Last week proved to be a truly fun-filled one. I tried sushi for the first time with my ladies, I attended two weddings and the work week only consisted of 4 days. Friday topped it off with me being able to strike out one of my goals on my bucket list!. My colleagues, some volunteers and I planting trees with GreenpopSA in the rain!
Planting trees, changing minds
Greenpop is a social business that believes greening and sustainable living can be fun, POPular and accessible for all. We believe in inspiring a greener, more conscious, inclusive movement and do this through tree planting projects, green events, education, social media, voluntourism and activating people to start DOING! http://www.greenpop.org/
Greenpop came to the SPCA with their sponsored trees and started the day off with an ice-breaker to get us into a fun state of mind. At the same time we were discussing the various benifits of trees. They made us walk around the room saying ‘hello’ to people we passed and when they said stop, they gave us a topic to discuss i.e. what did we have for breakfast and which plant does it come from and then what did we last drink and which plant did it come from.
We then continued walking around and then when they said stop, the 3 people closest to each other had to team up. I managed to wiggle my way into teaming up with my colleague who’s a seasoned gardener and when the maintenance guy came to give a hand I roped him in as well (he’s got tool’s we could take advantage of)
The team below won capes because they were the last standing when each team had a chance to state what trees were used for i.e. fruit, paper, furniture, shelter, oxygen, etc…
We then made our way to the first pre-dug hole where the Greenpop team taught us how to sustain-ably plant a tree.
In a nutshell (from what I remember):
a) place stake( support structure) in the hole, making sure that it’s north facing (that’s the direction the sun shines most and also make sure it’s in a position that gets the least amount of impact from wind.
b)place newspaper around the edges for water retention
c) mixed fertilizer and soil so that the heat from the fertilizer doesn’t burn the roots.
d) use the spade to measure if the hole is deep/shallow enough. The roots should be directly beneath the line with the stem above.
e) Planting is fun and it helps when it’s done with group effort.
f) gently message the soil in the packet to loosen it up, keeping in mind that this plant spent it’s whole life growing in a sheltered environment with lots of pampering. Therefore you need to be gentle and keep it nurtured. (do not break the packet as it can be re-used)
g) cover the roots with the mixed soil. The beginning of the roots should be a pinky finger away from the surface.
h) cover with mulch and build a fort around it to ensure that it doesn’t run away when you water it. The mulch should not cover the stem itself but instead be about a ‘CD’ circumference away from it.
After this demonstration, the fun began.
Everyone pulled their weight
In the end we were all proud of what we had achieved
After about 6 hours non stop planting of 30 tress in total, @GreenpopSA then presented us with our certificate.