Saturday, December 20, 2008

We all need heroes

This is a book written by a newfound hero I have, Diana Beresford-Kroeger. I first heard her speak on a Living-on-Earth program and I have been smitten ever since.  Her mind is a work of art; she even speaks fluent Gaelic.  This book details 20 trees found in the north temperate zone, all of which we should be able to plant somewhere on our land and most of which have medicinal and edible properties.  I was reading about honey locusts last night and it turns out that the eastern redbud tree (Cersis canadensis) is a relative of the locust with an interesting Christian oral history. The redbud is also called the Judas tree. Diana writes, "Jesus, before his death by crucifixion, was betrayed by his best friend, Judas Iscariot, who, anguished by the remorse of his action, hanged himself on a redbud tree....The history also holds a legend that the tree blushed with shame and was forever pink afterward." It turns out that Judas hung himself on a close relative of the eastern redbud, Cersis siliquastrum (found in Palestine), also known as the Judas tree.  
We have finally planted a couple trees on our property, thanks to a very thoughtful friend (Mark, you're the best!) who gifted me with two heirloom apple trees for my birthday.  They look very healthy and content next to the hoophouse, alongside the 70 ft row of daffodils we have planted.  I've been wanting to plant cherry trees and peach trees as there may not be anything more beautiful in the springtime than their blooms.  And honey locusts, redbuds, pawpaws, catalpas, pear trees, and any other lovelies needing a secure home for life.  

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