Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Great Canadian Adventures - House of Targ

Maple Grove Productions presents:

Great Canadian Adventures - House of TARG



This time around, we're heading to Ottawa, Ontario to check out House of Targ, a retro arcade featuring a wide range of arcade games, pinball games and their token perogies. It's great fun for the whole family and there are even live bands at night for the grown-ups.

House of Targ Website:
http://www.houseoftarg.com/

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Friday, March 1, 2019

Great Canadian Adventures - Countryside Adventures

Maple Grove Productions is very proud to present a brand new series entitled Great Canadian Adventures.



In this series, I want to take a closer look at the many people, places and things that define us as Canadians. There are so many amazing historic locations around here and inspiring stories to hear from the people in our community that are often overlooked, so it makes sense to me to start local here in Eastern Ontario and then expand out from there. Everything we’re about to cover in these episodes has an important place in our heritage, and they deserve their chance to shine and be appreciated.

In our adventures, we’ll visit various hiking trails, wildlife reserves, sanctuaries, conservation areas, ghost towns, farms, homesteads and much, much more.

Today we're visiting Countryside Adventures in Moose Creek, Ontario. This attraction features beautifully manicured skating trails, hiking and cross-country skiing trails, hot beverages, maple treats, crazy carpet sledding and a small petting zoo. Based on the sign, we think they also do fishing too we're but not sure. Check out their website and facebook page below for more information. I highly recommend it!

Countryside Adventures Website

Countryside Adventures Facebook Page

Thank you for good times, Donna and family! :) We wish you much success and we will certainly return in years to come.

Don't forget to show your support by liking, commenting, subscribing and hitting that bell icon to stay up to date on everything that's going on at Maple Grove Farm.

Great Canadian Adventures - Maple Syrup

Maple Grove Productions is very proud to present a brand new series entitled Great Canadian Adventures.


In this series, I want to take a closer look at the many people, places and things that define us as Canadians. There are so many amazing historic locations around here and inspiring stories to hear from the people in our community that are often overlooked, so it makes sense to me to start local here in Eastern Ontario and then expand out from there. Everything we’re about to cover in these episodes has an important place in our heritage, and they deserve their chance to shine and be appreciated.

In our adventures, we’ll visit various hiking trails, wildlife reserves, sanctuaries, conservation areas, ghost towns, farms, homesteads and much, much more. That said, let’s now take the first step in our series of journeys together.

And what better place to start than right here at home, at Maple Grove Farm, with one of the major  staples of the Canadian diet, pure, organic, artisanal maple syrup.

Don't forget to show your support by liking, commenting, subscribing and hitting that bell icon to stay up to date on everything that's going on at Maple Grove Farm. We also have a new VLOG series starting at the end of February so stay tuned for that.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM MAPLE GROVE PRODUCTIONS!!

A virtual Christmas card... Happy Holidays, folks! From our family to yours, here is a gift we made just for you. It was inspired by one of our favorite movies: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Hope you enjoy! 🙂🎄👪 Much love, Matt Leger & Family

Bare Root FRUIT/NUT TREE Tips & Tricks

Maple Grove Productions presents:

Tips & Tricks fro Planting FRUIT and NUT TREES + Best Practices

I know I keep going on and on about the Hardy Fruit Tree Nursery but hear me out! This is a great company for so many reasons. Not only are they local and really know their stuff, but they also genuinely care about their customers. They want you to succeed when you buy their trees! Imagine that. They don't just send you trees and expect you to implicitly know what you're doing. There's none of that "Here are your trees. Good luck with that, buddy!" kind of nonsense.

For example, they include their business card and a well-detailed planting guide with each order. This seemingly small gesture was very much appreciated as a green homesteader. When I saw those, I felt like I at least had a game plan to get me through the process and, if all else failed and I got stuck, I could easily contact them for support. With the guide in hand, combined with additional research I had done before, the whole process went pretty smoothly, as I'm sure is fairly evident in our "Homesteading for Beginners" video series.

I scanned a copy of their business card and planting guide for your consideration. See below. The guide contains a lot of really helpful information that I wanted to share with my readers. It really helped me understand what I was doing and build confidence as I was planting my first trees.
The Hardy Fruit Tree Nursery business card (front/back).


A complimentary Planting Guide provided by Hardy Fruit Tree Nursery that comes with your order. (front)


The Planting Guide included with your tree order is well-detailed and helpful. (back)
I will continue to provide resources as I come across them. Through these blog posts and videos, I hope to demonstrate to other newbies out there that getting started with homesteading begins with that first simple step to something regenerative and wholesome. If I help you intermediate to advanced level pros out there a things or two then all the better! Please send them back my way when you see something I could improve upon or you think could be done differently.

Many thanks for reading!

Keep Dreaming BIG and Dreaming Often, my friends! :)


KOREAN PINE Tree Planting & Winterizing

Learn how to plant and winterize Korean Pine trees.

Korean Pine trees, also known as PINUS KORAIENSIS, are a relatively easy tree to plant. If you order them in the mail, they will likely come in a dirt ball that has been pre-inoculated with mycorrhizal fungi. As with other young trees, you want to get them in the ground ASAP. This variety of tree is a bit different though. You DO NOT need to soak them. Doing so will almost surely kill them as they are easily stressed and shocked during transplantation. This is why they come in a ball of their native soil.

An important thing to note with Korean Pines is that they won't grow much for the first 3-7 years but when they do, they blow up! Hence, location is key with these guys. Don't expect to get any nuts for the first 10-20 years. They really do take that long to mature. This tree is an investment in a long term gain.

On the positive side though, they grow very well in all kinds of soil, even poor soil or highly acidic soil and they are quite shade-tolerant. What it lacks in rapid production, it makes up for in longevity, hardiness and sheer size. In its native habitat and with ideal growing condition, it's not uncommon for these trees to grow to heights of 30 m or higher!

All in all, the Korean Pine is a fine addition to any permaculture farm or homestead.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Planting & Winterizing Bare Root NUT TREES

Here's my handy dandy guide on the basics of planting bare root nut trees!

First off, I'll mention that there's not a lot of added information here for those that have been following the series so far. But for the sake of new potential readers and viewers, I'll go ahead and cover some of the stuff I talked about in my other posts, in addition to a few new golden nuggets. 

In the end (spoiler alert!), you should start to see that planting a bare root nut tree is not unlike planting a bare root fruit tree. But don't make a rookie mistake like I did though and go on talking about your tree's "graft point" if there is none lol.

PRO TIP: Hazelbert bare root nut trees from Hardy Fruit Tree Nursery are NOT grafted.
Planting bare root nut trees is simple, highly beneficial and fun! :)

As always, we're talking about BEST PRACTICES on these posts and in the videos. From talking to the people on the forums and the people I've known over the years, they all say the same thing: "I want to learn new tips and tricks but they have to be easy to understand and concise and the whole thing has to be under 5 minutes!" So they want it all, basically 🤣 And who doesn't, right? I want the same thing when I'm watching videos and reading blogs, so that's why I've made it a point to do just that for my own audience. For the most part, I've succeeded in trimming down and any lengthier videos coming up were meant to squeeze in some of the last fall footage of 2018. Filler? No, no, it's bonus material! 😉

The first few steps are the same as planting fruit trees (Dig, remove obstructions, add optionals, place tree, refill, etc.)

To begin, we basically just proceeded the same way as we did with the fruit trees. If you missed that the first time, I suggest watching the first couple videos of the "Homesteading for Beginners" series which covers preparation steps, the actual planting of bare root fruit and nut trees like we're doing here and also some helpful winterizing precautions that you can take to help your trees survive the harshness of winter.





In addition to the tips in the videos, my previous blog posts also contain useful information with regards to doing things correctly when it comes to planting bare root fruit trees. So take a look at the posts from previous months and years in the archive as we go!


Some basic considerations when planting your bare root nut trees:

  • As I mentioned before, nut trees are not generally grafted, or at least not the particular nut trees that I was planting. My trees are an uncommon variety known as a hazelbert (a cross between a hazelnut and a filbert). I'm still relatively new to working with regenerative agriculture so at worst, this is all extremely valuable experience. That said, I'm not sure if it's possible to graft a nut tree the same as you would a fruit tree. I'll have to look that one up or cross that bridge when I get to it.
    Good soil with good draining and JUST the right amount of water.
  • The location is so crucial! Had I considered that more from the beginning, I would have made minor changes to the sites I chose. No matter though. You'll never find the perfect spot. The aim should be instead of find the most suitable spot for the tree that you are planting. In my case, the hazelberts seemed to fit well scattered a bit around our well and mixed in with the lilac bush. For you it may be something completely different. Do your best to give the trees what they need and take a chance! You have to leave a little room for luck and experimentation.
    Optionals are optional because YOU decide. Are you more of a purist or a utilitarian?
  • Consider soil quality and content before going any further. Then when you think you have it all figured out, consider it again. I've often second guessed myself on this topic and found that I was glad I did. Taking a chance with rocky/clay soil is not something you want to do if you can avoid it. There are easy measures to take to avoid planting into this type of soil, like building up a mound instead of digging down, for example.
    Using wood chips made of REAL forest debris is key! To get a good microbial/fungal diversity, your mulch has to have material of all shapes and sizes like different sizes chips, twigs, sticks and leaves.
  • Make sure all those roots are buried! At first it may appear that you got them all but sometimes there are little stragglers that are still exposed to the environment. This may not necessarily kill your trees, but you want to give them every fighting chance possible when they first go in the ground. This is theoretically their FOREVER home! So try to make it nice and comfy for them. Trees have feelings too! :)
Give those trees the best possible chance at survival the first couple years!
  • Take into account how big the nut tree or bush will become. It may not grow much for the first few years and then BAM! It blows up! So be ready for that in case it happens. The last thing you want to do is cut down your carefully pruned and tended tree because you didn't account for its size at maturity.
Easy peasy hazelberty :P
  • On that note, keep up with the pruning if you don't want it to get out of control. Decide how and when you will prune it for optimal results. Of course, this will all depend on your specific trees and their unique environment. If you're not planning to prune at all then just let your trees do their thing from the get-go and watch in amazement as they transform before your very eyes over the years.
The Leaves
The Nut
The Tree
There are so many more things you can do to prepare, protect and winterize your trees. A lot of the factors depend on your particular environment and the hardiness of your trees. Then there's the level of involvement that you want to put in which may have a huge impact on the development of the plant. And that's not considering other unpredictable factors like infestation, disease, floods/drought and/or acts of god. You can only be so prepared, but on the other hand it's still a great idea to have some contingency plans in mind.