stop. At the stops, our experts will guide you, and help you gather the nuts best suited to your application. All are welcome!

The Meeting Place: Meet in Ottawa, in the parking lot at the northwest corner of Heron Road and Riverside Drive, in Vincent Massey Park - watch for the ECSONG Tour Sign by the roadway.

The Date: The Tour will take place on Saturday, September 26, 1998

The Time: The bus will depart at 8:00 AM and return at approximately 5:00 PM

The Cost: The registration fee is $15 per person, payable in advance before September 15, 1998, and $20 per person thereafter, non-refundable. To register, please send your cheque made out to ECSONG, to Art Read, Treasurer, 1903 - 1025 Richmond Road, Ottawa K2B 8G8.

Be Prepared!

The tour goes, rain or shine, so bring appropriate clothing. Bring your own lunch, snacks and refreshments - for consumption enroute.

FOR THE WELL-EQUIPPED NUTTER -- Pre-order (by 18/9/98) your attractive, functional, durable, Canadian-made caps, nut bags and T-shirts printed with first-time new Canada Nutree artwork for your use during the trip, and for years to come! Prices: Baseball Cap - $15; Canvas Tote Bag - $25; cozy Stanfield T-Shirt (large only) $25; Package deal - all three for $55 (All prices include all taxes) - Send cheque made out to "Cobjon" to Vera Hrebacka, 2446 Sudbury Ave, Ottawa, K2C 1L9 - For more information call Vera at 613-567-8472 or email

For more information on the Tour: Contact Kurt Wasner, Buckthorn Meadow Tree Farms in North Gower at 613-489-3126 or email

The Nut Trees of Canada's Dominion Arboretum

ECSONG members familiar with Canada' Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa know about its collection of nuts trees, including many species of walnuts, hickories, horsechestnuts, buckeyes, hazels, oaks, nut pines, ginkgoes, hackberries, and so on.

Though extensive, the collection still falls short of representing the full range of possible nut trees and shrubs for Canada, which probably exceeds seventy. In order to help the Arboretum complete its collection, ECSONG set up a joint Liaison Committee several years ago to lead the work. This Committee operates in the same way that its sister Committees for the Fillmore R. Park Nut Grove, the Oak Valley Nut Grove and the Dolman Ridge Nut Plantations do.

Since then, many more specimens have been planted, but much still remains to be done. Not only are more plantings required, but the data and information about the specimens and their performance needs to be compiled and published in The Nuttery, on the ECSONG website, and in the more learned journals.

The Committee now needs a new chair, and the consequent rededication to its ambitious goals. If you would like to join the committee, or volunteer for the chair, contact either the Nuttery Editor, or the ECSONG Chair Ted Cormier in Oxford Mills 258-2570.

Boosting ECSONG and Nutculture

As ECSONG membership grows and its events and activities become more frequent and diverse, new mechanisms of communication to members and the public become necessary - and beneficial. 'Till now The Nuttery and the Exhibit display have been the only official communicators for ECSONG. It is proposed that a Communication Committee be established as follows:

Purpose of the Committee: To assure that members, the press and the public are kept aware of ECSONG, its information, and its activities - in a timely fashion.

Composition of the Committee: At least three committee members, including a chairperson, the Editor of The Nuttery, and one or more other ECSONG members assigned responsibility for specific duties.

Duties of the Committee:

This mechanism relieves The Nuttery of the role of primary announcer of meetings and field days, which has required it to be published irregularly. Now it can be published quarterly like clockwork, and thus have a better balance of content. Instead, event announcement can be made through the public media, thereby reaching not only members by the public at large. Hank Jones, of Nutculture Services, has compiled a 'contacts' data base of over a hundred dailies, weeklies, monthlies, radio and TV stations that collectively cover the Eastern Ontario region. He is willing to provide ECSONG a copy gratis.

The Committee also can take responsibility for other information roles which up to now have been orphans, such as the Technical Library, the Photo Archive and The Exhibit display.

Clearly, this committee could boost participation in ECSONG's events greatly! If you would like to join this crusade, call the ECSONG Chair, Ted Cormier Oxford Mills 258-2570, and sign on.

The ECSONG Website grows!

Be sure to visit our website. With development continuing albeit slowly, we have a new webmaster. Karen Bertrand, of AIM Consulting, has passed the work over the Eric Weiner of Screentastics. Many thanks to Karen for designing our website and putting in its first content. Eric is prepared to continue content development as new material is made available to him.

Though the project has an annual budget of $250 for website development, members may want more information faster than this budget might allow. Len Collett suggested that the website could become an online library of nut information - technical and other articles from all over likely of interest to members could put on the website for perpetual access. Members finding articles could submit them for conversion to web format and posting to the website. The most value would accrue if found material could be posted quickly. It may be impossible to predict the workload, and thus be difficult to budget for long term.

Another way to get the job done has been suggested. It introduces the concept of 'sponsor'. The cost to an article put online would be borne by a sponsor - in return, the screen would should show the sponsor's name - such as, "With the compliments of John Doe". Experience shows us that the cost for a few-page-long document would cost about ten to twenty dollars to convert and post - not a large expense considering the likely value of the work. The procedure could work as follows: The submitter provides the document in hard copy, or in computer-readable form to the Editor; the editor asks Eric for confirmation of the cost; if the cost is accepted by the submitter, or a designated sponsor, then Eric proceeds; once the document is in place, the sponsor pays the agreed amount.

If you would like to have a document put online, call the Editor.

For more information, see the website, or call The Nuttery Editor (who is responsible for the website) at Nutculture Services in Ottawa 828-5772, email

Butternut Conservation News

Members and associates of the Forest Gene Conservation Association (FGCA) have been busy this spring with the establishment of butternut archives. The Eastern Chapter of the Society of Ontario Nut Growers were first off the block with their archive, planted on May 2 on their Oak Valley site, a South Nation Conservation property.

Thank you to a great group of volunteers who planted, staked and mulched the 24 grafts, in addition to their usual spring workload. The FGCA is looking forward to their continued assistance as we tend and monitor the grafts' progress. Two other archives will be established this spring - one at The Arboretum in Guelph and a second at the Welland campus of Niagara College.

These grafts were made by Ernie Grimo, well known in nut culture circles for his work at his nut nursery in Niagara-on-the-lake. The material for the grafts came from several trees in southwestern Ontario that exhibited good health in amidst other severely diseased butternut. One tree from the Ottawa area was also grafted and is now represented by several grafts in the archives.

The archives serve as 'gene banks' in an orchard-like setting, where the trees will mature and their genes can be preserved, apart from the pressures the original tree may be facing, including old age, suppression or harvest. The trees will be left to grow until a screening process is developed allowing researchers to mimic the canker's infection under controlled conditions, and determine whether the trees in the bank are truly resistant.

If enough trees prove to be genetically resistant, they'll be left in the archive to cross-fertilize and produce nuts with the resistant traits. In effect, the gene bank becomes a seed orchard, and we can harvest and plant the nuts of resistant trees. All this may be many, many years down the road. In the meantime The FGCA will continue with the search for healthy butternut to add to the archives, as well as continue our investigations into the disease and its mechanisms for spread and infection.

A summer student from the new Biodiversity Convention Office of Environment Canada, co-sponsored by Wildlife Habitat Canada, will be helping the FGCA to compile existing information received from landowners. Another FGCA project is helping a genetics study out of Quebec. A Quebec researcher Jean Beaulieu, of the Canadian Forest Service, is taking leaf samples from butternut trees across its range, to characterize the genetic structure of the species in advance of the effects of the disease. We hope to provide him with samples from a few Ontario populations.

If you know of an area with 30 butternut trees within several concessions of each other, please give us a call. If you have any butternut on your property and are interested in contributing information to our database please give Barb Boysen a call.

A seed crop this year? In eastern Ontario there are the beginnings of a good butternut seed crop. Please call Barb Boysen if you notice any nuts forming on the butternut in your area. If it is a good year across much of its range the FGCA will organize a seed source study. Very limited observations of the grafts are showing a difference in flushing time between sources. If any seed collectors or growers are interested in participating please give Barb a call. Barb can be reached at 613-269-3145. by Barb Boysen. Reprinted from FORESTRY FORUM ISSUE 13-14, April-May 1998.

George Truscott's Butternut Legacy

When Barb Boysen, Coordinator for the Forest Gene Conservation Association, put out a call for a hundred butternut seeds from Seed Zones 30 and 31 (the western end of the Eastern Ontario region), George Truscott answered the call, in spades!

With the Butternuts dying out all over their natural range due to a canker epidemic, the Association (of which ECSONG is a member) is attempting to both find canker-resistant specimens to propagate, and to cryogenically and in arboretums preserve a cross-section of the native gene pool for future restoration once the disease runs its course. With trees rapidly disappearing, it is becoming more difficult to find bearing specimens. Furthermore, because butternuts may produce nuts only once or twice a decade, the task becomes even ever more difficult.

Undaunted, George struck out in his pick-up to comb the two seed zones. By the time the day was out, and 600 kilometers had been travelled, he had over three hundred nut seeds. Traversing from Ottawa, through Carp, to Almonte, on to Calabogie, past Griffith, via Daker, to Renfrew, then Pembroke, and back home, George saw maybe a hundred or more butternut trees. Larry Scales, a retired forester in Pembroke, helped George crop butternuts from a magnificent tree in his backyard. Another one hundred nuts came from Carleton County Road 2 just north of Carp. The last hundred were collected from a group of five butternut trees just south of Daker. By next day, George had delivered his treasure to Barb Boysen via the G. Howard Ferguson Nursery in Kemptville.

Well done, George! For more information, contact George at Ottawa 733-4745.

FGCA wants butternut seed

The Forest Gene Conservation Association (ECSONG is a member) wants butternut seed. Reports are coming in from across southern Ontario that butternut is having a relatively good seed year. Several people are making collections for the FGCA, in aid of starting a seed source study. Very limited observations of the grafts that went into the archives this past spring showed a difference in flushing time between sources. A seed source study or at least a demonstration planting will help us determine how sensitive butternut is to being moved across climate gradients, and therefore how many archives we should be planning in order to conserve the full diversity of the species.

I am looking for more collections from specific areas. I would like 50 to 100 seed total in each seedlot. The seed should be from at least a few trees from within one local area that could be defined as having the same climate and elevation. They should also be collected from naturally occurring trees, not planted.

The next step is to find people who would like to set up a planting site of at least 25 trees - 5 each from at least 5 different sources. These plantings would then be monitored and observations made about date of flushing, budset, leaf fall and height growth. Their performance would be related back to the conditions of their origin.

If anybody is interested in participating in this study please give Barb Boysen a call - (613) 269-3145 or

Editor's Note: Might ECSONG help eastern Ontario's community colleges with agro-forestry programs (several Algonquin campuses, Kemptville, Alfred and College Cite, I believe) create and manage the aforementioned planting sites?

Oak Valley Nut Grove Report

The Oak Valley Nut Grove, and Pioneer Homesteads Memorial Park, co-located by the South Nation River near Winchester Springs, Ontario has been a hive of activity all summer, thanks to the organizing efforts of Peter Carr, Chair of the OVNG/PHMP Liaison Committee, and the work of Committee members such as the South Nation Conservation, neighbours, and ECSONG member volunteers.

The January ice storm damaged the pine trees and many of these trees have lost their tops. However, the eight to ten year old nut trees situated between these pines were undamaged. Also the seedlings in the west side of the plantation were too small to be adversely effected. This damage was quickly cleaned up during this spring, and a considerable amount of other work was accomplished by our volunteer efforts; however, some difficulties and losses were encountered.

After several months of illness, Mac Saunders passed away in July. Mac was a close friend of Ralph McKendry, and a member of ECSONG, who for years strongly supported the Oak Valley Nut Grove and Pioneer Homesteads Memorial Park with his volunteer grass cutting. He used a powerful bush-hog which over the years proved to be extremely useful in controlling the vigorous growth of grass there. Mac would quietly go to the plantation and cut the grass by himself, and many other volunteers did not realize the hard work he had done to keep the plantation going. We are greatly appreciative and indebted for all his work and commitment.

Early in May, Myrtle McKendry and her son, Dr. Robert McKendry installed a bronze plaque on one of the Memorial Park s glacial boulders in memory of Mac's ancestors who settled there in the eighteen hundreds.

Fortunately for ECSONG, a team of grass-cutting volunteers has emerged from Mac's neighbours in Inkerman. Buck Cairncross, a member of ECSONG, and Gordon Bartholomew have been cutting the grass throughout 1998, using their ride-on mowers, and in July, they added the support of Scott Baldwin, a young man who lives on a farm at the west side of the plantation. Their efforts have been highly visible to all the visitors, for the plantation looks great. Needless to say, to achieve this they had to put in many longs hours of labour and had to suffer several difficulties, such as breakdowns, hitting rocks, rain etc. When time and weather permitted, they even whipper snipped around the memorial boulders. Their smaller machines require the grass to be cut more frequently than in the past, but have permitted the grass to be cut much closer around the seedlings. One area in the center is still too rough to cut with their machines; fortunately, Norman Tinkler, another neighbour, brought in his bush-hog and cut this area. Our thanks go out to these volunteers whose efforts have so much improved the appearance of the plantation and the growing conditions of the seedlings.

In May two field days were held, with 14 or 15 volunteers turning out each time. In the east side of the plantation, Irene Broad and Sheila Carr cleared much of the congested mass of pine boughs from the ice storm and helped to restore access to several areas. Myrtle and Heather McKendry mulched the Korean nut pines that were planted last fall with the tops of some of these pine boughs.

Barbara Boysen and the Forest Gene Conservation Association (FGCA) and Rose Fleguel of OMNR arrived with 25 grafted butternut seedlings that had been selected as apparently being canker-resistant. These were planted on the west side of the entrance path by Len and Genice Collett, Ted Cormier, Richard McKendry , Ernie Kerr and George Truscott. These were then mulched with wood chips that had been hauled in from Greely by Ernie Kerr. FGCA has provided kindly ECSONG with money to maintain these seedlings in the future, and they will visit the site several times a year to monitor this scientific program.

Extra seedlings, mainly walnuts and butternuts left over from the Garden Show in Ottawa, were planted in the nursery by Richard, Myrtle and Heather McKendry along with assistance from the Colletts. Also six American chestnuts that had been stratified and started by Ralph McKendry last winter were planted. This filled in half the nursery; the remainder was left empty and covered with carpeting.

Ernie Kerr fertilized some of the seedlings in the west side of the plantation, while George Truscott worked on the east side, cutting down Manitoba maples. He was assisted by the backhoe operator, Adri Verhey, who also ripped out large thickets of Manitoba maples. The resulting cleared spaces were then trenched and filled with walnuts supplied by SNC and then covered up.

Between May 2nd and 30th, the weather was very hot and there was no rain. Thus the Korean nut pines planted last fall and the FGCA butternuts were extremely vulnerable, and were beginning to show signs of wilting. Irene Broad came to the rescue by hauling water from the river several times a week.. We are very grateful to Irene for her valiant efforts which saved all of these seedlings!!

In late May, Buck Cairncross brought in a 45 gallon drum full of water and he and Peter watered as many other seedlings as possible. On the second field day, Robert McKendry arrived with a portable pump, an engine and a series of long hoses and the volunteers managed to get all the seedlings watered. Fortunately, rain came on May 31st and the drought ended.

Isabelle Cormier spent the whole day in the nursery cutting back the grass and thistles. ln the process, she saved some valuable seedlings, a Manchurian walnut, a heartnut, a buartnut and a chinquapin oak. It is expected that these will have a good growing season and will be transplanted this fall.

However, the main thrust of the field day was to free up all the seedlings in the west side of the plantation from the extensive grass and to give them a good watering and fertilizing. Landscape cloth was installed and covered with wood chips. This work was done by the rest of the volunteers. Three new visitors, Kim and Lester McInnes of South Mountain and Yvonne Crich of Barrhaven provided much needed youthful drive that enabled us to get all the work done. The grass around each seedlings had to be carefully cut with hand snips. This was done primarily by the McInneses, Irene, Sheila, Myrtle and Robert . The fertilizing and watering was done primarily by Yvonne and Heather, who also cut and installed the landscape cloth around the seedlings. Five truck loads of wood chips had been delivered by the North Dundas Township to the center of the plantation. The wood chips were placed over the landscape cloth by Ernie, Ted and Peter, using Ernie s super tractor-trailer to move the chips.

As a result of this activity, the seedlings were now visible to the grass cutters who were then able to cut all the rows of intervening grass between the seedlings, thus clearing the whole west side of the plantation of tall grass.

Throughout May and June, Ernie worked alone steadily surveying the seedlings, memorial rocks and other physical features to continue the preparation of a much-needed map for the plantation. George, Ernie and Peter made a start on cutting down the pine branches that were conflicting with the nut trees on the east side.

In July, SNC provided four students for three days; these were supervised by George and Ernie. The students finished pruning all the pine boughs that were conflicting with the nut trees; they whipper snipped around the memorial boulders and also dug a hole for a new outhouse that is being built by Robert and Jim McKendry. Kim and Lester McInnes started to clear the brush on the west side of the nursery so they could develop an area for some low-maintenance perennials.

As a result of all these efforts, the seedlings in the west field have had a growing season free of tall grass, and the nut trees on the east side have been able to develop, free of conflicting pine boughs. Our thanks goes out to all these volunteers for their support and effort.

One last field day is planned for Saturday, September 19th, beginning at 9:30A.M., to get the plantation ready for the winter. This year, I have met several ECSONG members who have never been to the Oak Valley Nut Grove and Pioneer Homesteads Memorial Park! Come on out, have a healthy, satisfying day in the country and meet the volunteers who have done so much to make the Oak Valley Nut Grove beautiful. For directions, phone Peter Carr at 728-6744 or (613) 279-3212. We ll see you there!


The announcement of the prize is almost ready to be issued to the colleges of Eastern Ontario with agro-forestry programs. Valued at $300, the prize is expected to attract much attention for the students. Dave Baker, Chair of the Prize Committee, reports that the Announcement will be issued in both official languages in early September as the new college year starts. The purpose of the prize is to foster nut culture research and investigation to ultimately improve nut production in Canada, and s

The contest calls for students, in the course of their normal classroom activities, to submit papers on nut culture, specially focussing on this region. The winner's paper will be published at least in part on the ECSONG Website, and the prize will be presented at ECSONG's AGM in March 1999. The winner will also be invited to discuss their paper in the technical session in the afternoon of the AGM.

For more information, Dave can be reached at The Xnet Group in Vanier 742-7811.

Progress on the Nutree Garden

Ottawa's Somerset Ward's regional Councillor Diane Holmes and Business Person Vera Hrebracka have been cooking up the idea of a 'Nutree Garden' to be planted in Centertown. Several sites approximating a half-acre each have been flagged for assessment, and Hank Jones of Nutculture Services is now evaluating the candidates. This project will be carried out jointly with ECSONG, and possibly with the NCC as well, depending on the site chosen. Decisions are expected this fall.

For more information contact Hank Jones in Ottawa at 828-5772 or email

Commendations to Cummins and Scally from Kanata

The Nuttery received the following letter this past June...

"June 5, 1998

Editor, The Nuttery

I am a landscape architect with the City of Kanata and have been following ECSONG thanks to info from Chris Cummins.

I'd like you to include a note of thanks if you have room in your next issue. I wanted to commend both Chris Cummins and Bob Scally of Kanata for their contributions of expertise and help on May 9, 1998. It was our community planting day in Walter Baker Park in Kanata. A couple of local Minor Softball teams and parents were on hand to plant about 300 trees (about 25% nut trees!), so there were a lot of people needing instruction!

Chris and Bob helped by demonstrating techniques of planting and generally keeping an eye on "quality control". I couldn't have handled it without them! Their help was greatly appreciated!


. ...Yours truly

Sandra Pilgrim, Landscape Architect, City of Kanata

PS. I should also mention that the funding for this 1998 planting program which includes everything from seedlings to caliper stock for street trees was provided in part by Green Streets Canada. This is a "branch" of the Tree Canada Foundation especially for improving our municipal urban forest and increasing awareness about the benefits trees provide. Kanata received almost $20,000 in a fund matching program for 1998!"

Editor's Note: Chris has intimated to me on several occasions that he would like Kanata to be designated "The Nut Tree Capital of Canada". I think this is a wonderful idea! And obviously other honorifics would be possible for a variety of achievements by other municipalities across the country. In order to make such kudos possible, I am considering initiating the formation of a national nut growers association. I have drafted a charter for such an association. Anyone interested in getting on board?

The Collett Corn Sheller and Walnut Huller

Len and Genice Collett, on their travels this past summer, visited relatives in Missouri. During the visit, Len came across two old manual corn shellers, designed to be mounted on a table or board and hand-cranked. A corn sheller remove the kernel from the cob, dropping the kernels and sending the empty cob off to the side. He recalled reports that such devices have been used to hull black walnuts, albeit in small quantities, mainly one nut at a time. He managed to get one of the shellers, and brought it back to Lanark. Presently, the machine is at Alcon Welding for sandblasting (it had been repaired before, so probably has little value as a museum antique). Called the "Blackhawk Corn Sheller", it was manufacture by A. H. Patch of Clarksville, Tennessee - as machine R1903A, this number possibly reflecting its date of manufacture.

Len will be trying the device soon, and he may be able to report later as to its efficacy. For more information, contact Len in Lanark at 259-2273 or email

A Historic Black Walnut Salad Bowl

Nut woods are the most beautiful, right? Recently, Karen Bertrand called The Nuttery Editor looking for an artisan who might make her a nut wood salad bowl. She was clear on her need. The bowl would be large, one-piece, unique shape, signed, dated, essentially a one-of-kind heirloom in the making. A call to Bob Stone, an ECSONG member and expert wood turner, elicited the name Jason Russell of Merrickville (269-4116), a professional turner and artisan. Jason accepted the challenge. The results proved spectacular!

Jason had made such a bowl out of a single piece of black walnut wood - with an historic story! In the early nineties, a friend had accepted a contract to remove an immense (over 4 foot diameter) black walnut, probably over two hundred years old, from Canada's Parliament Hill in the nation's capital. Older than Confederation by a long shot, this tree was probably just establishing itself when the Mr Wright was just settling in. Maybe these very same settlers in fact planted it!

By the time Colonel By brought the Rideau Canal in the area, the tree had likely been producing nuts for several decades. A survey of Parliament Hill and its immediate surroundings reveals at least a half dozen Black Walnuts well established on the hill sides, likely a legacy of the old giant.

Karen's bowl was made from one of the very few pieces of wood scavenged from the bole before the rest was turned into firewood!

"It was love at first sight", Karen says, "and my mother also thinks it is beautiful - my whole family loves it!" Karen is now on the hunt for salad tongs to match the bowl. Jason says he still has a few bits of the wood from the same tree, and a carver friend in Saskatchewan who might be interested.

There is little doubt of the uniqueness of this bowl, and its prospects of becoming a cherished heirloom with an exciting past.

Going to the (Kars) Fair!

On mid-July Saturday 1998, Hank Jones, Vera Hrebacka, Genice and Len Collett, and Darryl and Jackie Abbinett all turned up at the ECSONG exhibit at the Kars Fair. Though just one day, the exhibit told a small cavalcade of visitor about the thrilling experience on nut producing in the Eastern Ontario region. With each passing year, it becomes easier to talk nuts to the public. People are really appreciating the wonder of trees in their world and specially the excitement of nut trees. Thanks to Fern Graham, ECSONG member and more importantly the organizer of the Kars Fair, for inviting us to be exhibitors - we are looking forward to returning new year.

Big nut crops in '98!

If you are a nut grower you undoubtedly have noticed that the crops are the Valley are large this year. Trees in towns seem to have more than rural trees, but this may be typical. Town climates tend to be warmer than rural climates, probably to the benefit of nut trees.

Recall that the growing season started early this year, by two to three weeks, so expect to be harvesting early. Given the largesse, plan to collect in quantity, specially black walnut and butternut. These nuts, properly processed, keep viable in the shell for several years, and may keep edible if not viable for many more years. Even if stored in attics (dry) or cool cellars (moister), they keep. In other words, there is no waste in making a large collection, as decay is unlikely.

Acorns are harder to store because of their thin shells. They can dry and die, but will remain edible. Some germinate in the fall as soon as they drop, so cannot be readily stored - though freezing may bring them to a halt. However, this may kill them. There are ways to store acorns.

If you plan to harvest larger quantities of black walnut, butternut or acorns, check with Cobjon Nutculture Services (Ottawa 828-5772 or email for information references, and/or hulling services.

Nut storage and nutlings for sale

With the G Howard Ferguson Forestry Station nursery now reopened under the jurisdiction of the new Oxford on Rideau municipality, nut growers can put the place to work to further nut culture hereabouts.

The nursery will be selling three kinds of nut trees seedlings (nutlings) next spring: red oak, black walnut and horsechestnut. Prices range from as low as $0.40 to $1.00 per seedling dependent on quantity. The nursery is located at 275 County Road 44, RR # 4, Kemptville, Ont K0G 1J0; phone 613-258-0110; fax 613-258-0207; 1-888-791-1103; email Hopefully in the future, the variety of nut trees will increase as demand increases. Note also that there are several commercial nurseries in the area now that offer seedlings in bulk - in competition with the Ferguson. Check with Hank Jones 613-828-5772 for a list of nurseries.

As this year 1998 will be a big harvest year for nuts in the eastern Ontario region, Hank has asked for storage space in the Ferguson's large chiller building. The building is a giant refrigerator which normally houses dormant seedlings and cuttings. Space set aside for nut producers would hold the nut harvest - which could be hundreds of hectaliters. Hank has offered to barter for the space by giving the nursery some of the nuts as seed for their propagation program. If you have always wanted to harvest more nuts but did not have storage, call Hank at the above number to make arrangements. This year will your best chance.

For more information on that matter, contact Hank Jones at Nutculture Services in Ottawa at the above number or email

The new Canada Nut Industry advances

The concept is a new nut industry cropping trees growing in all settings, not just in purpose nut groves, and offering a full range of products from all parts of the plants. The groundwork is being laid, and progress is rapid.

Several Nutcrafters Workshops have been held in Ottawa to date, and more are being planned. The workshops offer prospective producers a forum for new developments, and a tie into the special, modern marketing system being implemented by Nutculture Services, a division of Cobjon Enterprises Inc. of Ottawa. All are welcome.

Nutculture Services also now offers both planning and marketing services for nut tree growers, whether expert or novice, with trees already, or no trees yet, in town or out. If you are considering nut tree growing, and want professional advice, Nutculture Services will help you develop a long term plan that will assure the highest probability of success in the shortest possible time - no trial and error, no false starts. Nut trees grow well in town and out, so even city homeowners (as well as government and corporate landowners) can benefit from nut growing, not just ruralists.

Anyone harvesting nuts, nut trees, or any parts thereof, seeking to sell raw materials, or crafts and other products, can call on Nutculture Services to broker their wares to the world market place through it new commercial website. For a modest fee, the product will be presented on the website, which sells online using credit card, and the producer then ships directly to the buyer. In this way, the producer sells at retail prices worldwide, without having to wholesale - much more profitable! As well, plans are underway for a mobile market stall that will travel around the region.

Hulling Butternuts and Black Walnuts: Removing the husks from black walnut and butternuts as soon after harvesting as possible significantly improves flavour of the nut. More so for the black walnut than the butternut, a cleaned nut is tidier to crack. For a few nuts (say less than a bushel) here are various manual techniques, none of which are entirely free from staining. Remember that these two species produce a valuable stain from the husk, which stains hair and fingernails indelibly brown or yellow. Nutculture Services, through Alcon Welding in Nepean, offers a mechanical hulling service using the two machines developed by the two companies, in part with the help of the Eastern Ontario Model Forest. This service will prove valuable when harvest exceed a bushel. The machines can handle about ten bushels and hour. The cost, subject to change without notice, is about $5 per bushel of fresh nuts, which is about $10 to $15 per bushel of cleaned nuts. The service is now available.

The date for The Nutting Bee (see The Nuttery V.17, No. 1 for background) has been chosen: Monday, October 12, 1998, Canadian Thanksgiving. This date was suggested by Sandy Graham and Leanne Kane as a day that could attract the public, as it is a holiday. If you would like to be a part of the various demonstrations, please get in touch - details below.

A Pickling Bee - This past spring Vera Hrebacka, Ted and Isabelle Cormier, George Truscott and Hank Jones harvest almost two bushels of immature (green) black walnuts and butternuts for pickling. The nuts are in deep freeze awaiting the final plans for the pickling bee which could produce upwards of two hundred jars of pickles for market testing. Inspired by 'Murff' Lockett of Arnprior, the picklers now have seven different recipes gotten from several sources, including Murff, Bruce and Pat Wilson, The ECSONG cookbook and Genice and Len Collett. The pickling bee will be held at St John the Evangelist church kitchen on Elgin Street in Ottawa soon. Care to join in? See below for contact information.

Launching the new industry: With so many initiatives going, one tends to get lost, so a special launch dinner is being planned for participants this month. At this event, people can schmooze, and review the industry development 'road map' that will be presented. It is expected that key local politicos will also attend, making for 'photo opportunities' and better press coverage.

For more information, on any of the above, contact Hank Jones at Nutculture Services in Ottawa 828-5772 or email For Hulling Services, you could also contact Mark Jones at Alcon in Nepean at 723-9648 or email

Recipes from Cobjon's Nut Craft Night

This past Spring '98, Nutculture Services (Ottawa 828-5772) hosted a nut crafts workshop in Vera's Gift Gallery and Boutique in Ottawa (567-8472). Attendees were treated to Genice Collett's superb black walnut and butternut cuisine. Genice offered us the recipes, and The Nuttery is pleased to publish them for your enjoyment. Could a new nut cookbook be in the offing?

Black Walnut Caramel Squares

 3/' cup butter
 ¼ cup granulated sugar
 1¼ cups all purpose flour

Mix together in medium bowl. Press firmly into bottom of a 8-inch square baking pan. Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 20 minutes.

 ½ cup butter
 ½ cup brown sugar
 2 tablespoons corn syrup 
 ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
 1 cup chopped black walnuts

In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar syrup and condensed milk. Bring to boil over medium heat. Boil gently for 5 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid scorching. Remove from heat . Stir in black walnuts and pour over cooked base.

Topping: Melt ½ to ¾ cup chocolate chips in a saucepan over low heat or in microwave. Drizzle over top of filling. Chill. Cut into squares.

Butternut Butterscotch Squares

 ½ cup butter
 2 cups flour

Cream butter until soft and fluffy. Add 2 cups flour and mix thoroughly. Spread into 9x13 inch pan. Bake in 350°F oven for 15 minutes.

 4 large eggs
 ¼ cup flour
 ½ tsp. Baking powder
 1 tsp. Salt
 2 cups brown sugar
 ¾ cup shredded coconut
 1 cup chopped butternuts
 2 tsp. Vanilla

Beat eggs and ¼ cup flour, baking powder, salt, brown sugar, vanilla, coconut, and nuts. Mix and pour over baked crust. Bake in 350°F oven for 30 minutes. Cool thoroughly before cutting. Note: This recipe can be divided in half and baked in an 8x8 inch pan.

Black Walnut Carrot Cake

 2 cup sugar
 1 tsp. Cinnamon
 1½ cups cooking oil
 1 tsp vanilla
 4 eggs
 1 cup black walnuts (chopped)
 2 cup flour
 3 med. Carrots (finely grated)
 2 tsp. Baking powder

In a large mixing bowl combine sugar and oil, beat until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat mixture until fluffy. Add finely grated carrots and beat well. Combine flour, baking powder and cinnamon, add to sugar mixture a small amount at a time, beat well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix well. Add black walnuts and mix again. Pour mixture into a tube or bundt pan, bake at 350°F. for 60 minutes.

 ½ cup sugar
 ½ tsp Corn syrup
 ¼ cup sour milk
 ¼ tsp baking soda

Place ingredients in small saucepan and cook over medium heat until mixture foams. Pour over cake while cake is still warm.

Nutculture Services thanks Genice for her generosity preparing the treats and for providing the recipes for publication. For more information, contact Genice in Lanark at 259-2273.

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