We gathered in Svirče in front of the olive mill – 15 adults, 6 kids and 2 dogs and after a short ride we were able to enjoy this beautiful view.
For some of us, just this view and those amazing old Dalmatian black pines – this magical place below the St. Nikola peak might have been the true reason to join this re-forestation event organised by the Sustainable Island Association.
But some serious work was waiting for us and after a few short instructions and a demonstration we were left to deal with the hard Dalmatian land with a pick and a hoe and some precious looking seedlings of the Dalmatian Black Pine.
I must admit, after yesterday, I have even more respect for this island with all those generations who cultivated this impossible rocky land. How on earth were those people able to turn this rocky soil into a field?
With their hands. There was no other way. They had to take all those rocks out of there and build those endless stone walls dividing their fields.
I was able to plant 11 trees, which to my shame was much less than some of the kids, who were there. They were just great, spreading enthusiasm and their young energy and optimism while working with their full concentration, making sure each seedling gets to the soil deep enough.
Having the younger generation with us was probably even more important than the forestation itself. Giving the kids an opportunity to spend time in nature, helping in a project like this, working with their hands side by side with grown-ups – it is the best way to have them interested in our environment. Only 10% of the seedlings will make it, but those kids who were there yesterday will grow up one day knowing there are some black pines out there planted by them.
Many thanks to the Sustainable Island Association for organising this series of events. Many thanks to the Pjover Association from Velo Grablje for feeding this hungry tired crowd. Many thanks to everyone who helped in any way. It was an amazing day and experience.
If by any chance, this article is making you sad you weren´t there, because you are the pick-and-hoe-master and planting trees in impossible soil sounds irresistible to you, there will be another opportunity for you and everyone else to join us next weekend.