Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day 2012

Watching, waiting...

Sorting varieties
So this was a special day. I have been waiting for nine years to do something very important. And I have kept some strange things in the freezer in order to do it.

Ready to jump in and help...
Today we planted the children's placentas, or as I explained to Boo, their baby buddies, the pillows they had while they grew inside Mama. Ever since I read about a tree planting ceremony, I wanted to do it.  It's just I didn't want to bury something so special under a tree that we would have to leave when we moved to another house. Hence, the freezer tactic. So now, nine years later, after our fourth and last child has been born and we live in a house I can't imagine ever moving from, the time came. Actually I wanted to do it last year.  I had the trees circled in a catalog. But it didn't happen.  Then this year it made even more sense to plant everyone's at the same time.

I ordered trees from Raintree Nursery.  I spoke with the most helpful person named Sue.  The call went like this:
"This is Sue, how can I help you."
"Hi I live in Spokane and I am a first time wannabe home orchardist and I need help picking out the right fruit trees." (this I said nervously, all in one breath run together)

One down, three to go.
Sue then gently took me through the process of matching cross pollination timing between varieties and selecting root stocks. This took two phone calls because Pretzel woke in the middle and asked for attention very loudly. When I finally completed the order, I couldn't contain my excitement. We were really going to plant fruit trees and the kids would all have their own tree to take care of over the years and eat from.

Fairy Girl's peach tree.
We had other very kind people help us when we planted the trees too. Nana and Papa came over just in time to see that we still didn't know where the trees were getting planted and that Grant and I were still "discussing" it. Bless them for their patience because we eventually agreed on a compromise and Papa took the liberty of doing all the digging. They are so good to us. With Grant's recovery requiring minimal use of his right arm, and with my total distraction by four energetic kiddos, we were glad to have extra hands and their experience. It's hard to describe how right it felt with the warm weather, blue sky and puffy white clouds, Grant's parents, happy children, and planting trees altogether. Everything felt connected and grounded in positive activity.
Youngest to oldest: Lapin Cherry, Pristine Apple,  Zestar Apple, Harken Peach
Before we planted each tree, I took out each child's placenta and buried it in the loose soil at the bottom of the hole. It felt so good to return to the soil something that had nourished my babies as they grew. It could only have been more complete if I had been returning them to soil that I had actually eaten food grown from while pregnant. Nevertheless, participating in the cycle of life and decay into life again was poignant. I hope the trees will be happy in their new soil and grow strong with abundant fruit just like the children to whom they belong.

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