Throughout the month of January, our stalwart volunteers have been trudging through the rain and mud and on up into the bright green hills to dig holes. They were creating new homes for a new batch of fruit trees in the ever-growing Maha orchard.
On Saturday, January 30th, a young group of Montessori students and their parents arrived ready to plant, and not afraid to get a little muddy. During their trek to the orchard the children were jumping in rain puddles and watching the swans make their rounds in the pond. Puffy white clouds where scuttling across the blue sky and the sun was warm.
Up in the orchard, the children joined our GreenFriends Farm volunteers and a group of volunteers from Common Vision to plant trees. A few members of the local chapter of the youth group, AYUDH, also joined in the fun.
The children learned about the needs and functions of trees along with what each part of the tree does for the plants survival. They also dug deep into the world of soil biology and its importance to the tree’s health. The trees were planted in wire mesh gopher baskets that were put in the holes to protect the young tree roots from gophers. With the tree in its new home they mixed compost with the hillsides abundant clay.
Each trees received a handful of Mycorrhizae and the children learned that this fungal inoculant grows into fungi which provides increased water and nutrient absorption capabilities to the tree. In return the tree provides the fungus with carbohydrates formed during photosynthesis. Once all the mixed soil was added, the children watered each tree thoroughly and covered the area with straw in order to help keep in the moisture. As a grand finale every tree was circled with an offering of positive intentions.
After planting trees the children painted signs for the orchard.
The next day, the M.A. Center residents also joined in on helping plant more fruit trees. With everyones help 18 new trees were planted; 5 Hachiya Perssimons and 13 Sundowner Apples!
To finish off the productive weekend, Mother Nature blessed the orchard with a double rainbow! The orchard celebrated having so many new and old friends coming to contribute and enjoy all its bounty. Thank you so much for everyone’s contribution towards making this beautiful orchard flourish.
Here are a few of the pics!