On Wednesday, 29 August 2018, I went back to work after a long weekend planting trees in Golden Bay as part of project Rameka. In my head, I could still feel the earth between my fingers.
Turns out planting trees with a group of caring, like-minded people doesn’t really feel like work at all. The weather – glorious as it often is in Golden Bay (at least in summer) – helped of course. We planted over 300 trees and still had plenty of spare time to have a look around, play games and share food over long conversations.
This was the first time I met Jonathan and Bronwen, the creators of Project Rameka.
Over the weekend, I learnt how it all started and came away inspired and in awe. Setting up and running a project like this takes courage, persistence and commitment, and Jonathan and Bronnie do it with a spirit of care, humbleness and community-mindedness. I met two locals involved with the project, Matt and Paul, both of who were knowledgeable and committed to the project – I’m glad I met them.
I also gained at least two important insights into tree-planting:
1. Planting makomako (wineberry) creates a canopy and shelter that permits other trees, such as rimu, to grow up underneath
2. The forest will regenerate itself when weeds and pests are kept under control (easy as, I say – thanks, Matt!).
I hope to be back next year 🙂