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Friday April 24, 2020 – Arbor Day!

Friday April 24, 2020

– New Moon Phase: begin, initiate, wish, project, set an intention

– Moon in Taurus

– Sun in Taurus

– Best Days (from the Farmer’s Almanac) –Cut Firewood, Cut Hair to Increase Growth, Mow to Increase Growth, Dig Holes, Wax Floors, Paint, Get Married, Advertise to Sell, Buy Clothes, Buy a Home

– Gardening tips April 22-24 (from the Farmer’s Almanac) –Favorable for planting beans, corn, cotton, tomatoes, peppers, and other above ground crops.

– Aspect of the Aeon Sophia: (Wisdom): Tara – Goddess Who Guides

– Aspect of the Aeon Thelete: (Will/Desire): Ian, God of the East, God of Wisdom

– Sabian Symbol for the Solar-Lunar Month: “The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow”

– Sabian Symbol for the Solar-Lunar Year: “A Triangle with Wings”

SUN: 5 TAURUS – A widow at an open grave

EARTH: 5 SCORPIO –  A massive rocky shore resists the pounding of the sea

One of the oddball holidays that I have wanted to write about is Arbor Day. Many people have heard about it. It’s often mentioned on the News on the Day it happens, followed by a cute news clip of some community leaders planting a tree.  All pretty and cute. But not enough to call a day off work or have the banks close. So I wondered about it.

The light went on about this a few months back (hell I think it was in the last year) after I saw a Facebook meme (that I cannot find now) suggesting that we might be able to clean up the planet and stop global warming by simply planting a lot of trees. I think to make it work you have to plant in the millions, but who is counting.

So I started looking into Arbor Day and what it is all about.

I remember as far back as when I was a kid, and watching an Our Gang (Little Rascals) short film where they sang about Arbor Day. In looking it up, it is still available on Youtube. Here is a clip from it (proving my memory has not completely failed me).

This was back in 1936, so the holiday has been around for a long time. A little research show that it was championed by Theodore Roosevelt. He was always a naturalist. This particular holiday was shamed on him after Roosevelt had been cozying up to the logging industry. A conservationist from Pennsylvania, Major Israel McCreight pushed him to do it. Not a bad piece of shame if you ask me. It was also big in Nebraska, where in 1872 they planted over a million trees. Not bad.

The observed holiday goes back into the 1500’s when a catholic missionary in Spain was celebrating planting trees in his small town.

It all sounds great. Arbor Day seems like a great cause. But as with all good ideas, government has to get in and muck it up.

Tree City USA

The small Borough that I live in, a few miles west of Reading Pennsylvania, proudly Displays Tree City USA signs as you drive into the area. I always thought that was pretty cool. We do have a lot of trees, and the Borough maintains them well.

So what exactly is “Tree City USA?” What does the Arbor Day Foundation do?

I asked myself this question for a couple reasons. 1) I was interested. and 2) I was hoping I would be able to get a tree or trees from them for a good price – or even free.

If I was going to work on this whole idea of planting trees to save the environment, how would I get the trees and where would I plant them? It probably will not be around here. We have lots. I will need to find other open spaces to do it. That is a job for another time and place.

But I would like to plant some apple trees. They are kind of expensive (more than I spend on fencing each year on my garden at least). I will need t plant more than one. Meaning I will need to enlist some help (or at least permission from some of my neighbors to plant trees in their yards). Apple trees, in order to produce fruit, need pollenators (other similar trees). I do not have room in my yard for 2 trees. Thus, I need more.

Back to The Arbor Day Foundation. In the end, the Arbor Day foundation has less to do with planting trees and more to do with community organizing. Their sole purpose is to put together governmental structures that will ensure orderly care for the trees in a community. It requires a “Tree Board,” who are a group empowered to set policy on the placements and care for trees. And the community is required to maintain a budget for trees.

It all gives us more government. And possibly more trees. But . . .

Does it get us any closer to millions of trees to stop global warming?

I would say, Yes and No. The Arbor Day foundation is a small, slow positive step. It is people, starting local to improve the world around them. Here in Rural / Suburban Pennsylvania, it is helping keep a beautiful old community looking beautiful. I live in a 100 year old home, on a street lines with stunning Lindon trees that create a beautiful tunnel and drop the Temperature in the summer on our street up to 10 degrees. They are a mess. But I would not trade them for the world.

I will need to look further than my own community to plant 10, 100, 1000, 10000 trees. Or enough to make a difference to the environment.

So I will start with my apple tree project. I will write about it. I will ask others to consider it as well. If I cannot put them directly in the ground, maybe all of you can help.


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Thursday March 26, 2020

Thursday, March 26, 2020

-New Moon Phase: Begin, Set Intentions

-Aspect of the Aeon Sophia (Wisdom)

-Aspect of the Aeon Thelete: (Will/Desire): Ian, God of the East, God of Wisdom

-Sabian Symbol for the Solar-Lunar Year: “A Triangle with Wings”

SUN: 07 ARIES – a man successfully expressing himself in two realms a once

EARTH: 07 LIBRA –  a woman feeding chickens and protecting them from the hawks

One day I am going to figure out how to make an appealing looking inline textbox for this information. This is basic daily information that I have been following through Oracle Report for years. And I want it to be part of these posts. But look a little different. So if there are any WordPress gurus out there with an idea, I would love to hear it.

Planting Intentions

Before I was considering all the political machinations with the Coronavirus and the World coming to an end, I had decided that I was strongly going to focus this year on my garden and what I do with it. If you have been following Astrogardens, you have seen 2 years of what I will call me entertaining myself with my garden.

But the Zombie Apocalypse that I have talked about in the past has come to fruition with the Global shutdown. People who consider themselves “preppers” are not being looked at as if they were tin foil hat nuts. Though it happened in the winter (when nothing is growing here in the Northeast), people are now seriously wondering why they do not have a pantry full of food stocked away and a seed vault for their garden planned for Spring.

And since we are locked in for the most part, it is a good time to plan.

And What about Trees?

I do not have a huge yard. But still there are 2 large trees on it. In Front, our street is lined with ancient Lindon trees. They are a showpiece feature of our block that is well known throughout our little Borough. Starting in about April, the trees will bloom and create a virtual tunnel for our entire block. It was even chose by the Giant food stores chain a few years back to shoot a commercial that features a marching band and parade. Made us look like true Americana.

In addition, I have a huge Mulberry tree covering much of the backyard. I have a love hate relationship with that tree. When it is full, there is no more beautiful share tree with birds, chipmunks and squirrels. jumping from branch to branch. It overhangs our back porch and we love the shade. BUT . . . during the month of June it is the messiest thing imaginable. You do not walk out back with bare feet. Squish. Squish. Squish.

We used to have a third big tree in our yard. I called it the Christmas Tree that someone planted to be cool after Chistmas . . . an lo and behold it grew. When we moved in our house, It was growing beside our Chimney and over-topped that by a good 5 feet. We loved it. It was beautiful But my neighbor HATED it. I believe the real reason he hated it was because it grew over a spot on his lawn and the sap killed all his grass. So for 10 years he constantly hinted about it. My favorite of his hints was that he believed that Squirrels were jumping from that tree onto his roof . . . or he was afraid that they might. He went so far as to complain to the borough that it was a nuisance. I will talk more about that little argument later. But suffice it to say, we finally were able to remove it at almost no cost to us. In the end, it was better. Because of that tree, we were unable to have our chimney swept, and thus could not have fires in our fireplace.

I bring up my trees because part of my plan for planting this year is to plant a tree. I just do not have any idea where to put it or what I want to plant.

The idea really took root for me last year after reading a meme on Facebook that said something to the effect that one way to combat climate change was to plant a bunch of trees. It was much more insightful than that, but I did not save it. But it made me set an intention. It will be a theme that you will see here a lot over the next few months.

Another silly facebook meme I saw regarding trees was actually a DIY idea. It suggested that instead of throwing out lemon seeds (when you have fresh lemons that is) that you should throw them into some soil and turn them into house plants. Since I buy a lot of lemons (they go great in iced tea, which I make and drink at least 3 gallons of each week), I figured that it sounded like fun. So last December, I planted some.

The idea is that they are easy to care for and make a very fragrant house plant. They take 3-5 years to bear fruit, but are appealing in the meantime. So here is my first one. Since it was so easy, I am planning a doing a bunch of them. Maybe sell some, or give them away. Again, we are in the northeast. They will not last through a winter, so they will need to be potted. This will be fun.

Now this lemon tree exercise has been fun. It is a just microcosm in comparison to what it will be like to actually fulfill the idea of planting a lot of trees to save the world. And while this lofty goal sounds fun, but a little silly, I think it is something that should be pretty easy to do.

But is it? Have you ever planted a tree? Do you have any idea how to plant a tree?