Shasta was yearning for another visit to the country so off to the countryside we went this Friday passed. Tooley's Trees is a perfect venue for such an excursion into country living at its best. Wild smells and dogs to connect with make a visit here the best time for Shasta. Chatting with Gordon Tooley is always a wonderful experience for the human members of Shasta's pack.
Of course, we could not return to 6790' MuRefuge without purchasing more shrubs to add to our developing food garden/orchard in our backyard. I was so excited to see the healthy looking thornless blackberry plants there as I sorely missed eating fresh blackberries this season! We tailgated with a lovely picnic brought from home. It just so happened we parked right nearby these vibrant feeling plants, so I just had to add to our previous online order of two elderberry shrubs. The two elderberry shrubs found their way into the back of our Prius as well as two of the thornless blackberry plants, both described below.
We finished up our picnic lunch with eating several kinds of apples, including Orange Cox Pippin which we had in our MuRefuge orchard, picked directly from Tooley's Trees "holistic orchard" which is based on the practices of Michael Phillips. Delish! On our very first visit to Tooley's Trees, Gordon showed me the book, The Holistic Orchard: Tree Fruits and Berries the Biological Way by Michael Phillips which I bought. I am so looking forward to attending the annual Winter workshop by Michael at Tooley's Trees to further my knowledge of soil regeneration!
Look at our brokenness.
We know that in all creation
Only the human family
Has strayed from the Sacred Way.
We know that we are the ones
Who are divided
And we are the ones
Who must come back together
To walk in the Sacred Way.
Teach us love, compassion, and honor
That we may heal the earth
And heal each other.
While I was living at MuRefuge in rural residential West Sonoma County the foundation for my experience with and practice of soil regeneration began with
employing at MuRefuge Permaculture sheet mulching gleaned from Introduction to Permaculture by Bill Mollison, one of the two "founders" of Permaculture, with Reny Mia Slay. Also, a local man, Robert Kourik, touted mulching in his book Designing and Maintaining Your Edible Landscape Naturally. Some years later I met the Kaisers who own Singing Frogs Farm in Sebastopol. Paul is a self identified "geek" so he has a vast data base in his head about the research around "feeding the soil," and he furthered my growing knowledge and experience with soil regeneration. Attending the very first Soil Not Oil conference four years ago connected me with what is occurring globally in the soil regeneration movement. So now I am very excited to delve even deeper into this realm with Michael Phillips this Winter.
Sambucus canadensis 'Nova'
Zones 3-9. Open-pollinated seedling of Adams. Large, sweet fruit. Good for wine, pie and jelly. Hardy, productive, 6-8 ft. bush. Pollinate with York. Ripens evenly and slightly earlier than York, during August. Originated in Nova Scotia. Introduced in 1959.
Sambucus canadensis 'York'
Zones 4-8. Juicy, sweet, purplish black fruit. Largest berries of any cultivated elderberry. Larger than Adams or Nova. Excellent source of vitamin C. Good for pie, jam, jelly, juice and wine. Hardy, vigorous, highly productive, 6-8 ft. bush. Lovely fall foliage. Large, creamy white flowers in early summer. Pollinate with Nova. Should be planted 7-8 ft. apart. Can bear fruit in second year. Last to ripen. Hardy to about -30 degrees F. Developed at the New York State AES, 1964.
Blackberry Prime Ark® Freedom
Zones 6-9. Released from Dr. John Clark and University of Arkansas primocane breeding program. For floricane fruiting, it ripens fairly early and has very large fruits, with excellent flavor. Freedom is a great choice for local commercial distribution and home gardens. It is not recommended for the shipping market. Prime Ark® Freedom requires "tipping" to achieve the highest yields and performance. Fall-bearing or primocane blackberries respond favorably to tipping. As the primocanes reach 12-15” in height, break or cut ¾-1” off the tip of each cane to force branching. Tip again when branches reach 30”. This process stimulates earlier fruit development, keeps plant height in check, and increases yield.
We finished up our fabulous outing with a hardy belly