Havenloft Tree Nursery

  

           What we do at Havenloft is Agro-forestry. Agro-forestry is the mixing of trees with other crops or livestock. This allows us to obtain multiple products from the same land, like timber and vegetables, or wheat and walnuts and fruits. Having more than one crop is referred to as a poly-culture, as opposed to a mono-culture,which is growing only one crop at a time and more apt to issues due to disease,environmental damage and issues with sustainability.

One of my favorite quotes is “The best time to plant a walnut was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” This is because some agro-forestry trees can be grown for the purpose of nuts/fruits and timber as a high quality wood/food product.

      The ability to have varieties of hazelnuts, edible chestnuts, black cherries and Niagara plums, works well with walnut orchards turning them into a fully diverse agro-forestry plantation. By specializing on nut trees and specific fruit trees, we enter into agriculture that has only existed in a small portion of central Ontario. As well certain berry bushes such as haskap, elderberry and black currant can easily be incorporated into an orchard.The operation at the moment is being run solely by one individual who has many years’ experience in the field of agro-forestry.

      Our vision is to develop an Agro-forestry system, using the long-term economic and environmental benefits of nut and fruit trees, and provide above average returns to those involved, while creating a new agricultural food and timber sector in Atlantic Canada.

Our mission is to provide long-term economic and environmental value through sustainable agro-forestry practices.

      Black walnut trees can be grown for the purpose of Veneer or timber as a high quality wood product. With 300 black walnuts cross planted on average per acre, yearly care is essential in bringing this type of an orchard to its full potential. Veneer/high grade timber is far more rare in a wild stand, or a stand left alone after initial planting. Upon maturity, these trees can range from $500-1000 (non-veneer timber) or even up to $5000 veneer quality per tree.
        There are many other benefits of growing black walnuts on PEI. Black walnuts are one of the top ten carbon sink trees, with studies from the US department of energy showing one tree alone can take over a ton of Co2 out of the atmosphere after 25 years. This is something we sorely need now more than ever with talk on climate change being so prominent. We could Reforest unused farm land and reduce our dependency on the American walnut industry for timber and nuts. Plus there is no real need for yearly replanting, watershed concerns or harmful pesticides, as these orchards can be grown organically with the right practices.

     As of end of 2020, Havenloft has planted more than five thousand trees in varieties from black walnuts to edible chestnuts and hazelnuts, black cherries and more in the three years we have been operating for. These have mostly been for private individuals, looking to promote sustainable practices and to harvest their own tree and berry crops. Our orchard clientele has ranged from Doctors, farmers, Taiwanese immigrants to public figures. We have had multiple government agencies at the provincial level assist us, from entrepreneur programs at skills PEI to Department of Agriculture programs such as Future farmer. We also have received much assistance from Phil Ferraro at the Farm center and the PEI woodlot owners Assc.

      We had great success selling retail at Jewels since 2019, selling both black walnuts and hazelnuts. As well as smaller retail clients with less open planting areas, and we will be increasing our species list every year!

    We also ship orchards in a box; one such went to a farm in southern Nova Scotia, which turned out far better than we could have hoped, with several more being shipped in 2021.

     We've had  success with cloning older PEI cultivar agro-forestry trees, once these trees are grown enough we will be selling them to the general public in Havenloft's own PEI cultivar line.

     We also facilitated in our first timber sale in 2019, as one of our clients had a black walnut tree damaged in Dorian. This client ended up getting $1,000 for the damaged tree, which would have been worth double or triple that, had it not been damaged and properly maintained. While this tree was slightly under 40 years old, we could grow trees relative to that size and quality in 20-25 years.  Our  owner is on the board of directors for the PEI Woodlots owners Assc. , and is actively involved with others in getting a Forestry Coop started on PEI called the Sustainable Forest Alliance.


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