PROGRAM CANCELED - Pruning only at 11am
Transitioning from an Orchard or Fruit Tree to a Food Forest
Saturday, March 28: 11-12 at Grace Episcopal Church
What’s On the Program?
11 AM-12 PM: Preliminary lesson to go over the basics of pruning, techniques, safety, and sanitation. Our teacher will prune a few trees as example, and then we will all try our hand at pruning.
Who’s Our Guest Teacher: Sam Resendes
My name is Samuel Resendes, and I was born and raised in Rochester, MA an old farming town in the heart of southeastern Mass. Upon growing to working age I started my first real job on an organic vegetable and herb farm in Rochester center, which began me down a path I am forever bound to. After graduating high school I took to the road to work on farms across the country, eventually returning to Massachusetts to briefly attend college for environmental studies, where I met my life partner. We set back out to travel, work, and observe, on organic farms across the U.S. in the pursuit of learning more about sustainable living, growing food, nutrition, natural building, and many more Permaculture practices. Now that I have two sons my passion for permaculture burns brighter then ever in the quest for a bright, hopeful, and abundant future. I continue to involve myself in permaculture projects, big and small across our wonderful state. Most notably a project on Cape Cod working with EVERSOURCE to plant food forests, pollinator corridors, and other sustainable initiatives under powerlines which there are over 3 million acres of on Cape Cod alone.
Food forests (or forest gardening) are a gardening or land management technique that create a space — usually in an urban environment — entirely devoted to growing edible plants. Fruit treats, nut trees, root crops, and more all grow in one place. And they are all available for free to the surrounding community. Because food forests are designed with ecology in mind (unlike most modern agricultural methods), they are naturally self-sustaining. They are literally active, full-fledged ecosystems in and of themselves. Because of this, they don’t require inputs or even much management. Once designed and planted, they grow on their own and produce a bounty of food every year. (Peter Schulte, Food Forests 101, medium.com/age-of-awareness/food-forests-101-an-answer-to-food-deserts-poverty-and-environmental-destruction-c054453686c4)
A fellow living near the church on Valley Road introduced the concept to us. He works at Planet Subaru in Hanover where he created a nature trail for the benefit of its team members, customers, and local residents. (the Ruby Trail) Planet Subaru also put up $11,000 to start a food forest near the trail, a self-sustaining edible garden based on woodland ecosystems that is an official site of the Boston Food Forest Coalition. In October, the company hired a contractor to plant nearly 50 persimmon, pear, peach, and apple trees, and dozens of blueberry, blackberry, and raspberry bushes. More trees and berry bushes are planned on the half-acre plot, along with kale, spinach, and other vegetables. (Boston Globe, July 2, 2019)
We will start slowly by preparing the soil using raw woodchips to layout around the trees and between the trees. So we need wood chips as well as cardboard to layout underneath. Perhaps we can plant some edible perennials by the Fall.
Tools to Bring to Class on March 28
Hand Pruner (1 per person)
Hand saw, thin blade if possible (1 per person)
“Loppers” (2 or 3 for the whole group)
Step Stools/ Ladders for those comfortable working in the air with hard to reach branches.