Porcupine Experimental Forest Farm

Wentworth-North, Quebec, Canada

Heather Jackson and Regan Moram are no strangers to hard work. After purchasing a property in 2011, the couple turned an empty lot of compacted gravel into a thriving homestead. Following permaculture principals, they built their soil by hand, tirelessly layering leaves, cardboard, mulch, grass clippings, and other organic materials like a lasagna.

Their original vision is now a reality, and on just a quarter of an acre, they grow squash, pumpkins, tomatoes, berries, brussels sprouts, kale, gooseberries, nut trees, and more. Moram has a license to grow medical cannabis; four different varieties can be found throughout the garden and greenhouse.

Growing flowers is Jackson’s true passion. Working with the Laurentian mountains’ seasons, she tends to tulips and daffodils in the fall, sunflowers, zinnias, and solidago in the summer, and chrysanthemums in the fall. Native plants are her mainstay, but she also experiments with vines like hops and kiwis and includes many medicinal plants in her bouquets.

The flowers are excellent companions for the veggies they grow, and the flock of chickens and ducks they keep help with pest control. The homestead is the perfect definition of self-sustainability; when the COVID-19 outbreak forced everyone into lockdown last spring, Jackson and Moram felt they were well-positioned to handle the crisis and resulting shortages in the supply chain. Plans for the future include a pasture for sheep and goats.

Feed the soil; everything else falls into place.

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Catherine Sherriffs

Editor at Garden Culture Magazine

Catherine is a Canadian award-winning journalist who worked as a reporter and news anchor in Montreal’s radio and television scene for 10 years. A graduate of Concordia University, she left the hustle and bustle of the business after starting a family. Now, she’s the editor and a writer for Garden Culture Magazine while also enjoying being a mom to her three young kids. Her interests include great food, gardening, fitness, animals, and anything outdoors.