Saturday, April 17, 2010

Green Love

I am developing an affection for all things green. There is something wonderful and satisfying about preparing the earth, digging, mulching, composting, planting, watering and watching those little green leaves and tightly furled buds strengthen and thrive.

One of the projects we've been working on here is to develop an orchard, which has even included building the deer proof fence to surround it. So far, we have planted raspberries, blueberries, kale and a cherry tree. And every day I'm watching their delicate stems grow taller and stronger in the island's fresh spring weather.

I love to see the newly seeded clover green up day by day, and the deer amble right by, cautiously watching me out of the corner of their eye, but with curiosity and hunger bringing them closer and closer. I hold my breath and just listen to their little jaws go 'crunch crunch crunch'.

I've always loved the idea of growing fruit and veges, perhaps overlooking the part which actually requires a lot of hard work, patience and perseverance. But I am learning so much from being here that the challenge of that sounds really appealing to me now. I used to think you could just dig a hole, bung a plant in it and expect it to do it's thing, but I'm fast learning this is so not the case.

A couple of weeks ago we transplanted hundreds of wild growing furry leafed plants from the back of the section, onto a hillside beside our campervan. I half expected them to wilt and die away one by one. But their leaves are shooting skywards and their feelers are reaching across the earth further and further each time I check their progress.
Martin says their success is all due to the work we did before they were even re-planted. A layer of brown (not shiny surfaced) cardboard in the bottom of the hole (for the worms to hide under), a few shovels full of compost, a few shovels of 'specialty mix' (peat moss, clay soil, chicken poop and bone magic) and then the plant on top. It seems to be working.

It's a shame we won't be here to pick the berries that are certainly going to appear in our little orchard, but it's still nice to know we helped to provide them for someone else to enjoy too.


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