SONG News January 2012 no.93
In this Issue...

Lifetime Achievement Award

Ernie Grimo was honoured as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for the Niagara North Federation of Agriculture November 12, 2011.

This award is presented to those who have given freely of their time without expectation of compensation, profit or recognition to improve agriculture in Niagara while running a farm operation.

Ernie was recognized for his research, dedication and passion for the development of a commercial nut industry in Ontario and beyond.

They noted his commitment to S.O.N.G in it's establishment and in our ongoing activities. They presented a slideshow of his life dedicated to his love for growing nut trees of superior quality, and accolades for his new book.

Joining Ernie at the award ceremony was his wife Bernice, daughters Linda and Cheryl, 4 grandchildren, brother Dave, and sisters Rose and Lucy.

Congratulations Ernie!

Ernie Grimo received the Award from President of Niagara North Federation of Agriculture, Albert Witteveen

Nuts keep Heart Disease at Bay

Just 1 ounce of mixed nuts a day can help keep heart disease at bay. Another reason to do yourself and your health a favour and go nuts!

Four major studies published in the British Journal of Nutrition reported that overall, coronary heart disease risk was 37% lower among people who ate four or more servings of nuts weekly. These conclusions led the US Food and Drug Administration to issue a qualified health claim in 2003, stating that people who ate 1.5 ounces of specific nuts (e.g., almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts) could reduce their risk of coronary heart disease. Nuts are rich in a myriad of nutrients, according to the National Institutes of Health. These include vitamin E and minerals such as selenium, magnesium, copper and potassium. Furthermore, they contain omega-3 fatty acids, which a growing body of research suggests can benefit the heart and other systems of the body.

Now, scientists have found a link between eating nuts and higher levels of serotonin. Serotonin is a substance that helps transmit icrve signals and decreases feelings of hunger, makes people feel happier and improves heart health. It's of particular value for obese :ople, who often have a metabolic syndrome.

This report appears in American Chemical Society Journal of Proteome Research, "Benefits of nut consumption for people with abdominal obesity, high blood sugar, high blood pressure".
...Contributed by John Sankey

Minutes of Fall Meeting

Date: Saturday October 1, 2011; 1 - 4 pm
Host: Olga and Nathan Crocker
Location: 272 North Talbot Road, Maidstone
Attendees: 25 participants came and went during the event

Demonstration: Engineering students from the University of Windsor have designed and built a prototype of a semi-automated heartnut cracker, which was demonstrated by Nathan Crocker. Heartnuts are extremely difficult to open as they need to be cracked right along the suture line. Manual cracking involves holding the heartnut against a hard surface and striking the suture line with a hammer. This is time consuming and will not be commercially viable. With the prototype heartnut cracker, there are some modifications required before full scale production.

Treasurer's Report: Presented by Ernie Grimo.
$2000 / year to Simcoe hazelnut trials
$5000 to prototype of heartnut semi-automated nut cracker
Balance - $5267.46
Seconded by Ron Quevillon

Presentation: Paul Bailey from OMAFRA presented a summary of how Regulation 119/11 (Produce, Honey and Maple Products) may affect nut growers. This regulation provides guidance on food safety, grading, packaging, labelling and advertising of fruit and vegetables, honey and maple products. The regulation took effect on July 1, 2011 and by July 1, 2013 the nut and edible fungi packers must comply with origin markings.

Todd Leuty from OMAFRA mentioned the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention is scheduled for February 22 and 23, 2012 in Niagara Falls. They are scheduling a half day on tree nuts and are hoping to attract speakers from Rutgers University and Michigan State University (e.g., Dr. Dennis Fulbright).

Dr. Robert Nurse at Harrow (AAFC) is offering to start a nut plantation for herbicide registration (both organic and conventional).

Michael Snyder from Green Sun Rising Inc. discussed the 10 kilowatt solar system that they recently installed on the roof of the Crocker nut processing facility. Most installations receive a 30 - 40% return on investment over 20 years, http://www.greensunrising.com/index.htm

The Bank of Montreal, Toronto Dominion Agricultural Trust and Farm Credit are willing to loan farmers money for investments.

Roxana Roshon from Sustainable Food Systems, a Project of the London Training Centre, mentioned that she is working on a research project funded by the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities (MTCU). The MTCU is funding research to determine how agriculture and sustainable food will unfold in the next decade, and the new career and education possibilities.

Ernie Grimo gave a summary of the successes and challenges encountered by Grimo Nut Nursery for this season. The Persian walnut crop was down due to walnut blight. There was a good heartnut and chestnut harvest. Bee hives were added to the Grimo Nut Nursery this year. The chestnuts need to be sized:
Extra large: above 1.2 inch for $4.50/lb
Large: 1.2 inch or larger for $4/lb
Medium: 1.0 - 1.1 inch for $3.50/lb
Small: 0.9 - 1.0 inch for $2.50/lb http://www.grimonut.com/
David Hernandez mentioned that he has marketed his small chestnuts as the sweeter ones and has found that successful.

Other questions and answers:

Olga, and her son Nathan, Crocker, gave a tour of their nut plantation. They have planted four hundred new hazelnuts, grafted heartnuts, English walnuts and pecans in their 21 acre nut plantation. They have started trial harvesting for their own use. They are in the middle of building the nut processing facility, but are struggling with the building permits as their regulators are not sure if the structure is a farm, commercial or industrial building.
Minutes submitted by Roxana Roshon
Many thanks to Roxana for taking care of the minutes. It is appreciated...Ed.

Nut Tree Projects
William R. Watt

Of 56 seedlings planted in 2004 on Nepean Creek some died and were replaced from seed. Surviving were 20 walnuts, 12 burr oak, 9 Red Oak, and 1 butternut for a total of 43 that survive. The butternut produced nuts for the first time.

Of the 24 English oak seedlings planted in 2010 and 2011, 19 survive in good condition with 4 doubtful. About half of these are now protected with chicken wire.

Of the 10 Bebb's oak seedlings planted in 2011 9 survived. The 10th disappeared the day after it was planted. These are all protected with hardware cloth or chicken wire.

One white oak and 33 walnuts struggle to survive on the embankment of the Hunt Club Road Bridge over the Rideau River.

There was lots of sun, lots of rain, & little nourishment.

Of the seeds planted randomly since 2004 there are 35 walnuts surviving.

Of 13 English oak planted in my back yard as reserves in 2010, 3 survived the winter and were replaced, leaving 11 to survive the summer. Of 13 Bebb's oak seedlings planted in 2011 12 survived the summer.

More acorns were gathered at the Arboretum in 2010, packed in dirt over the winter, and sprouted in spring 2011. These were transplanted to Nepean Creek. The English oak replaced dead seedlings from the 2010 planting, with 4 additions. Red oaks were planted but due to poor access were not properly cared for and most died or were eaten by wildlife.

Seedlings were watered and weeded several times over the summer. Wire cages were installed. Trees planted in 2004, along the path for shade, had lower limbs pruned. Buckthorn, ash, and Manitoba maple were .lined back where they were crowding the seedlings or had fallen onto the seedlings.

I attended some planning meetings for Gilbey Park with the Skyline Community Association because I had planted so many tree seeds in the park which is mostly natural growth. Only four walnuts grew from all the seeds, they are the only walnuts in the park.

Of Interest

Please check out the following link. It is Eating Niagara's story on Charles Rhora who is a 40 year plus nut grower, nurseryman, and member of SONG.
http://www.eatingniagara.com/2011/10/niagara-farm-heroes-and-agvocates.html

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