Sunday, 23 March 2008

The green thumb

I have a confession to make. For some years now I belong to a dormant cell of the ADL (Anti-Desertification League). Vegetation retreats, and more soon than late, the Sahara is going to be knocking on our doors. And we must fight.

There are many approaches to the problem. Some think the last hope of Southern and Eastern Spain are cork oaks. Most of the revenues from cork production come from wine corks. Ergo, if we want to stop the Sahara, let's drink lots of wine! But only if it uses real cork.

Another school of thought says that fighting from the rearguard is needed, by organising kind of summer camps for Mediterranean species in places with considerable rainfall. Some time ago I had a revelation as I was eating an orange and I joined this silent fight. We sowed some of the seeds and, to our surprise, four tiny little trees sprouted. Today, six years after, the orange trees are in the middle of that difficult teen age but they give us a little Mediterranean flair from the windowsill.

Plantetes02 Plantetes03

Our second guest has been a stone pine that came to Austria with us as a little pine nut, who was given the gift of life by the light of our fridge (well... I could say it was because of the cold stratification process, but who am I kidding?, we must clean more often!). After some childhood struggles, it seems to be doing all right, in spite of our faithless family.

Plantetes05 Plantetes04

As I was planting some daffodils that we adopted at the market, I spent all the morning organising activities for our little trees, like a good camp monitor. I will tell you about my Austrian camp's succulent section some other day...


Some day, as we cannot refer to our little trees as "little" any more, we will bring them back to the front, because every help is more than welcome in this uneven fight.

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