Every now and then I like to help out a charity or organisation when I can and yes since the babies are so small, I have been hiding behind my comfortable desk within my warm house to do that. On Saturday though, I got wrapped up and headed on out to get my hands dirty in the Malahide Allotments with the lovely Fiona Kelly as part of the One Million Tress in One Day project.

 

“The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago.
The second best time is now.”

 

The Project

For the Irish readers, I know you’re thinking, ‘Ya mad yolk’ but the best time to plant trees is in February and the weather gods obviously thought that we needed a bit of sleet and snow to help us along. The project was simple, drag yourself outside, bring a friend (the lovely Kat joined us), grab 5 trees per person and off on your treasure hunt you go. Now you’re going to have to forgive me for some of the images, it’s February, freezing and I’m trying to work a camera with giant gardening gloves on.

 

Fiona’s first little Hazel tree planting

Treasure Hunt

Probably the best part of the whole experience was wandering around the allotments looking for the designated zones for our handpicked trees. Many a lap around the allotments was had. A huge thank you to the people who laid out the whole hunt as it was so much fun finding a space for my baby trees. Each tree was planted with care with our wellies, spotty socks and of course the wellie dance of joy. Don’t believe me? Here are some action shots:

 

Can you dig it?

Left foot out, right foot in, behold the wellie dance of joy

Another selfish reason I joined in, was to grab a glimpse of Fiona Grows Food‘s allotment in real life. At the moment she has the most wonderful chard and rhubarb and it made me so jealous as my chard is about half the size. Just take a look at these beauties:

Rhubarb

Chard

This is one Saturday I won’t forget in a hurry. I have never joined a real community garden project before and here I was surrounded by like-minded people with a sense of humour (it’s freezing and we’re laughing while planting trees, a sense of humour is a necessity) and there were children bundled up, running around laughing and genuinely happy to be outside, enjoying the company of all.

It wasn’t just the sense of community spirit that I loved. As I planted my oak sapling knowing I would not be alive when this, the most majestic of trees, came into maturity; I was doing something that was to benefit future generations and the full scope of the One Million Trees project was brought home and it was humbling. This Saturday to me was a bit of joy and hope for the future when things at home and abroad are so troubling and bleak. A simple act carried out by so many over the island of Ireland can and will make a difference to those coming behind us.

As always, with any time spent with Fiona, I had a smile on my face, a pain in my side from laughing and I came away with far more knowledge than I came with. This last picture sums up exactly what I was dealing with: