The rains had been and it was a wet and muddy site but the sun was out and nothing could stop us! To help me keep in touch with my horticultural roots and also give back to the environment, I pledged to plant a native grass, shrub or tree for every garment I sold. So since 2010 I have been a part of numerous tree planting days but last months was most certainly the best one yet!

This time I was really interested in working with some people from where I grew up in the Otways and after speaking to a local plant grower, Andrew, he was able to set us up with some dairy farmers who were in need of some help planting out their trees. They were trying to fix some eroded paddocks and after a few conversations on the phone with the owners and my family and friends, we soon had an enthusiastic group of tree planters at the ready.

I was particularly excited about the prospect of my daughter coming along, as she has done so for every planting day I’ve been involved with, but this time I thought would be different because she is older and will most likely remember the experience. Gum boots on the ready, Maddie was very excited to join in on the fun. Leading up to the event we talked about the environment and why it’s important to help your local community and now she is excited to see the farm in a few years time when the plants have grown and the erosion has subsided.

After arriving at the farm we soon learnt we were to travel by motorbike to get to the site. Luckily for us, Angie (my sales manager) had some hidden talents and knew how to drive a motorbike, so she helped ferry my friends and family to the site. I think Angie was secretly having a ball reliving her childhood memories of driving motorbikes on the farm in Canada, a far cry from Green Hip sales and orders!

The owners of the farm along with Andrew set us to work and we were to learn about the select range of species Andrew has grown which wallaby’s don’t particularly like to eat. Apparently many farmers have given up planting in the area due to high populations of wallabies and kangaroos who love to eat most natives that are perfect for corridor planting but Andrew has worked out the best species to plant for longevity. We were also fascinated by Andrew’s nifty tree planting devices and his innovation. Gotta love someone who thinks out side the box!

Conserving biodiversity within our environment is incredibly important along with supporting our farmers and surrounding environments and I most certainly had a fantastic time giving back to the earth and helping some hard working local dairy farmers. There is already talk of the tree planting site for next year so stay tuned because we’d love to have more helpers next year, it’s going to be a big one!

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