Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Easter Trees and Easter Goodies

The Easter bunny has never been known for his restraint when he visits our farm. Egged on by two doting aunts he provides an egg hunt of epic proportions, spread around the four houses on our farm.  This year one aunt was deeply worried that the children would be disappointed as she hadn’t had a chance to furnish the bunny with much in the way of eggs, and just maybe they wouldn’t  have the usual excessive amount of little eggs.

He has always left an egg in the children’s trees. They each have one. Our son’s planted on his first birthday (now a well established flowering tree), the girls’ planted together just after Youngest was born. Unfortunately theirs never thrived where we put them. Middle Daughter’s pompom tree sadly died, needing richer soil and far more water than it could find and Youngest’s had to be moved into the orchard irrigation system as it was surviving but only just.  So it was of utmost importance to plant themselves new trees before Easter Day.... something that from this tree planting post I see I’d been promising for nearly two years.

On Saturday I finally took them tree buying.  There is a nursery down a very long dirt road not far from us, that we’d never been to, so we trundled and bumped along there and were pleased to find a good selection of indigenous trees. Middle Daughter had in mind a coral tree, which has gorgeous flame red flowers in spring, but they only had some tiny new plugs. The girls perused all the rows, reading all the labels.

Eventually Youngest decided on a White Stinkwood (an elegant deciduous tree much prettier than its name) and Middle Daughter chose a Red Alder (which apparently has creamy white flowers that the birds and insects like in autumn). I bought two coral tree plugs as they are so pretty once they are flowering, even though it will probably be ten years away growing them from so small.

Back home we got out the dowsing rods to find suitable places to plant them.

A few meters each way can make a huge difference to whether a tree grows well here. You can see the ones that have found their own water. The ones that haven’t have hardly grown in ten years, despite being watered through the summer months.

Then we waited for the fierce south-easter to drop to do the actual planting. It never did, so we went back out into it at the end of the afternoon, dug, composted, watered, planted mulched and staked.

Those trees are going to be the best looked after trees on the farm, already having been treated to the proceeds of a cleaned out rabbit hutch today!

Easter morning dawned overcast but not at all cold. I had to hop out of bed fairly smartly to beat the children to it, not that any of them still have any illusions about where the eggs come from, but it still spoils the fun if they actually witness the eggs being hidden by human hands! It turned out that the Easter bunny’s other major source had over-compensated for the one aunt’s lack and I had to be even more ingenious than ever to find enough hiding places that were both in the shade and reasonably dog-proof!

When the children went out to search at 7.30 on Easter morning, eggs were discovered in nooks and crannies all over the place and of course in the new trees.

The total harvest came to more even than last year and after the grand counting and re-distribution had taken place each child had a shocking 79 small eggs! Enough to last them till August at least!


  1. I love that the bunnies helped with the planting of the trees at Easter!

  2. I read your (wonderful) post, and looked at your (brilliant) photos, and I am left with a question. Are the hidden and found eggs colored hard boiled eggs, or are they chocolate candy eggs?

    Growing up, we used hard boiled eggs with dyed shells for the hiding and finding part, and afterwards we got a basket of Easter candy, which had the chocolate bunnies and eggs and things inside.

    What's your tradition?

  3. Hi Marcheline, they are all little wrapped chocolate eggs. Our family has never had the tradition of coloured boiled eggs - don't know why... perhaps we don't like hard boiled eggs very much!
    When I grew up in England we never had egg hunts, we just found a large chocolate egg on the breakfast table on Easter morning. I guess the Easter bunny hadn't made it to England way back then?!


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