Artemisia’s Forest Garden Nursery is a nursery located near London, Ontario, Canada.
Our mission is to share a growing variety of edible, medicinal, and useful trees, shrubs, vines, and plants, especially suited for Forest Gardens in southwestern Ontario.
About Forest Gardening
Forest Gardening is a low-maintenance sustainable plant-based food production and agroforestry system based on woodland ecosystems, incorporating fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and perennial vegetables which have yields directly useful to humans. Making use of companion planting, these can be intermixed to grow in a succession of layers, to build a woodland habitat. More from Wikipedia.
We see forest gardening as one of humanity’s greatest prospects for establishing a flourishing future, by providing for our most important needs, where and when we need them.
For more information on Forest Gardening in Southwestern Ontario:
Training at the Living Centre
The most important book on Forest Gardening for Northeastern North America is the two volume Edible Forest Gardens by Dave Jacke and Eric Toensmeier. Martin Crawford’s books are also an excellent introduction to the field, though more focused on the climate of the UK. Gaia’s Garden, by Toby Hemenway is also a great introductory volume, though a bit more suited to Western North American growing conditions.
Small, Local, Regenerative
Artemisia’s Forest Garden Nursery is intentionally small in scale, and local. By staying small, we can have a much smaller carbon footprint. By extensively using methods from permaculture and forest gardening, and encouraging others to do the same, we show our devotion to caring for the earth and its people.
Different and Unique
Most plants are grown using no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, and provided bare-root on two pick-up dates – one in May and one in October. Customers pre-order online, and we dig the plants just before the pick-up day. This method has a number of advantages.
1. Though not certified organic, our practices are ‘beyond organic’, and based on permaculture and forest gardening principles. We never use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, prefer polycultures and diversity of planting, and are constantly experimenting ways to grow and replicate plants while also regenerating the earth.
2. By digging plants directly from the earth shortly before pick-up, we know they are healthy, and have been living in natural conditions. Many experienced gardeners will be familiar with the long-standing tradition of dividing perennials to spread and share them, and trees are commonly transplanted bare-root when dormant. Plant tops are pruned to match the size of the healthy roots below the surface to reduce overall stress on the plant. We give you large plants, and sometimes throw in extras to make sure you get great value. A big bonus one of our customers pointed out is that in addition to the plants themselves, because our plants are not grown in sterile growth mediums, you also get other bonus organisms such as soil biota and fungi that already have relationships with the roots of the plants you receive.
3. Use of potting soil ingredients such as peat, perlite, vermiculite (all quickly diminishing resources on our planet) are drastically reduced. Plastic pots are used only for very sensitive (or imported) plants, and reused and reusable plastic bags are currently used on pick-up days.
4. On pick-up days, plants are dormant, or moving towards dormancy – the ideal time to transplant.
Import and Resale of Plants
Some useful plants for forest gardens are just starting to come into Southwestern Ontario. Examples include grafted varieties of Pawpaw (a native tree with amazing fruit), Hardy Kiwi (similar to grapes in growth and fruit size), and grafted varieties of Cornelian Cherry (a European native in the dogwood family).
As we begin to propagate these plants to share using the methods outlined above, we are also importing some in the spring for resale. Obviously we can’t hold our supplier to the same values that we bring to our growing, as they are a larger-scale nursery. We believe the value in sharing these plants for local use currently outweighs the fact that these plants have been raised in sterile soil mixtures (essential for importation to prevent spread of plant diseases) and using synthetic fertilizers.
Unfortunately, we are not able to ship any plants, and pick-up days are restricted to one day in the spring, and one day in the fall (see home page to confirm the next pick-up date).
We guarantee that plants are healthy at the time of pick-up – though they may not always look pretty. Experienced gardeners will know that divided perennials will grow just as well, and often better, than potted plants – but they don’t always look ‘nice’ at the time of planting. Trees likewise may resemble sticks more than trees. Rest assured – over the course of the growing season, your plants will wake-up, and thrive.
If your plants die before within two weeks of purchase, you will be eligible for an up to 100% credit towards future purchases.
Because we can’t be held responsible for poor choice of planting site, insect damage, late frost, or grower neglect, we require photo and written documentation for any claims, and may ask for return of any grafted trees.
Customer service is important to us, so please let us know if any part of your experience was not optimal.
Alternate Pick-up Dates
If you wish to order, but are not able to pick-up on the scheduled pick-up date, please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) before putting in your order. We may be able to accommodate, but are not always able to.
If you pick-up your order later than the scheduled pick-up date, we can not provide a guarantee on your stock.
Order Not Picked Up
If you fail to pick-up your order and have not contacted us about cancelling your order, we can offer only a 70% refund. We will have already dug the plants for your order, many of which will not survive being replanted, and also incur expenses due to PayPal expenses.
Order Modifications and Returns
To add items to your order, simply put through another order before the deadline.
To take items off your order, please contact us. Refunds are available on a case-by-case basis, but a small fee may apply to cover PayPal expenses.
We do not offer returns or exchanges after plant pick-up.
Occasionally, we may be unable to provide all plants on your order. In this case, we will offer a comparable substitution at the time of pick-up, or, if you prefer, will provide a cash, cheque or PayPal refund.
Beyond the Nursery
We see Artemisia’s Forest Garden Nursery as more than just a nursery. Beyond providing useful plants, we also hold the basic permaculture ethic very strongly, that is: caring for the earth; caring for people and the greater community; and sharing the surplus beyond what we need.
We feel there is an educational component to what we do, and hope to excite people about the potential permaculture, and forest gardening in particular, hold for our future as a species on planet earth.
Contact us if you are interested in organizing a talk for any age-level or level of experience. Whether at a club meeting, or a professional group, we can provide interesting and relevant presentations to educate, and share our passion.
A Few Topic Ideas:
- How to Grow an Edible Forest Garden
- Growing Your Own Backyard Sanctuary
- Landscaping with Edible Plants
- Healthy Soil: A Permaculture Perspective
- Permaculture 101
- Best low-maintenance food plants
- Minimizing maintenance and competition
- Rare and Unusual Fruit and Vegetables that are easy to grow
- Zero offsite input gardening
- Weedeating: Foraging your lawn
About the owners
Shantree Kacera D.N., Ph.D. is Certified Permaculture Designer & Educator, an Ayurvedic Live-Food Nutritionist, Therapeutic & Shamanic Herbalist with a specialty in Forest Gardening with 45-years experience. Shantree’s deep spiritual connection to the Earth has drawn him into the teachings of shamanic and earth wisdom practices as well as Carolinian Canada native plant preservation and studies. He is a passionate edible forest gardener, and well known for his unique circular medicinal-wheel garden and medicine trail with over 1,000 species of edible and medicine plants and trees through the 50-acre botanical sanctuary. Since the mid 1980’s Shantree has been applying permaculture practices. Creating his own unique approach to how does Permaculture work in Canada. After 25 years he is now sharing his experiences with his students and apprentices who come to study Forest Gardening and Permaculture. Learn more…
Rob Read spends his time outside his day-job as Administrative Assistant in the Rotman Institute of Philosophy at Western University between permaculture, writing, and spending time with his family. Rob’s passion for forest gardening and permaculture began when he came across Robert Hart’s book about his forest garden at a used book fair. This dovetailed nicely with his concern over our current food production system, and made perfect sense based on his many years as a naturalist and amateur ecologist. Over the past six years he has been actively converting his half-acre property from a lawn to a forest garden and edible landscape. Since 2009, he has been actively involved with Transition Middlesex, a part of the Transition Network, an international initiative to help us navigate the path to a future that is short on oil, but high on abundance. Prior to pursuing permaculture, Rob trained in creative writing at York University, and his poetry appears in O Spam, Poams (2005, BookThug) as well as in numerous magazines and small press publications. He is currently working on a science fiction novel for young adults with permaculture as a central theme.