There are times when it feels like the stars and planets align to give assistance to a noble cause. It felt that our community day on Saturday was such an occasion. If we were to get anywhere near our goals of planting some 25 trees and building tree guards around them, as well as filling gaps with perennial ornamentals it was clear we would need all the help we could get – perhaps even divine. And it seems we had it, as the sun shone, the temperature was mild, and even when we did have the smallest amount of rain in the late afternoon, it served only to provide a beautiful end to the day.
Sure enough, the volunteers answered the call with alacrity. Our first volunteers started arching as early as 9 o’clock, which, given it was a Saturday was both commendable and surprising. Throughout the day, we had a dedicated army of helpers – at times numbering 15 to 20 people – who all gave up a substantial chunk of their Saturday and turned their hands to a diverse range of tasks with a cheerful attitude and a willingness to give anything a go.
The atmosphere was superb, and we came within 3 trees of hitting our planting target, which was a remarkable feet of group determination and effort. There were so many wonderful moments, from toddlers with tiny buckets distributing wood chip, to a pair of brothers in their 20’s using power tools for the first time (not a minute too soon we think).
It world be impossible to thank everyone individually for their help not holy on Saturday but throughout the project. We have tried to name some of the people who have made the orchard possible, but there are lots more we just haven’t had a chance to mention by name. But to everyone who has picked up a spade, provided a cup of tea or given their backing to the project in any number of outer ways, we say thank you, and we look forward to enjoying the fruits (literally) of our collective labour in the years to come.