Permaculture Ideas

We haven’t tasted Paw Paws yet, but everything we read suggests they taste wonderful. As an added bonus, they don’t mind black walnuts.

Permaculture design with paw paw and apples.

Swales being built, plus a design on swales.

Hugulcultured swales by Midwest Permaculture.

Chickens for the orchard by Midwest Permaculture.

Idea for orchard design–set up rows by harvest date, not variety.

Northern Nut Growers Association with scion wood exchange and good source of info on varieties.

Zone 2 fruit tree guilds with lists of plants and pictures.

Northern Illinois permaculture and B & B with pictures and examples of planting companions.

Cherry tree guild for northern clime.

Permaculture Institute, Santa Fe, NM

Gardening Near Black Walnut

We have several large, beautiful black walnut trees in the area near our house that we will be planting with orchards and gardens. Although these trees are gorgeous, they are toxic to some plants, including apple trees.

More on gardening near black walnut.

Companion plants for black walnut

More companion plants

Black Walnut Society

List of plants that do, and don’t, grow near black walnuts, with measurements.

A video with measurements.

Working Orchard Tree List


  • Redmond Linden, standard, obtain locally (American linden is used for honey bees)

apples (11) in order of ripening, all disease resistant

apricot (3)

  • Harglow, dwarf, early July, late blooming
  • Goldcot, dwarf, early July, zone 4 (STARK)
  • Moorpark, dwarf, mid July, can be dried (STARK)

plum (6)

cherry (10)

  • 2 X Surefire (tart), dwarf, early June, self-fertile, zone 4
  • Stella, dwarf, mid-June/July, pollinates Kristin, self-fertile, zone 4
  • 2 X Black Gold, dwarf, mid-June, pollinates Kristin, self-fertile, one for S garden, zone 5
  • 2 X Kristin (sweet), dwarf, mid July, zone 4
  • Hartland (sweet), dwarf, mid season, pollinates Kristin, zone 4
  • 2 X Evan’s (tart), dwarf, Aug, zone 3

pear (5)

  • Harrow Delight, semi-dwarf, early Sept, disease resistant
  • Seckel, semi-dwarf, late Sept, disease resistant
  • Warren, semi-dwarf, Oct, good keeper, disease resistant
  • 2 X Bosc, semi-dwarf, late Oct, zone 4, good keeper, pollinates HD

paw paw (3, collection from Stark)

peach (2 Stark)

  • Blushing Star (white), dwarf, mid Aug, self-pollinating, zone 4, north of house where it will be sheltered from February sun
  • Contender (yellow), dwarf, late Aug, self-pollinating, zone 4

hazelnut (Arbor Day)

Helpful Info: Growing Guide for Northern Illinois Whispering Hills, northern Illinois, growing guide Growing Guide for Iowa Growing Peaches in Northern Illinois; they all died in the great winter of 2013. Growing apricots Home Fruit Cultivars for Southern Wisconsin Edible Plants for the Prairies Cold hardy food forest plants, zone 3