Beyond organic at Miracle Farms in St-Anicet: Permaculture turns orchard into an oasis | Montreal Gazette

Stefan Sobkowiak picks ripe cherries at Miracle Farms in St-Anicet, one of the only permaculture orchards in eastern Canada. “We’re going to have a banner year for plums, lots of cherries – looking like a good all-around year,” he says. PETER MCCABE / MONTREAL GAZETTET

When biologist Stefan Sobkowiak took over the orchard in St-Anicet in 1993, there were very few birds.

His commercial apple orchard in the Montérégie region of Quebec, about 90 kilometres southwest of Montreal, was surrounded by non-organic neighbours, and this seemed to impact the bird population, he says.

Trained as a biologist and landscape architect, he decided to create an organic orchard, and by 1996 received his organic designation. But over time he realized that supporting only apple trees, even organic ones, meant maintaining a monocul

Source: Beyond organic at Miracle Farms in St-Anicet: Permaculture turns orchard into an oasis | Montreal Gazette