“Northern Ontario does not possess any Class 1 soils [i.e. soils suitable for crop production], but does feature areas with Class 2 to 4 soils, which can support viable agricultural production if free of severe constraints.”
Here at Everdale Farm, squash works very well as a pioneer crop. We use it at the beginning of our crop rotation when we’re breaking new ground, such as old hay fields, or when we’re tackling fields with heavy weed pressure including twitchgrass (i.e. quackgrass) and other perennial weeds.
Most of the year Michael Nickels can be found at Seven Ravens Farm, which he runs with his wife Heidi Cowan and their two children, Abbie (13) and Quinn (2) on Salt Spring Island, BC. But each winter, Michael visits Kenya to supervise and help the tree nurseries and permaculture gardens he has established over the last seventeen years. This article is about the permaculture operation at Seven Ravens Farm, the Salgaa Community Education Project in Kenya, and the farmer who transforms lives and land through his skill with trees.