WELLESLEY ISLAND, N.Y. — A guided tour of an “Edible Forest Garden” will be offered on Saturday, July 28 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Cross Island Farms, a diversified organic farm located on Wellesley Island, near Alexandria Bay, NY.
The Local Living Venture is coordinating this event showcasing how the farm works with natural systems to create an “edible landscape” that attendees can then incorporate into their own yards and gardens.
Host farmer Dani Baker will share how she planned and planted several hundred varieties of edible perennial plants in an accessible arrangement that is both pleasing to the eye and to the palate.
Baker will share information about northern hardy edible trees, bushes and perennial plants that can be planted by anyone to create a lush edible landscape right outside their door.
Any gardener can create their own “food forest” by planting low maintenance, sustainable foods in woodland ecosystems, incorporating fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and perennial vegetables which have yields directly useful to the family growing them, as well as to wildlife.
With the use of “companion planting” techniques, the landscape grows in a succession of layers to build a woodland habitat that produces food and other useful products, always with an eye to building excellent soil composition and, most importantly, while minimizing labor and other inputs. This means less work for the gardener, since weeds aren’t in good conditions to thrive, or they can be considered for their food value.
Participants will get a glimpse into the planning and design of a low maintenance food-producing landscape and explore using perennials in a setting where permaculture principles, such as plant pairings for regenerative growth and ease of care, are highlighted.
Participants can also pick and taste in-season edibles and will go home with a potted perennial plant to begin or add to their own edible gardenscape.
The host for this event, Dani Baker, is a former psychologist who retired in 2006 to operate Cross Island Farms, a diversified organic farm, with partner David Belding. Over the years they have added heritage breed pastured pigs, chickens, meat goats, beef cattle, ducks and turkeys.
The farm has a small-scale on-grid wind turbine and solar array to supply electric power for the farm and home, and they offer farmer-guided educational organic farm tours and on-farm primitive camping.
There is a suggested donation for the afternoon tour of $22 per adult, $40 for a couple, or $12 for students, and carpooling options from St. Lawrence County are available through the Local Living Venture when signing up.
Attendance is limited to 20 persons and more details, including directions, will be sent to all who reserve a spot by contacting LocalLivingVenture@gmail.com or calling (315) 347-4223 with their phone number(s), email address, and the number in the party to receive an email confirmation.
The recipient of this benefit tour is the Local Living Venture (LLV), a small community organization that strives to create a more capable and healthy community by sharing practical knowledge and skills with people in the St. Lawrence River Valley and western Adirondack region.
–Local Living Venture
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