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Early Spring Adventures

Welcome to our new garden journal where we will be regularly sending out newsletters and posting on our site that will contain our new plans, projects, and plants. We hope it's a way to stay connected with some garden experience and the exciting adventures of Plant Path Nursery! We will also be updating everyone on upcoming events, whether it be volunteering or classes.

Plant Path is beginning to turn up to high gear as we approach grafting season. If you are looking to learn some grafting techniques come volunteer while the grafting is on! We are implementing new techniques with our apples, pears, and hickory grafting. Mainly trying to keep our grafted trees in a more temperature controlled climate, so the callus tissue can heal more consistently. Some different grafting styles will be used like whip and tongue, along with a new tool that helps us get a clean cut without fear of cutting one’s self.

We will be having a permaculture course taught by Eric Joseph Lewis. Over the course of an entire growing season, we will meet the second weekend of each month (April, May, June, August, October and November) for a total of 12 six hour sessions on Saturdays & Sundays. Every day will include some lecture, and lots of time touring and working in the garden. Each weekend we will be visiting a variety of different permaculture sites in the area to better understand how permaculture principles can be applied to any situation. Upon completion of the course, students will receive a Permaculture Design Certificate and the foundational skills to begin practicing permaculture anywhere in the world. There has never been a better time to attend this course… It has been said “the best time to plant a tree is fifty years ago. The second best time is right now.” Come join us as we plant more trees!

We also began and are nearly complete with our very own Jean Pain compost heating system. It is a large compost that is able to create so much heat in its core that we are planning to heat our greenhouse with it. Beginning with layering our nitrogen rich material with our carbon. Then laid some 5” corrugated tubing running the bottom of the pile and both open ends into the greenhouse, this is now pumping hot air out into the greenhouse and oxygen into the bottom of the pile. We then began coiling some orchid tubing (for water) throughout the pile after a couple layers more tubing, more carbon/nitrogen then more tubing etc. Until we run both ends of the orchid tubing back into the greenhouse to be dispersed throughout our beds to pump water through the compost piles and into our beds to heat up the soil.

Lots of our bare root trees were transplanted from our air pruning into ground beds waiting for spring (for shipping or waking up). Our burr oaks had an amazing web of a bright-almost neon-yellow mycelium, words nor photos do the mycelium enough justice. Last year it seems our chestnut beds were an all you can eat buffet for the rodents. This year we are covering up our air pruning beds to protect the nuts. We just set up 3 raised beds filled with sand for cutting propagation as it is an excellent medium for roots to begin growing in. We are also implementing a heating wire under the sand to keep the medium warm, in order to stimulate root growth.

The bees of Plant Path were sporadically lively and then dormant as the weather was sporadic, one of the lids of the hives was blown off in some high winds making sure we knew they needed extra protection hence the ratchet strap. Spice Bushes imminent flowering reminds me that it is an amazing nectar source late winter/early spring for the bees! Some of the more tenacious plants like our maples, hazelnuts, and willows are beginning to flower. Amazing to see the cross pollination amongst our American hazelnuts that will result in this year's crop. Most of the plants refuse to flower both male and female flowers at the same time to ensure a sexually diverse offspring (important when planting for crops genetically diverse plantings are a must with fruits/nuts). After some tree work some sugar maple branches with flowers got cut and kept their flowers for weeks in the shade.

left to right: Jean Pain compost heating, sand bed with heating cable, winters glory willow flowers

left to right: Bees of Plant Path, male catkins of hazelnuts, elderberry's first leaves

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