Category Archives: Eco-Sense Updates

(In)Frequent Flyer Points


Olive tree out front of the house has grown rapidly…partly due to a nitrogen fixing shrub called false indigo planted with it . Evergreen beauty!

Wow, what a week.  Everyone seems to be scrambling and settling in for what looks to be a long haul to get through this COVID-19 pandemic. So much going on right now locally and globally that’s it’s quite a bit to process.  It’s also a deep question to ponder – what will emerge on the other side of this virus.  My fear is that our civilization will simply pick up the pieces and carry on rebuilding the same broken system.  In all honesty, as horrible and gut wrenching as this pandemic is, the economic crisis created represents an incredible opportunity to reinvent everything that is broken in our culture.  We must focus on localizing everything we possibly can including:

Food

Housing

Manufacturing & supply chains

Health &  Education

Entertainment  & Recreation &  Sport

Economy

Hardy kiwis are just getting ready to push out a mass of leaves. Excellent shade on the west side of the house. Fire resistant, keep the house cool, abundant fall fruits, and beautiful!

Here on the home front we are working on projects around the homestead; preparing gardens, grafting, soil building, and finishing up paid work that can be completed with “Social Distancing”.  We are also organizing our new plant stock in the Nursery and reinventing how we will do farm gate sales…again.

Here’s the latest Nursery plans:

All nursery sales will be by appointment only AND we will offer a pick up and local delivery service via our old farm truck.  (Delivery is free with orders over $400), and if Gord get the trailer for the bike built… perhaps by e-bike.  Send an email to either ann@eco-sense.ca or gord@eco-sense.ca to set up your private appointment.  When you arrive at our farm, please park on the street, and we will help you with your order while maintaining 2 meter social distancing.

Fuzzy kiwi trellis (we have self fertile fuzzy kiwis in stock). Cinnamon Vine (Chinese Yam) in the orange tub. Grows heart shaped leaves all over trellis to help provide summer shade. Yummy potato like tubers.

NO CASH sales.  Only cheques and e-transfers from now on.

Red, black, and white currents getting ready for leaves. Early, tasty fruits.

We have LOTS of new plants in stock and lots more not listed on our plant inventory sheets.

LOWER prices:  We have lowered prices on many items to move them fast…we don’t want to water them all summer.  We also have no idea if our nursery will have to close at some point due to further emergency plans.

Here’s the plant list:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1j-GtX_ufCTWu8muXbCjqAYfc-cIP7WKl/view

SPECIAL 10% discount for everyone who has not flown in the last 2 years.  Please mention this NO-FLY discount to us when we are writing up your invoice.

Two (injured) thumbs up…

We continue to take time every day for gratitude for what is good.  Today I am grateful that this crisis has hit us in the spring.  What are you grateful for?

Let’s all get busy growing food and sharing seeds, starts, food, and skills with our community neighbours.  We can only get through this crisis together.

Stay healthy,

Ann and Gord

CHANGES to our Spring Nursery Season


Gord grafting onto our oldest plum tree.

Two important changes impacting our spring nursery season:

  1. To do our part with social distancing to “Flatten the Curve” of the spread of COVID-19, our spring nursery season will be BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.  
  2. No cash payments.  We will only accept payment for trees in the form of personal cheques or e-transfers.

Given the short notice, we will be in our nursery on Sunday March 22nd from 10am -2pm, but please make an appointment if possible so that we only have 1 customer at a time.  Following this Sunday, there will be no more regular weekend nursery hours. We can make other appointments for any time as we rarely are going out.

Spring broccoli shoots

Emails:  ann@eco-sense.ca      or     gord@eco-sense.ca

Updated plant list: CLICK HERE

This is an excellent time of year to start a garden and grow some food. It’s also an excellent project to keep us all busy, healthy, and sane.

Our newest trellis of Logan berries and thornless blackberries

I am busy preparing my annual gardens for more planting and Gord and I are planting more perennial fruit trees, nuts trees, berries, and perennial veggies.  Just yesterday we planted 2 elderberries in our lower garden.  Last week we planted two more walnuts, 2 more chestnuts, and some fast growing honey locust and black locust for shade and beauty.  We are planning to grow food for us and create abundance in our neighbourhood.  Let’s all grow and share food.

Take care everyone,

Ann and Gord

Protecting our dandelion greens from the bunnies

Gallery

FLATTEN the CURVE and Perennial Veggies

This gallery contains 4 photos.


First off, these two topics have NOTHING to do with each other. COVID-19 – “FLATTEN THE CURVE” Basically, this means to slow down the outbreak and delay the number of cases so that the health care system is not overwhelmed … Continue reading

Nursery Hours, Challenges, and Carbon Budgets


The Good News: the nursery schedule is sorted out for the spring season… sort of.

Details: We will be open Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-2pm starting this weekend and then the following weekends…EXCEPT we are closed on Saturday March 21st and Sunday April 26th.
Private Appointments:  Feel free to make private appointments for purchasing plants.  emails: ann at eco-sense.ca  or gord at eco-sense.ca

Small autumn olive plants. Nitrogen fixing AND berry producing. YUMMY

Inventory List with Prices (all prices include GST):  Please check this list or send us an email to ask if we have the plants you are looking for.  Every week we will be adding new plants to inventory. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1j-GtX_ufCTWu8muXbCjqAYfc-cIP7WKl/view

The Bad News:  Our inventory list is smaller than normal due to supply issues. It’s getting harder to source plants, seeds, and cuttings.  There are a number of reasons for this including increasing demand (scarcity), crop failures, and shortages of cheap labour.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It has been a wild year in the propagation business.  It started when we placed our order  from our supplier in Oregon 2 months early and then learned in September 70% could not be filled – not enough staff, and less each year.  Then Gord, who volunteers for the BC Fruit Testers Association (he’s the president of the BCFTA) found out the stautus of the 6000 rootstock order placed a year in advance – and there were dramatic shortages in the industry.  A few weeks ago in discussions with a local agricultural supplier in the region, we found that their seed orders (the same orders they place year after year) could not be filled as the supplier had sold out to a big box store.  To add to this, just this week in discussion with one of the largest nursery wholesalers in the US, they explained that their seed order for their propagation was non-existant because of crop failures the previous year.

Oca tubers now available. In a few weeks we will have little OCA plants for sale.

Added to this news was the changes at CFIA that have pretty much shut down the import of scionwood for grafting out of the specialty suppliers who have been able to supply certified wood for years.   So, all that almond rootstock we had on order has been cancelled because there is no box to tick despite the supplier of choice who works with the University of Kentucky to inspect, fumigate and provide the Phytosanitary certificates required.  I must say that though CFIA plays an important role, their newest processes are killing specialty propagators.

The Good News:  We are focussing on more of what we can start from seed, propagate from cuttings, or graft.  But with root stock in poor supply even this is difficult.

A few Ozette potatoes for sale

Gord’s work with the wild growing Myrobalan plum-cross rootstock is doing well,  and we really appreciate our hard working co-workers (the birds) for starting so many rootstocks.   But the question is now, how can we get them to plant more?   Perhaps last years visits by the local bear will sprout new surprises.

The Heartnut Walnuts are very large

Ann doing her impression of a tree-hugger – kissing our Heartnut Walnut trees

Some inventory Highlights:  NUT TREES (walnuts, chestnuts, yellowhorn, hazelnuts), perennial vegetables, tubers (oca, ozette, ground nut), large red current bushes, 1 very large lemon tree, 1 large olive tree, FRUIT TREES (apple, plum, pear, fig, etc), BERRIES.

Living Fences can be grown that fix nitrogen, attract pollinators, build soil carbon, and are beautiful.  We have the fast growing beautiful Black locust and honey locust for this purpose.

Carbon Budgets:  We recently gave a presentation to our community on Carbon Budgets…What it means and What we can do.  Here is the link to a PDF of the slides…sorry the animation doesn’t work in this format. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Btphdg7GrIt_gIczZKcI53Kz_u7Z-rbl/view Notes on this presentation:   1. DOH refers to the District of Highlands.  2. the pie charts for individual GHGs are not complete as they only have a few sources and omit items like home energy use or stuff like clothing…which of course is all part of our live presentation.  (comments like naked and freezing in the dark).

Ann chairing the council meeting in Highlands historic schoolhouse.

Ann was acting Mayor and chaired a council meeting a few days ago.  Kind of fun after I got over the initial fear.  Gord said I did well, but he’s probably bias.  Part of my role was to give the First Nations Territorial Acknowledgment. Gord and I wrote it together.

“I would like to acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional territories of the SENĆOŦEN, Malchosen, Lkwungen, and T’Sou-ke speaking peoples.

For 1000’s of years, First Nation Peoples have WORKED TOGETHER to steward the lands for the WELL-BEING of all LIFE and SPIRIT. Settlers have lived here for less than 200 years.

May we have the WISDOM to learn from them, and hold GRATITUDE and AWE for this place we call Highlands – “the land of the deer”.

Language is a reflection of our culture. I would challenge everyone here to refer to the plants, animals, rocks, water, and soil, as the LAND rather than the PROPERTY. This would be a good first step.”

And finally, a few links:

 

Nuts and Links


Walnuts are beautiful trees.

LOCAL FOOD:  As the climate crisis heats up, local food is becoming more and more urgent.  We must support local food in every way we can.

  • Buy local and support local farmers
  • Grow more food in your yard or on your farm.
  • Get involved with community gardens
  • Host local food potlucks
  • Talk about farmers markets, your garden, community gardens, seasonal recipes, food preservation, etc with everyone. Become an annoying but lovable local foodie.
  • Plant perennial food (nuts, fruits, berries) and encourage your community and local farms to do the same.

Bumper crop of hazelnuts

Fresh harvest of winter veggies even in Jan.

Here at Eco-Sense we are gearing up for the Spring Season.  We have invested in lots more nuts this year including chestnuts and walnuts and Gord is busy grafting almonds, layering hazelnuts, and other surprises.  Here’s our current list of nuts.  Please contact gord@eco-sense for nut enquiries and private appointments.

Spicy fermented mixed veggies…OMG!

The nursery will be opening sometime in March, so sign up here on our blog or find us on facebook to keep unto date.

Fascinating, inspiring, and entertaining links for these dark rainy days:

  • Greta Thunberg’s latest speech at Davos for the World Economic Forum.  Worth watching.
  • Just. Have. A. Think. (JHAT)  Well done videos explaining a wide variety of topics.  These two short videos on Regenerative Agriculture are excellent. Climate mitigation, Biology, Food. Here’s part 1.  
  • This next podcast was amazing. If you like thinking deeply about everything simultaneously, this is for you. From local to global, this conversation weaves ecology, finance, energy, climate, collapse, time lines, sociology, anthropology, psychology, technology, resilience, inequality, ethics, and yes, even beer into a very logical take on where humanity is, possible future scenarios, and what to do about it. https://www.ecoshock.org/2020/01/nate-hagens-the-collision.html?fbclid=IwAR2uxX0_TGgdictdFSiQUylIkJ4oCcWCzTJoWxghkfYN6X45Ko7c7l_Wh04
  • As a follow up to our last blog post on carbon budgets, here is our short powerpoint presentation for Highlands council.
  • Beautiful podcast from Emergence Magazine.  All about soil, and life, and civilization, glyphosate, and climate, and pretty much everything. Half essay, half poetry. Wow, just wow.  Dwelling on Earth.
  • Another fantastic podcast from Emergence Magazine. This one on culture…specifically the overlap between fermentation and culture. Beautiful story telling weaving in a personal story of a Copenhagen restaurant (apparently the worlds BEST), on seasonal local food, foraging, survival, wilderness, food security, the climate crisis, the future of food, and back to fermentation. Wow. Fermenting Culture
  • Even the World Economic Forum is getting the climate crisis. Top 5 risks are all about climate:
    1. Extreme weather events with major damage to property, infrastructure and loss of human life.
    2. Failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation by governments and businesses.
    3. Human-made environmental damage and disasters, including environmental crime, such as oil spills and radioactive contamination.
    4. Major biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse with irreversible consequences for the environment, resulting in severely depleted resources for humankind as well as industries.
    5. Major natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and geomagnetic storms.
  • ONE BILLION DEAD ANIMALS IN AUSTRALIA…  For those suffering from climate grief as I am,  here’s a helpful article. Love is the Answer

Take care,

Ann and Gord (and Nina)