Grow It: Growing Nuts, Raising Fowl

The following chapters excerpted from Grow It! discuss the process of growing nuts from several types of nut tree and raising fowl, specifically ducks, geese, swans, and turkeys.

| September/October 1973

All material here reprinted from GROW IT! copyright © 1972 by Richard W. Langer.

Growing Nuts

He that plants trees loves others besides himself.
-Old English Proverb

A nut tree is one of the most valuable things your homestead can have, not only for the high-protein fine winter stores and excellent eating the nutbowl will provide, but for its highly prized timber as well ... if it absolutely must be felled. The American chestnut is no more; the black walnut is not far behind in the race to extinction.

Walnuts are among the most valued of all temperate hardwoods, with a pair of good hundred-year-old trees worth more in dollars and cents than a whole furnished ready-to-move-into two-bedroom ranch house. The problem is it takes the tree that full hundred years to grow and only a couple of hours to fell it. There is some hope for the walnut, for people are beginning to wake up to the fact that even if they receive no direct benefit from a tree they plant, not even nuts for a dozen years or so, the world is that much better off for their having planted it. Granted there aren't too many people with this awareness yet ... but at least there's hope.

The American chestnut situation is a little different. The reason the village smithy no longer stands beneath its spread, the automobile notwithstanding, is simply that the species has been almost totally wiped out by blight, as has the majestic American elm.

Had one fraction of the money spent on advertising by the industries most responsible for using up trees - the paper, housing, and furniture industries - been channeled into blight research and reforestation, these trees could probably both have been saved.

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: April 28-29, 2018
Asheville, NC

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!