Where we are
Planting, Phase 1 12-13 July 2004
At the start of July, we finally got the call - the first lot of trees ready
to go, and planting scheduled for the middle of the month. We rounded up as
many friends as we could lay hands on, and trundled out one crisp Monday morning
to start. The planting itself was done by three men and a tractor, which opened
up the ground and then firmed it around the trees after they were dropped in.
A crew of 9 willing helpers came along to add the finishing touches - a protective
sleeve on each tree (to keep the hares at bay) and three stakes for each hazelnut,
which the sleeve was stretched around.
Image 1: just started.
Image 2: One happy hazelnut (with many siblings in the background).
Image 3: at the end of the day - almost all done.
crew: there were actually 9 of us at the start
(plus the dogs), but Malcolm and one of the
students (Qinglan) had to go back to town for
a university lecture in the middle of the day,
leaving just the loyal hard workers- Yi, Qi,
Sarah (with Holly), Quang, Thu Ha, Nadine and
James (holding Basil). Holly
and Basil came along with James for a day in
the country and made lots of new friends with
all the other dogs brought by the planters,
tractor man and the well driller.
At 6pm, after it was too dark to do anything
more, Malcolm finally let us pack up and head
for Oxford and a well deserved meal. Drinks
by the jug, including the orange juice.
Thu Ha and her brother Quang, who came over
for a month to look at NZ and decide whether
he wanted to study here, and who ended up roped
into two days of hard labour in the freezing
Qinglan, one of Malcolm's students. None of
them expected when they signed up for his course
that they would be asked to do practical experience
in an unrelated field, without even a hope of
extra credit for it!
The little blue cart behind the tractor seated two men and about 200
trees at a time. The tractor inched slowly ahead and a claw under the
cart ripped open a narrow trench. Drop in a fertiliser tablet and a tree,
then the tyres at the back, which were canted in at an angle, pressed
the earth back around the newly planted stem.