Posts Tagged ‘Fruit Trees’

Earth Heal ~ Village in India Plants 111 Trees Every Time a Girl is Born

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Image source

By Stephen Messenger

All too often, it seems that an increase in human population must come at a cost to the environment, like in straining resources and encroachment on once wild habitats. But one quaint village in India has adopted a wonderfully eco-conscious tradition that is actually helping to ensure a greener future with each new generation.

While in some parts of India, many expectant parents still say they’d prefer bearing sons, members of the Piplantri village, in the western state of Rajasthan, are breaking this trend by celebrating the birth of each baby girl in way that benefits everyone. For every female child that’s born, the community gathers to plant 111 fruit trees in her honor in the village common.

This unique tradition was first suggested by the village’s former leader, Shyam Sundar Paliwal, in honor of his daughter who had passed away at a young age.

But planting trees is only one way that the community is ensuring a brighter future for their daughters. According to a report in The Hindu, villagers also pool together around $380 dollars for every new baby girl and deposited in an account for her. The girl’s parents are required to contribute $180, and to make a pledge to be considerate guardians.

“We make these parents sign an affidavit promising that they would not marry her off before the legal age, send her to school regularly and take care of the trees planted in her name,” says Paliwal.

Over the last six years alone, as population there has increased, villagers in Piplantri have planted nearly a quarter million trees — a welcoming forest for the community’s youngest members, offering a bit of shade for their brighter future.

Source: Tree Hugger

Via The Hindu

Share Your Trees at The Inspired Forest of Bealtaine

Colette O’Neill has created an online home for sharing all the tree plantings inspired by Bealtaine Cottage. Some of you know that Colette has planted 900 trees on once barren land and that she feels called to plant thousands more. Doing so at first seemed to require selling her beloved homestead in order to afford the necessary land purchase for so many trees. Some of her readers, including me, convinced her to consider staying at Bealtaine Cottage with the awareness that the Forest of Bealtaine might, in fact, be worldwide.

If you’ve planted fruit trees, shade trees, evergreens … any kind of trees at all due to inspiration from Bealtaine Cottage or from my own gardens (which were in large part inspired by Colette’s work on her once equally desolate land), please consider sending her photos to post on this special page. You can click here to view the dozens of trees already listed. I hear she’ll be getting a tree counter, too!

My Faery Garden Landscaper Is Back!

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned having sent my Faery Garden Landscaper (pseudonym: “Heather”) on her very first ever vacation until I got caught up on all the earlier garden projects. Well, as of yesterday afternoon, I’m all caught up, and now she’s back. I just realized it this morning when some telltale magickal signatures showed themselves outside; however, I’m quite sure she actually returned last night. Because last night … oh, my … last night ….

Let’s just say, out of nowhere, someone inspired me to buy a lot more fruit trees and berry bushes for planting this summer, which means much more work on my part. The ground is harder; they’ll need more water and extra care; they’ll need lots of cardboard and hauling of wood mulch … and have I mentioned it’s July in the absurdly humid Midwest?

Everything lined up, though, including our landlord dropping by yesterday and expressing his heartfelt exuberance about me planting more fruit trees in the backyard, along with ornamental medicinal herbs along the south and west sides of his extra garage behind our house. He’s always given me freedom in the yard, but yesterday, he got visibly and verbally excited about my (distant) prospect of more fruit trees and “plants that no one will know to pick.” He actually got a mischievous glint in his eye as he imagined all these beautiful flowers that have “secret” medicinal uses.

During that same conversation, our next door neighbor (who also rents from the same landlord) came out and offered to assemble the compost bin I bought for his family. I had tried, but I’m much better at growing things than assembling things. That felt like a big check mark, and now I don’t need to ask David.

Anyway, back to the fruit trees. I have been reading “How to Make a Forest Garden,” which is an excellent book for anyone wanting to permaculture their yard. I guess the fruit tree purchases didn’t exactly come out of nowhere, but I really hadn’t planned to order anything until at least fall, but most likely spring. Somehow, last night, I hit upon a one night sale with free shipping and 25% off, and everything just came together so fluidly that David convinced me to go ahead with things. Mind you, I had forgotten all about Heather, so I leapt into this project assuming I’d need to do all the work myself.

The only thing I didn’t order was an Altissimo climbing rose to replace the freecycle.org rose bush that never came to life. I suspect the former owners did not remove it in the right way and let the root ball dry out, but in any case, it has acted as a placeholder for a spot that really deserves a climbing rose. None of the fruit tree or herb places had this particular kind of rose, though, so I thought I’d leave that order until next spring. My main hesitation? I dreaded having to dig out the rose bush, since it had been such a huge production to get it in the ground. We’re talking a five gallon bucket of dandelion roots, hard soil, and just generally rough digging.

Before going to bed, I asked for a sign supporting me in all these “crazy” purchases. Requests for new sessions came through in almost the same amount as I spent, but the real magick revealed itself this morning. I walked outside to find this:

rose dug up

The rose bush in question, neatly dug up! Apparently, the price for that labor was one head of a sunflower that was too shaded anyway by the trellised grape vine. I was so stunned, I immediately came into the house and told David, “I’ve seen a lot of things, and I’ve experienced a lot of synchronicities, but for some reason, this one just floors me!” Then I went back outside and found more evidence of a faery gardener in this polyculture that includes cantaloupe and basil:

basil polyculture

The cantaloupe leaves had been shading the basil, but someone or something either ate or completely removed half of the largest leaf in the way. Now the cantaloupe shades the soil, but the basil gets to reach for the sun. This was the only “damaged” leaf in that bed. The aluminum foil is a trick I learned to keep squash vine borers from boring into the vines of curcubits. So far, so good, but I’m more impressed with the spontaneous pruning of just the right leaf!

The rest of the garden continues to grow well. I learned a valuable tip this week about comfrey. It’s even more amazing than I suspected. I know that people use it as mulch and as a compost starter, as well as a nitrogen fixer in the soil. I’ve done that before, too. What I hadn’t done was use it as a repeat mulch on ailing plants. I’ve spent a ton of money and time trying to get our very poor, sandy soil into richer organic matter that can hold moisture and nutrients. If you’re not lucky enough to begin with loamy soil, then it can take years before anything good will grow well without fertilizers and soil amendments, including organic ones like I use. Anyway, rock dust, volcanic ash, various types of prepared compost, sea minerals … I’m sure it’s all helped … but guess what finally turned around the most ailing of my plants?

Comfrey!

For several days in a row, I’ve harvested huge leaves from my largest (of five) comfrey plants, placed them around “failure to thrive” plants and watered over the comfrey leaves. If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I would not believe the turnaround. Now I know! Next year, the other four comfrey plants should be hardy enough to handle much more harvesting, and I’ll take root cuttings of the big one next spring. Free and on site sure beats hauling in from all over the place. I’m very happy to have all of this in process already, though.

The rest of this post includes a few selected photos of some areas of the garden:

grape vines, sunflowers, Fairy Tale Pumpkins, geraniums, calendula, cantaloupe, sea kale, cucumbers, zinnias, marigolds, onions and more ...

grape vines, sunflowers, Fairy Tale Pumpkins, geraniums, calendula, cantaloupe, sea kale, cucumbers, zinnias, marigolds, onions and more …

borage getting ready to bloom its starry blue flowers

borage getting ready to bloom its starry blue flowers

our front yard looking northeast from our driveway ... sunflowers about to bloom!

our front yard looking northeast from our driveway … sunflowers about to bloom!

I’m still shaking my head about that rose bush! Maybe I’ll wake up to pre-dug fruit tree holes, too. Thanks, Heather, and welcome back! 😉

April Fools, Fairies and Fruit

Yes, it’s April Fool’s Day, and some people consider that a time for pranks and tricks. The original Fool, however, carried wisdom in his simplicity and humor. In Shakespeare’s time, the Fool spoke truth to the king when no one else dared. In the Tarot, the Fool card marks new adventure, paths unknown and a chance to remake ourselves despite old patterns or struggles. A loyal dog barks to get his attention as he confidently (or obliviously) steps into the abyss.

Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the Fool

Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the Fool

I’ve heard that Aleister Crowley thought of the Fool’s dog as Coyote trickster wisdom, a backwards card, with the Fool magically floating up from the abyss. In this case, the Fool and his mysterious zero would be the last card in the deck instead of the first. I’ve not been able to document that Crowley interpretation, but the idea holds the potential to leave our fear and doubts in the abyss as we levitate toward higher ground. Of course, the Fool card can also indicate “foolishness” or rash behavior, but I often consider the Fool a harbinger of just the right amount of silliness — from the Fae’s Seelieness — to remedy the humdrum, linear slogfest that far too many people consider “real life.” Practical? Uh-uh, but some ideas, decisions and actions are just crazy enough to work.

Abraham’s email message today jumped out as David as one for me. For weeks David has listened to me try to discern which fruit trees to order when, to go in which spots, and can I really believe that if I agree to plant the highly fragrant dwarf lilac tree and 50 lilies, then my “garden muse” will see to it that I won’t have any spring allergies? As my non-faery believing brother said yesterday, “If that works, I want in!”

On this April Fool’s Day, Abraham says:

“Take the worthiness that is yours, and let the ‘Fairies of the Universe’ assist you. Stop taking so much responsibility upon yourself, and live happily ever after. Shorten that crevasse between where you are and where you want to be, on every subject, to now, now, now, now, now. Ride the wave. Just pluck the fruit… You don’t have to be the one who puts it in the ground any more. You can just skip across the top of things and pluck the fruit of all of the things you want. “Oh, fruit. Oh, delicious this, delicious this, delicious this, delicious this.” In other words, it’s all right there for you; it’s ready for you to receive it as fast and as soon as you will vibrationally let it in.

—Abraham

Excerpted from the workshop: Boston, MA on May 21, 2005

Our Love,
Esther (and Abraham and Jerry)”

In addition to faeries, fruit, and the Fool’s abyss (crevasse), today’s Abraham quote reminds me of my most common “Grace,” which always cracks up David. Shimmering my hands over our food, I excitedly pronounce, “Blessings on our deliciousness!”

Indeed, oh delicious this, delicious this, delicious this, delicious this. Blessings on your deliciousness, too!