Posts Tagged ‘trees’

Panic Attack

**I actually wrote this a couple of weeks ago and haven’t published it because I don’t like the writing. I still don’t like the writing, but it’s not likely to get much better, so here it is…

Remember that feeling when you brought your first child home from the hospital? You read the books, you thought you were ready, but suddenly you find yourself thinking,  “There is no way I can take care of this little creature!”

“Calm down,” you say to yourself. You’re pretty sure you know what to feed her, pretty sure that when she cries it means feed her or change her, you know she’s supposed to sleep a lot and you know pretty instinctively how to soothe her.  But you can’t help feeling just a bit panicked.

I feel like I just brought home 14 newborns. I went to the garden center and bought fruit and nut trees today. To be specific:

  • 2 apples
  • a pear
  • a sour cherry
  • an apricot
  • two hazelnuts
  • 2 goose berries
  • 3 currants
  • 2 blueberries

They can’t be harder than taking care of babies, right?  They’re just plants. Except if they need something they won’t cry. I don’t know what or when or if to feed them. It’s likely that they’ll be dead before I even know what hit them. And then a colleague asked me what varieties I had gotten, and I didn’t even know, giving me something akin to the “ I must be the worst mother in the whole world” feeling. Panic!!

Fourteen holes to dig, 14 trees and shrubs to put in.

Suddenly the yard looks too small…even though I know it isn’t.

Where are we going to put them? I had it all planned out, and not just in my head! But I am second-guessing my ideas, and my husband has ideas of his own. With any luck he will do some of the hole digging, so I guess I do have to let him have some input into where they go.

All but the blueberries, apricot, cherry and pear were bare root. I was especially panicked about them, all naked and vulnerable. I plopped them into the compost pile and we furiously dug holes all week. They are in the ground now, hopefully recovering from shock and putting out little roots. The ones in pots are waiting. It turned cold (it’s flurrying today) so they may have to wait a few days until we can get out there to dig.

Planting trees is a profound experience. You are forced to think five, fifteen, 25 or more years into the future. How big will it get, how much room does it need, what will be around it in the future… I found myself saying to my daughter that maybe some day she’ll be telling her kids, “I remember when I planted this tree with your grandma and grandpa.” And I couldn’t help but wonder what the world will be like for my daughter and her children and how planting a tree is such a hopeful thing to do.

It made me think that if everyone had a little plot of land to tend, to try to make it  productive and sustainable, the world might be very different.  You have to think about the future, the environment, how even if you do everything to sustain and nurture your land, it’s connected to  what others do, too. The neighbors – do they use pesticides, herbicides, etc; the town – will it cut down the forest behind us, or let it be cut down; the region – acid rain, what’s upstream; the planet – global warming

You can’t avoid it and it’s why people growing their own food is so radical and such a threat to the World the Way it is.

And by the way, here are the varieties:

  • 2 apples, James Grieve Red and SIrius
  • a pear, boscova lahvice
  • a sour cherry,
  • an apricot, St. Julien
  • two hazelnuts. Lombardy red and white
  • 2 goose berries,
  • 3 currants,
  • 2 blueberries, Emblue and

(maybe I am not such a bad mother to these trees after all)

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