Redesigning Local Food to Better Satisfy Local Needs
Redesigning LOCAL FOOD
- to better satisfy local needs!
Creating New Regionally Adapted Genetics(RAGS)
to meet your local food requirements - Ken Taylor
FPS(Food Production Score) – measures how well a country’s farmers are
satisfying the food requirements of its own citizens and is measured by
how much imported food/citizen/yr is needed above what is exported.
In Canada our Gov and Ag system encourages farmers to produce food
for export(corn,soya, wheat, canola,pork, cheese,etc) and the billions of
dollars spent on imported food is ignored or considered impossible to
grow by Canadian farmers.
Until a decade ago our food production sold abroad(exports) was greater
than the food we imported – now Canada imports more food than it
exports---a $40 Billion deficit!
Farmers need to wake up and start growing food Canadian consumers
want to eat. Example: Grapes - import $700M fresh + $800M dry/wet so
this one product can knock $1.5B of off our import food bill. Crazy!
Fruit – nuts – berries – veggies
1950 – 90% made in CANADA
2013 – 10% made in CANADA
2020... 5% ?????
NEEDS GROWING FORWARD:
1) need farmers to learn how to grow what is being imported
2) need “made in CANADA” genetics for our farmers to plant
3) need new genetics for grapes/apples/pears/quince/cherry
and many other fruit, nuts, berries, veggies.
4) need “export” farmers smart enough to switch crops???
must PRESERVE the PAST
by mixing older genetics
while FEEDING the FUTURE!
with new SEEDS of change(RAGS)
LOCAL vs CORPORATE
Private landowners – YOU must
learn how to create local food genetics
Regionally Adapted Genetics
Genetics Riches? !
then maybe RAGS to
If Monsanto is allowed to control the
genetics of YOUR food supply – then
expect more genetically engineered
food in future. Regionally adapted
genetics (RAGS) are not funded here
in Canada !
O’CANADA – GMO free?
Give out seeds
*see ACRES USA- Dec 2013 “Rogue Science” by Dr. Judy Carmen
-JC sees GMO’s causing major human health problems:
1) GMO’s toxicity can cause kidney distress by overtaxing its cleansing function.
2) Pig studies show GMO’s cause ovary distress and thus reproductive problems
3) Study showed GMO’s caused pig’s intestinal wall to turn red/swollen - an allergic
response resulting in severe gut inflammation(Crones, Diverticulitis,Celiacs)
4) Cancer initiation likely from GMO food and GMO farm fields( Nico, RUp, Aor)
5) GMO bad molecular structure = gluten intolerance,like HDL(good) vs LDL (bad)
Taylor-made RAGS - no GMO’s
1) start with open-pollinated seeds --- ---------------NO controlled crosses or engineered genetics!
2) select for higher nutrient density food--- -------instead of higher volume food
3) select for superior taste ------------------------- ------before cosmetic factors like colour, size and shape!
4) select rainbow of deep colours as indicator of higher/healthier antioxidant content ------less white!
5) select maximum diversity so better adapted to climate extremes in cold/drought/rain/wind
6) select for pest and disease resitance so better adapted to organic agriculture and permaculture.
7) select for better storage capability ---NOT better shipability (like those « tennis ball » tomatoes)
8) select for better shade tolerance for food forests,permaculture guilds and other shaded locations
9) select for higher valued genetics to get higher $$ yields/acre - Grapes($40,000/acre) vs Corn($400/a)
Finally RAGS can be selected to meet specific local needs(resiliency): URBAN TORONTO?
- maybe select for ethnic preferences – Toronto’s Asian community loves persimmons
- maybe better root genetics capable of absorbing/assimilating soil nutrients in poor urban soil
- maybe Nitrogen-fixing plant genetics to replenish fertilizer in deficient urban soils
- maybe plant genetics that can ripen crop to perfection in shade of tall urban building
some traits that needed improvement
RAGS used to make improved crops
Bartlett pear genetics get fireblight , go mushy and
cannot take cold below -25C but have great flavour
found pear genetics that resist fireblight , store for
months, take -40 C and great flavour – Northbrite, TAP
Concord grape has large seeds, sour skin, late
ripening but great flavour cooked in pies/jam/etc
found grapes that are seedless, very cold hardy, early
to ripen and great flavour – Earliblue, Mars, Kiwi
MacIntosh apple is a tasty, cold hardy Ontario native
but has scab problems and poor storage.
found genetics that keep Mac taste but have scab
resistance and better storage – SuperMac, NovaMac
Mt Royal blue plum dies young from black knot disease
mix genes of apricot or sand cherry into plum and get
black knot resistance - Taylor Plumcot,Kappa Chum
but is sweet and delicious
Bing sweet cherries are not hardy, tricky to pollinate,
attract birds, great fresh but make terrible cherry pie.
Butternuts are getting chancre disease, are hard to
crack but have great flavour and Canadian hardiness
Lets look at the better genetic
selections we have grown over
past 30 yrs at our GB Farm
many better cherry genetics found such as Black
Duke, Cupid, Cornelian, Nanking and Tehranivee
mix in genes of juglans cordiformis to get disease
resistance , easy cracking, and retain flavour -Buartnut
Higher Nutrient - means the food has more of anything needed by human
body for optimum health..vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre, etc
Higher Density - means more quantity(m) of nutrients in a lower quantity of
food(D=m/vol)…eat more nutrients(m) instead of more calories(v)
Higher Nutrient Density Food
Blueberries/almonds/sprouted 12 seeds
Nutrients in Pawpaw = total banana+apple+mango
Select maximum diversity
-better adaptability to climate change
- handles weather extremes in cold,
heat, drought, rain, UV, wind, etc
Berry genetic characteristics we aim for:
Berry good to eat - superior taste
Fruit has storage capability
Fruit is quick to pick by hand ($$/hr)
Plant is hardy in zone 5 and colder
Plant is adaptable to poor growing conditions
Select best for disease /insect resistance
Easy culture – “plant and pick”
3 seedless grape colours
Somerset, Earliblue, Mars, Magenta, Redliance, Polar Green, etc
Year round imports supply 100% of $600M/yr Canadians spend on grapes
Canadian farm vineyards produce wine grapes but no eating grapes
Grape import prices are high ……$4/lb
Easy to grow only if you select right genetics
Overproduction can be processed: raisins, juice, jam, pies, vinegar- another $900M/yr
Grape expectations: 10lbs/vine X $4/lb X 1000 vines/ac X 100 acres = $4,000,000/yr
Need lots of Canadian grapes to meet present demand – lets get planting!
Wine farms are “hot fad ” but eating grapes make much more sense for future farmers.
25 yr old tree-no care!
TAKE -40 C temps
High Quality protein
Best Carbon Sequestering tree
Taste like butternut
Better adapted to climate change.
STORES for over 12 months
$6 per pound retail
100 lbs/treeX200 trees/ac
10ac = $1.2 million/year
So Easy to Crack!
No pests- no disease!
- Looks like an apple tastes like a pear
- $3/lb x150 lbs/tree x 200 trees/acre
1 acre corn =
1 acre TAP = $90,000
STORES for 12 months
100% China import now
Exotic category means
no commodity competion
Took 5 years to acclimatize genetics
No disease or pests
STORES 12 months as flavour gets better and better-- tropical notes!
Asians and Italians love this fruit
Seeds from our GB farm crop
Taylor Gold Plumcot grown from seed
Never gets BLACKNOT DISEASE that kills most plums
BLACK DUKE Cherry---birds can’t pull
off cherry to swallow fruit!
CORNELIAN FROSTY cherry
-birds choke on oblong pit and then
leave fruit alone as they are used to
round seeds in cherries
Tehranivee Sweet Cherry
Select plants with better root systems
capable of absorbing/assimilating soil
Select as many Nitrogen-fixing fruit
trees as possible…free fertilizer!
Fixes Nitrogen and thrives in poor urban soil
Happily Growing 50 ft tall
35 yr old walnuts
Talking to each other
Baby Banana for free
How to propagate(1:15-4:15)
FROM OPEN POLLINATED SEEDS
FROM MOTHER TREE BUDWOOD
”Discovery” apple seeds
Love this Mother tree
Propagating from seed in fruit..........SEEDLING
Propagating a piece of tree branch.....CUTTING
Propagating by joining scion to root.......GRAFT
Propagating by joining bud to stem..BUDDING
Propagating in science lab.......TISSUE CULTURE
Propagating by bending branch to soil....LAYER
Propagating with a piece of root......ROOTING
Propagating with a leaf pad.......Pear Cactus!
WHY PROPAGATE SEEDLINGS?
Easy- to stratify seed but timing is critical. Nov
outdoors or Feb indoors and 60-90d cold damp
Diversity - of traits expressed(every seedling
different) so YOU can select for winter
hardiness, superior fruit, disease resistance or
any other local adaptability requirement you
decide is important.
Cost Effective - trees from seed( seedlings) are
cheap - BUT superior “made in Canada”
fruit/nut/berry seeds are very hard to find!
Ownership - all OP seedling fruit varieties are
“owned” by you so corporate interests cannot
interfere – DO NOT grow GMO seedlings !
Resilient - seedling trees grow more vigorously and
show more resistance to cold/wind/etc than
grafted trees with fragile callus tissue
Rootstocks - they make great rootstocks for
grafting superior Mother trees onto.
KRISTINA’S SEEDLING APPLE PIE
Cherry apple seed is the only malus that
comes “true to seed” so every seedling
tree is identical----a rarity in fruit world!
Seedlings grow well in all kinds of soils even heavy wet clay
Takes -40C cold ....that’s Ag Canada Zone 1
Trunk bark resists rodent damage in winter
Gives a Dwarf fruit tree for cold climates
Can be used as rootstock for grafting onto
Gives high nutrient dense food for humans
Fruit hangs on tree all winter for wildlife
Great shelterbelt for permaculture farm
maybe Cherry apple?
Uses actively growing tree (rootstock) of 3/8” calibre or more
Uses fresh new bud from favourite fruiting mother tree
Inserts cambium of bud into cambium of rootstock tree
“ T – bud” is most common method of joining the two cambiums
Stabilizing the “bud insert” is done with budding rubber elastic
Bud dehydration is prevented by tightly wrapping the bud with
the budding rubber
Callusing of cambiums of bud and rootstock occurs quickly in Aug
Successful bud grafts should be well callused within 2-3 weeks
Uses bare root dormant tree of 1/4”- 3/8” calibre as rootstock
Uses 10 -15 cm dormant scion of favourite Mother tree branch
Attaches cambium of scion with cambium of rootstock tree
Whip & Tongue is most common way to join the two cambiums
Taylor method is simplification of whip and tongue ....no tongue!
Proper cuts are crucial and will be demonstrated
The cambium joint or graft is stabilized with tape
Dehydration of graft is prevented with grafting wax or Parafilm
Callusing of cambiums requires warmth
Successful grafts should shoot scion buds in 2-3 weeks.
What are they?
-Plant section taken from branch or root that are used to develop a new plants
-Two methods used:
1) Hardwood cuttings: uses dormant plant material ( in winter hibernation)
2) Softwood: uses actively growing plant material ( done during summer)
How to initiate rooting in cuttings?
- hardwood cuttings done with bottom heat( 25 C) in cold environment( 5 C)
- softwood cuttings done with mist chamber with high humidity/temps( 25 C)
- softwood cuttings are not stable so must be used quickly after cutting
- medium for rooting of cuttings must be very porous to prevent disease (rot)
These self–rooted trees have no graft
union to worry about!
POLAR GREEN SEEDLESS GRAPES
A) An al crops such as corn, soya, wheat, veggies, canola, etc?
B) Beastie crops such as milk, meat, eggs, etc?
C) Continual crops such as fruit, nuts, berries, crosnes, etc?
Canadian Organic –our organic consumer dollar increasingly spent
on imported organic... local now becoming more important to consumer!
Permaculture – concepts OK... but Canadian content(genetics) poor!
Freedom Farming– reduce farm work(inputs) and go for walk in the
woods( food forest). Let nature decide the genetic choices..what lives/what dies!
Transform growing methods by:
Selecting/breeding “new” varieties adapted to Canadian climatic extremes
Switching high intervention crops(organic apples) to more ”hands –off” crops(apple pears)
Changing from row cropping to “guild” cropping to better capture “sun fuel”
Custom design your own food trees to handle your local conditions - “tailor-made”
Focus on $$ return/acre instead of crop yields/acre
Started first CSA in Mtl area - 300 customers in 1980’s – ran for 6 years
Planted 3000 tree traditional Apple orchard in 1980’s…..
Built and ran “on-farm organic market” in converted cow barn – 25 yrs
Started own breeding programs – “rebirthed” the famous Montreal melon
Selected regional adapted seeds for 100’s of garden growing
Tree crop breeding/selecting became main focus in 90’s and this led to
an incredible new tree crop diversity never grown before in Canada
Cut down monoculture orchard in 2000 and started building guilds with
this new genetic diversity
Nick(son) did black current research at OACC and this inspired him to
return and help me bring our farm research trials to fruition so as to
benefit future generations of young farmers.
Toughest transformation now – how old farmer Ken will phase himself out!
Easy to maintain
125 lbs per tree
200 trees per acre
$50,000 per acre
These are shade loving vines with fragrant
Vigorous vines are great for covering
fences, walls or trellis.
Northern kiwi are very hardy(Z2)
Fruit has smooth skin and are much
sweeter and less acid than the commercial
Only female kiwi give fruit but need male
kiwi close by for pollination.
Great for climbing trees and adaptable to
100 lbs per tree
250 trees per acre
$50,000 per acre
Some are black knot resistant
“Potato on a tree” = tree chestnut
Better carb than rice/bread/pasta..no annual
New blight resistant chestnuts = profit potential
Thrives in sandy “potato soils” even acidic ones
Easily stored for extended year-round sales(freeze)
Our hazels are a mix of wild Canadian
hazels crossed with larger European
filberts to give offspring that are very cold
hardy (Z3), early maturing, disease
resistant and produces large, high quality
nuts in three years.
These small, multi-stemmed trees (3m)
have beautiful dense foliage.
The nuts which have a higher nutritional
value than acorns and beechnuts are also
loved by all kinds of wildlife
Liked by deer and people
Produces late in the season
Can hold fruit until winter sets in
Blueberries are an easy sell and are very productive
Perfect for northern climates
Attractive hardy (Z2) bush (1M) with
very early yellow flowers (April)
Tolerates shade very well and wind
Hanging blue fruit ripens in mid-June
earliest of all bush berries…even
Birds love them…must protect-netting
Disease and pest resistant.
Need two varieties for
Berry blue, blue belle , tundra,
Dense shrub beautiful silver leaves
Berries have pineapple-citrus flavour
Used to make health tonics, fruit syrups,
jams, chef “coulis”
Orange oil from the seeds is delicious ($$
Seaberries have higher ORAC (antioxidants) than blueberries.
Plants tolerate sandy soil, salt spray,
drought , extreme cold and no care
Roots improve soil fertility by fixing
Berries hold on branches all winter
retail $4.95 per pint
2 pounds per plant
1000 plants per acre
No suckers- easy culture
Sweet and delicious
Not as “seedy” as wild blacks
Good storage for berry
Easy/Quick to pick
Small, very cold hardy bush (1m / Z2)
with incredible crops of sweet acid
Researching thornless varieties
Researching larger fruit
Researching colour variants
Some gooseberry fruit stores well
Eat fresh or cooked in pies,
preserves, chutney, etc. …good value
Quick to pick but thorny
Sparkle is heritage variety with
sweet, dark-red, flavourful berry
Bounty is hardy, productive plant
with large sweet berries
Albion is tastiest, everbearing
variety. Large firm berries
Strawberries spread easily, great
for ground cover
Shade tolerant bush (1m / Z2)
Currants are full of nutrients (ORAC)
Wide range of flavours
Easy to process
Best pear for really cold northern
climates (Zone 2)
Matures very early
Delicious, sweet and juicy
A mix of cherry and plum, combining
the best characteristics of both.
Fruit are the shape of a cherry but
larger like a plum, varying in color
from red to dark purple.
Chum is very hardy (Z2) bush (2m)
Tolerate sandy poor soil, withstand
drought and usually bear fruit one
year after planting.
Masses of beautiful, fragrant flowers
cover bare branches in spring
Need two varieties for pollination.
Freedom: Jonagold X Golden Delicious. Tree is
disease resistant and immune to apple scab. Fruit
is large, yellow with red blush. Crisp, juicy flesh
has “old – heritage” apple taste. Stores as well
Yellow Transparent: Excellent for cooking,
sauces and pies. Earliest, disease resistant applelate July.
Gold Rush: A delicious late maturing apple.
Disease resistant. Store well. Hangs on tree.
Golden Russet: The champagne of old-time cider
apples. Used for cider, dried apples, fresh eating
and cooking. Excellent keeper. Ripens late
Liberty: juicy, red-blushed apple with aromatic,
old-fashioned apple taste.
Nova Spy, Novamac, Nova Easy Grow
Red Free, Williams Pride
Olympic, Bellemac, Eden, Reinette, etc
PURPLE PASSION - dark red flesh, purple skin
WONDER RED- red flesh, red skin
KEN’S RED – red flesh, red flowers, dwarf tree
PINK PEARL- red flesh, yellow skin
Selecting new red-flesh apples every year
RED DELICIOUS offspring ( not scab-free)
HONEYCRISP – latest “fad” variety
Gala like apples – Ambrosia, etc
Lobo, Cortland, McIntosh, Empire…NO!
Photo. ‘Dore’ apple
We import more than $400 million worth of
table grapes/yr +$400m raisins + $200m juice
We import 100% of many tree crops from China
such as Asian pears, Pine nuts, Goji, etc
Canada list no commercial growers of Asian
pears, Pine nuts, goji or even table grapes
There are no commercial growers of Heartnuts
In effect there are fewer and fewer tree crop
farmers in Canada than 25 yrs ago!
Would you put all your money in one stock or
You minimize crop loss (1 fruit can have a bad
year, 4 bad crops is unlikely)
Time your crops (spread them out over the
course of a season)
Make your sales target much easier to attain
(more diversity to the same outlet)
Easy to grow and maintain (plant and pick)
Easy to sell crop
Strawberries (mid June)
Mixed Raspberries (mid July)
Blueberries (early August)
Plums (mid August)
Euro pears (late August)
Grapes (early September)
Asian pears (late August-mid September)
Heartnut (end of September/October)
Food that stores…Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb- June
Plastic laid in fall for early spring planting
Black raspberries in plastic
Orchard Interventions by Ken Taylor 11:10am-12:10pm
Orchard interventions such as pesticide spraying, watering, fertilizing,
pruning and thinning will be discussed. Harvest timing, methods and
storage will be briefly covered as well.
Why STUN ORCHARDING led to GENETICS of FREEDOM FARMING ?
Stop controls...fate of your food forest
“set free”...let nature decide what
survives and what dies!
Contact local distributors/wholesalers/retailers
Go to local markets/grocery
Canadian produce marketing association
Contact the government
Food Value Chain Bureau/Bureau de la chaîne de valeur des aliments
Horticulture and Special Crops Division/Division de l'horticulture et des cultures spéciales
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada | Agriculture et Agroalimentaire Canada
1305 Baseline Road, Tower 5, 5th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1A 0C5
Telephone | Téléphone 613-773-0266
Facsimile | Télécopieur 613-773-0299
Teletypewriter | Téléimprimeur 613-759-7470
Government of Canada | Gouvernement du Canada
20 years without missing a crop
Berries picked from mid June to freeze up
Super sweet with no acidity – black juice!
Never needs spraying for anything
Wildlife are addicted to mulberries
Transitioning to a Diverse Orchard with Ken Taylor 9:00-10:00am
Join Ken Taylor of Green Barn Farm for an explanation on how he diversified the
farm into a more resilient fruit, nut, berry plantation to fit lifestyle expectations of
less inputs, less work and more profit. Whether contemplating a business venture or
more simply an adventure into
food sustainability, this workshop will offer inspiration.
WHAT did I learn from 50 years of farming TRIALS & TRIBULATIONS
All 3 are bush cherries (2m)
Very hardy (z3)
Eat fresh or process
Easy to protect from birds
Plant and pick cherry