The Nuttery : Volume 7 Number 2 April 1988

In this Issue...

The 1988 Baxter Nut Grove Field Day will be held Saturday, May 7th starting about 9:30 AM. Come for some or all of the day. Bring your shovel, loppers and lunch. Get hands-on horticultural experience under the guidance of the Chapter's most experienced growers. For more information, see the Nuttery article, or call George Joiner, Fil Park or Alec Jones.

The 1988 South Nation Plantation Field Day will be held on Saturday, May 14th starting about 9:30 AM. Bring shovels, rakes, gloves, lunch etc. and spend all or part of the day learning site preparation for new plantings and other horticultural skills from Chapter experts. For more information, see the Nuttery article, or call Irene Woolford in Winchester.

A Nut Growers Manual for Eastern Ontario

Mark Schaefer, the editor for this manual, is pushing ahead quickly and enthusiastically to compile all the wisdom he can find about nut growing in our region.

He is tackling the problem on several fronts simultaneously. The Chapter's unique Inventree file, which now lists some 70 to 100 sites where interesting nut trees are already growing in eastern Ontario, is being analysed for Class 1 sites. One of our professional members, Peter Janas, developed a special five-level classification scheme for eastern Ontario nut tree sites, which rated the potential quality of seed and progeny that could be gotten from the site. Class 1 sites produce the best. Mark now has identified a number of potential Class 1 sites from both Inventree and from newly found sites not yet documented in Inventree. This work will prove invaluable for the growers manual because it could make large amounts of highest quality seed and stock widely available to individual members and to the Chapter for its community plantings and scientific development work. The Inventree file will be expanded and much better documented as a result. Mark is looking for all the best sites of any species of nuts. If you know any potential sites, tell Mark as soon as possible, preferably by phone to save time. If you are not sure what species might qualify, consult the following proposed Table of Contents for the Manual for the list of species it will cover.

Mark is also studying the Chapter's growing collection of scientific and technical information on nut culture that is contained in our Technical Library. There are some 100 articles already in the library. The library is in the care of Alec Jones, who is helping sort out the information for the manual. A bibliography of the library was published in the Nuttery. If you have any material not listed there, please pass a copy to Alec as soon as possible.

In order to organize the incoming information so as to speed up its compilation, Mark has prepared a draft Table of Contents for the manual. Please read the table carefully, so as to see what kinds of information are wanted. Pay close attention to the species that have been selected for full treatment in the manual: these are the species for which your personal experiences are solicited. Call Mark to let him know that you have information, and he will help you to submit it.

Mark can be reached at 27 McKitrick Dr., Kanata ON K2L 2J7; 836-3703.

George Joiner's Diary on the Baxter Nut Grove

Monday April 11th, up at 6 AM, the prospect of a beautiful day, light clouds, the sun struggling to break through, very cool. Picked up Fil Park at 7 AM, enjoyed the motor trip along the Rideau, turning out to be a perfect day. Arrived at the Baxter Nut Grove 8 AM. Within minutes, Alex Jones joined us. Fil and Alec made a thorough appraisal of the nut grove, noting conditions of the trees, their comments to follow. Picked up my loppers at the Rideau Conservation area. Apparently last fall after working at the grove, I had left them in the field. Later learned that Cliff Craig or one of his men found them and brought them back to their workplace, a little rusted but still serviceable. Before starting my work on the clearing of the brush, north side, I took a good look at the grove and noted how beautiful our area was, with the vivid green of the perimeter cedars and how sturdy and healthy our large trees appeared.

We do need help to make our nut grove a show place. Please note the date of our 1988 Field Day, May 7th, Saturday, starting as early as possible. Bring along Gloves, pointed shovels, loppers, rakes and lunches. Note the map that gives directions to the nut grove.

The 1988 Baxter Spring Field Program:

  1. Small trees - need tender loving care, cultivation
  2. Large trees:
  3. Specifics:
  4. Perimeter clearing:
  5. New or replacement trees:

Irene Woolford updates the South Nation Plantation

Well, the skiddoos have taken out one row of pines along the river bank, but luckily the tall weeds have kept them out of the rest of the plantation. Five foot high stalks of wild parsnip and thistles have discouraged the winter fun-seekers from destroying the lot. So neglect has served it well!

On Wednesday, 30th March, on a fine clear day, Mark Schaefer and I looked over the situation to try and find the trees. Many of the little pines had been pushed over by the weight of the dead grasses and needed help, but the majority are fine and the survival rate is very high. Where the parsnips shaded the pines, there is not grass - a benefit I would think.

In the black walnut area the tree guards were in place and there was no apparent damage from rabbit or rodents. Perhaps a visiting Snowy Owl in the neighbourhood helped. The three year walnuts are up to 30" tall and there are still seeds germinating in the rows and these are about 8" tall. Probably 50 need to be transplanted. I have written to the South Nation Conservation Authority to ask for their help on our 1988 Plantation Field Day and to tell them of our plans.

On our 1988 Plantation Field Day May 14th I expect to see you all out with your shovels sharpened up, your bug repellent, lunch and suntan oil. If it rains, we will try for the following weekend, as Dundas clay is impossible to work when wet. Note that the facilities at the plantation are primitive. Call me, Irene Woolford, at Winchester 774-3385 to RSVP or for more information or directions.

Dealing with Wild Parsnip

The South Nation site is populated with a plant called the cow parsnip which can grow 2-3 m tall. This plant will be removed before tree planting begins. Special precautions are necessary because the plant is toxic and causes photodermatitis, a severe reaction on skin exposed to the plant and strong sunlight simultaneously. The toxin, furanocoumarin, can cause painful blistering and browning in the presence of long-wave ultraviolet light. Do not allow the plant to contact skin during handling. Wear gloves, long sleeves and trousers. On the plus side, the cow parsnip is an edible plant. The young shoots in April and May, while only half unfurled, can be used in several cooked dishes and for beer. The tubers, collected well before the late spring flowering, or in the fall well after flowering, are also edible. The shoots and tubers should be peeled and boiled in several waters. The dried seeds ground can be used as seasoning. The flavour is reported to be strong. The plant is in the family Apiaceae or Umbelliferae and is related to poison hemlock and water hemlock, which it resembles. There are several edible species of the parsnip, including Heracleum lanatum, H. maximum, H sphondylium and H. mattegazzianum.

References: Middleton, Ray. "Eating Out" in Outdoor Canada 16(3):68 (1988); Szczawinski, A.F. & Tumer, N.J. Wild Green Vegetables of Canada: Edible Wild Plants of Canada no.4. National Museum of Natural Sciences, 1980.

CBC Radio Noon's Annual Gardening Week

The Chapter has been invited to participate in the special show on Friday May 6th between 12 and 2 PM on CBO Radio as part of this special week. This annual show gives the various gardening groups in the area an opportunity to meet the public in person and on the air to explain their activities and how to get in touch.

Bob Scally and Alec Jones will be looking after our booth on the Freiman Mall in the Rideau Center. The booth will show Fil and George's excellent poster on how the Baxter Nut Grove is tended, exhibit nut samples, our cookbook and this issue of the Nuttery. The Chapter's brochure and membership application will be handed out.

Bill Kehoe will be interviewing each booth live on the extended edition of Radio Noon's gardening program. Listen in! Write your reactions to the Nuttery editor. Make a point of stopping by our booth if you are downtown during the day. Call Alec or Bob for more information.

Professional Contacts

In his travels, Marcel Boulet meets many interesting people. Recently, he met a man named Ted Jozwiak who is with Ottawa City Parks, possibly a foreman. Ted's number is 564-1944. We should get in touch with him, as we do not presently have any official contact with Ottawa arborists. Also, Marcel notes that he has met Maurice Michaud and Philip Scantland of Hull's environmental department. We should also contact them for the same reason. They are with the Forêt Privé unit, and can be reached at 770-3487. Their address is suite 7-340, 170 Hotel de Ville, Hull J8X 4C2.

There are undoubtedly other professionals in the region that our Chapter should be in touch with. If, like Marcel, you meet such people in your travels, please get their names and phone numbers, and let the Nuttery and the Chapter executive know.

Diane's Black Walnut Sauce

Diane Fraser and family, major contributors to the Chapter's cookbook, Recipes in a Nutshell, have done it again! Diane recently gave us a sample of the black walnut chocolate sauce she told us about in the last issue of the Nuttery. If all goes well, this will be available for member testing at the Baxter Field Day on May 7th, and the South Nation Plantation Field Day on May 14th. This tasting is another reason you should show up for these two very important days in the Chapter's annual program.

Thanks from all of us, Diane, and please keep the goodies coming as long as you can!

Doug Campbell offers congratulations

Doug is the editor of SONG, the newsletter of our parent organization. He writes to offer his congratulations to the Chapter on its tenth birthday. He commends us for our continuing high level of activity judging by the number of busy projects we have underway. He wishes us 10 more years of successes... Thanks, Doug, for your kind thoughts from all of us in the Ottawa Chapter!

Removing Walnut Husks

The Nuttery recently received a letter from Fred Von Althen, who you will recall was the speaker at this year's Annual General Meeting, about using a cement mixer to clean black walnuts. He tells of placing about one bushel of seed into the mixer, along with several large rocks each about the size of two or three fists, and fill the mixer ¾ full of water. Let it run for about a half hour. The nuts come out clean and undamaged. Thanks, Fred, for the tip!

Fred also invites members of the Chapter to visit his research plantations near Parkhill and Highway 81 about 50 km north of London during the month of July. If you think you might go and wish Fred to give you a guided tour, please contact him as soon as possible through his office in Sault Ste.Marie: his address there is Great Lakes Forestry Center, P.O.Box 490, Sault Ste.Marie ON P6A 5M7; (705)949-9461.

Also in his letter, Fred expressed his pleasure at having the chance to speak to the Chapter, which he feels has an exceptional appreciation of reforestation and management of hardwoods. Speaking for the membership, I believe I can assure Fred that everyone feels his presentation was the best we have ever had, and hopes that we all can keep in touch as nut growing blossoms in eastern Ontario.

Bob Scally reports on his pecans

Bob planted out a number of pecans that he is sure came from Georgia. Lo and behold, ten of them sprouted. He has offered three to be planted at the Baxter Nut Grove. If you have had similar success with any species on the List of 77 that might grow in eastern Ontario, consider donating some to the Chapter's planting efforts.

Coordinating the Chapter Seed Exchanges

One of the main raison d'être for having an Ottawa Chapter of SONG is to make as wide a variety of nut seed and stock available to members. Generally, we have attempted this by trying to hold seed and stock exchanges at every Chapter meeting. The idea is that the best local sources for acclimatized material would be from the possible surplus that members might have of particular species.

Lately, the exchanges have been few and far between. This is not because material is not available, but mostly because we do not have anyone to take on the job of coordinating and publicising the exchanges. The job entails first canvassing members for what they might be prepared to trade and/or to get. This information would then be compiled, summarized and published in the Nuttery for example. The coordination would arrange for seed and stock exchanges to take place routinely at every Chapter meeting.

The Chapter needs a Seed & Stock Exchange Coordinator.

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