There can be difficult interviews in my line of work, where a person needs to be prompted with questions every few seconds to keep them talking. There are also easy ones, where a person shares the relevant details with little effort on my part. And then there’s Nick Hill…
The Eastern Mountain Avens is a very particular plant, preferring uncrowded soils with poor nutrition and excessive moisture where it thrives in a near complete lack of competition. This flower is adapted to harshness, it’s fair to say, at one time thought to have populated the alpine and tundra zones of the Canadian north until its eviction during the last ice age.
Agriculturalists often regard pesticides as a necessary evil, caught between their power to feed the masses and the environmental consequences of using too much, but thanks to the busyness of bees, there exists an alternative.
There are those in the honey business who refer to Prince Edward Island as the “bee desert,” its fields dedicated to crops poor in pollen and its hives left unfulfilled, but some researchers have taken this deficit as an opportunity, reviving old ideas to address problems decidedly new.
Dan Dupont is a fourth generation forester from the Gaspesie region of east Quebec. An “Islander by choice” since 1997, he’s made it his business to re-imagine the woodlots of his adoptive home.
In many ways Island forestry was born from the second world war, he said, back when 70 per cent of PEI was dedicated to agriculture. This historic conflict called away Island farmers and in many cases, they never came home, leaving their properties without a permanent caretaker. Others still returned from the war entranced by the technological advancements of the age, forsaking rural living for urban opportunity.