The Tale of the Evans Cherry

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This week, we’ve got a special segment of Dispatches of the Dirt brought to you by Terrainforma’s Danielle Dolgoy and Hamdi Issawi. Find out how the magical Evans Cherry came to be in Edmonton’s supposedly unforgiving climate!

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The Tale of the Evans Cherry

Gardeners and farmers alike are all limited to the zones they live in. Since the 1960’s Agriculture Canada has been publishing a national map of Plant Hardiness Zones to help farmers and gardeners plan their crops to ensure their plantings can withstand the at times extreme temperatures to make it to harvest time. When it comes to fruit trees, most people consider the the temperate zones of the Okanagan Valley in BC or Ontario’s southern green belt as the quintessential food-producing areas. Most of us don’t associate the “Gateway to the North”, as a bountiful agricultural area.

Despite this perception of Edmonton as a frigidly cold place where very little can grow, north of the city boasts some of the finest soil in the country, classified as “Number 1 Special”. That’s where the Evans Cherry tree was first documented. And that tree has proliferated over time to become a ubiquitous feature in people’s back yards. Many folks don’t even know how delicious those cherries actually are.

Danielle set out on a mission to learn more about the Evans Cherry, where it came from, and who the mysterious man behind the tree’s distribution across Edmonton and throughout North America was.

If you’d like to learn more about the Evans Cherry, Ken Riske at Mill Creek Nursery loves to talk about it and other species he raises on his farm.

Links: Mill Creek Nursery, Government of Alberta Agriculture, DNA Gardens, Plant Hardiness 

What’s Happening

Wednesday Night Walks – Guelph, Ontario, Arboretum, August 20 + 27 at 7 PM

You can come out to the Arboretum this Wednesday night and learn to be a Bat Detective. For example: Did you know bats are pollinators? And that they’re great for controlling pests? Learn all about these nocturnal creatures and how we can help them thrive in Ontario. The cost is two dollars; kids under five are free.

3rd Annual Thebacha & Wood Buffalo Dark Sky Festival – Wood Buffalo National Park, August 21 to 24

Celebrate our little view of the universe at the Dark Sky Festival in Wood Buffalo National Park! Join in some night sky viewing with telescopes and binoculars in the world’s largest dark sky preserve. There will also be festival meals, camping, and keynote presentations.

Growing Green Sustainability Festival – Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, August 21 to 24

Growing Green Sustainability Festival is a colourful introduction to the idea that we can work together to ensure that all human and non-human communities have a home on our planet. There will be a local dinner, a film festival by the river, and bus tour of environmentally friendly businesses and organizations working in Lunenburg County.

Edmonton Repairathon and Clothing Swap – Edmonton, Alberta, John Walter Museum, August 24 from 1-3 PM

The John Walter museum (near the Kinsmen Sports Centre) is hosting a repairathon and clothing swap. On Sunday August 24, bring your damaged clothes and have them repaired by volunteers. They’ll do buttons, hems, rips, tears and zippers if you bring your own. There is a 1 to 2 limit item per person and they ask you only bring clean clothes and no under garments please!
The event is free and there is limited parking so it’s recommended to use public transit.

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