Walking around the Mother Earth News Fair fairgrounds I’ve seen many people carrying around trees. I had to investigate.
After locating the mysterious “giving tree” booth, I discovered that the Washington State Conservation Commission has been giving away trees, along with informative planting calendars, to fair-goers all weekend long. As part of their conservation efforts to help citizens protect renewable resources through the use of voluntary, incentive-based practices, they brought 10,000 trees for fair attendees to take home, plant and enjoy. The species they included in their supply were Quaking Aspen, Paper Birch, Vine Maple, Mock Orange, Oregon Wild Oak and Alaskan Yellow Cedar.
Attendees are excited to take home their living souvenirs—and they have interesting plans for them. According to Josh Giuntoli, the Office of Farmland Preservation Project Coordinator, many farm-owners are planting their fragrant Mock Oranges as hedge rows to create a natural border used to fence in livestock. Other people are excited to use their newly acquired Alaskan Yellow Cedars to block wind.
Long-time Mother Earth News reader Satira went home with 25 Alaskan Yellow Cedars and ten Vine Maples. (Giuntoli says that some people went home with more than 100 trees!) Satira says she can’t wait to go home and plant them on her farm. She’s ready to watch her trees “sleep, creep and leap.”