Trees

Posts about trees, sustainability, gardening and outdoor living.


Planting a Forest: The Remarkable True Story of Forest Man

May 16, 2017

Planting a Forest | Jadav Payeng has been single-handedly planting a forest for over three decades, proving it takes just one person to do something remarkable.
(Image Credit: Pixabay)

Today I wanted to write a post about a very remarkable person. The other night I stumbled upon a 2013 short documentary on YouTube called Forest Man, directed by William Douglas McMaster. It briefly details a story that spans more than three decades. A story about a man single-handedly planting a forest.

In 1979, then 16 year old Jadav Molai Payeng was hired as a labourer for a tree plantation project initiated by the social forestry division of the Golaghat district in the state of Assam, India. When the five year project ended, Payeng began his own planting project on a barren sandbar next to his home island Majuli.

Click here to read full post...

5 Facts About Earth Day

April 22, 2017

5 Facts About Earth Day | Here are five facts about Earth Day accompanied by five simple ways to integrate the philosophies of this one day into your daily life.
(Image Credit: Max Pixel)

Happy Earth Day friends! If it feels like we just celebrated Earth Hour it's because... we did. But really - is one hour plus one day enough time to fully acknowledge this planet that gives us so much? I think you know my answer to that question. Which is why I've created an enjoyable - yet informative - post featuring five facts about Earth Day. Just for you!

But first, let me boldly suggest we celebrate Earth Day 365 days a year. If this sounds like a daunting task - relax - it isn't! It really is about the little things we do every day. The things that become so ingrained in our routine they no longer are tasks to put effort into. They're just life. This Earth Day, let's vow to make caring for our planet something we just do. Every day.

Click here to read full post...

5 Earth Hour Activities

March 25, 2017

Earth Hour Activities by Of Houses and Trees | Earth Hour is only 60 minutes, yet it's the small actions that make a greener world. Here are five Earth Hour activities to do when the lights go out.
(Image Credit: Pexels)

Happy Earth Hour 2017! Are you going to turn off your lights and electrical devices between 8:30 and 9:30 tonight? Devin and I are, which means our daughters will be participating in the event as well except they'll be doing so in their sleep. Well... maybe we'll cheat a little and keep their nightlights and fans on because if we don't they'll wake up and then no Earth Hour activities for us adults. (Keep reading for a few things we - and others - like to do during Earth Hour!)

Earth Hour may be only a 60 minute event, but it's purpose is to prove that even the smallest actions contribute to a more environmentally conscious and sustainable way of living. The idea that each one of us can make a difference with small, every day actions is exactly what Of Houses and Trees stands for and lines up with how I try to live my life. As the Earth Hour website says, "No one causes climate change in isolation and no one can tackle it alone. Changing climate change requires innovation in ambition, vision and collaboration and it starts with each of us."

Click here to read full post...

How Trees Talk to Each Other

March 19, 2017

How Trees Talk To Each Other by Of Houses and Trees | We all know trees are living organisms, but did you know they can talk? Learn how trees talk to each other and how you can help them continue to do so.We all know trees are living organisms, but did you know they can talk? I read Jane Goodall's Seeds of Hope last year and was absolutely entranced with the chapter on trees (surprise, surprise, given the name of this blog). In my favourite section she talked about the ability trees have to communicate through their underground network of roots. Then, only a few months later, I was YouTubing it up one night and came across a TEDTalks by Suzanne Simard about - you guessed it - the communicative abilities of trees. THEN, a few months after that, I was at the bookstore and the woman in front of me at the cash register was buying a copy of a book called The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben. Clearly someone was trying to tell me something. Perhaps it was the trees.

Click here to read full post...

Homemade Garden Fertilizer

July 18, 2016

Homemade Garden FertilizerI've been trying to learn the ropes of vegetable gardening for about three years now. Before that I was more of a "plant a perennial that my mom gave me and then forget about it" kind of gal. Back then I used Miracle Grow, but when I decided to start growing my own food I got all crunchy and stopped using any commercially made fertilizers or pesticides. And while I've dabbled in the realm of homemade bug deterrents (I'm all for letting bugs be bugs, but when they start decimating my runner beans, well – they gotsta go), I've yet to attempt making my own fertilizer. I know some people just say "dig a hole and throw some vegetable scraps in it," but that just seems... too easy? For some reason, I've always been that person who likes doing things the hard way. Then I see homemade fertilizer recipes that call for fish heads and I'm like yeah... no...

Click here to read full post...

Freewriting... About Trees

January 27, 2016

Freewriting... About Trees
Live trees, dead trees standing, dead trees taking a nap... we've got it all out on our land.

So I just wrapped up rehearsing and performing in a dance piece called DIG by Edmonton-based choreographer Kathy Ochoa in which we explored automatic writing/automatic talking. If you're unfamiliar with the practice, the non-vocal version is usually called freewriting (something I was often required to do when I was working on my degree) and consists of a person writing for a set period of time without stopping to consider what should come next or edit what came before.

It was after the fact that I learned the term automatic writing actually describes messages that pass through a person's hand, but do not necessarily come from the mind of said person.

Click here to read full post...

2016 Resolution: Save the Planet

January 10, 2016

2016 Resolution: Save the Planet
I mean, who wouldn't want to save something that looks like this?

Much like I was inspired by a few home blogs I follow to do an online Holiday Home Tour, I was almost inspired to do a "Design Resolutions" post. But, you know what? You'll read about my 2016 design ideas and projects if/when I get around to them. For now, let's talk about something a little bit bigger. Something we all should be trying to do – every day – and not just as a New Year's resolution that invariably will fall to the wayside come February. What I'm talking about, my dear friends, is saving the planet.

Can it be done? Some say no. Some say we're in too deep. We've gone too far. To this I say pish posh. Of course, I just so happen to be one of those super annoying idealists who thinks that every little change we make counts and that starting small is the best way to integrate a leaner, meaner and greener way of life into your 2016.

Click here to read full post...

Mugo Pine (Pinus Mugo)

October 5, 2015

Mugo Pine Facts | Ah, majestic Pinus mugo! Also known as mountain pine, dwarf mountain pine, scrub mountain pine, Swiss mountain pine, creeping pine and mugo pine.
A shrub by any other name would smell, well... like a shrub. (Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

It's been a long time since I've done a "Tree of the Day" post (the last one was way back in my pre-motherhood days of January 2013), but I've decided to dust this series off because my Google calendar keeps reminding me I have a blog post "due" (because I'm the kind of person who enters every one of their to-dos into an online calendar and then procrastinates on actually doing them).

Ah, majestic Pinus mugo! Also known as mountain pine, dwarf mountain pine, scrub mountain pine, Swiss mountain pine, creeping pine and – the name by which I know it – mugo pine. And, if that isn't enough names for you, it sometimes is referred to as Pinus montana and sometimes spelled "mugho pine," due to a typo in an 18th century encyclopedia.

Click here to read full post...

Mr Sun, Sun, Mr Golden Sun

July 20, 2015

Mr Sun, Sun, Mr Golden Sun
Me and my sibs, being all one with nature and stuff, circa about a million years ago.

I don't remember when I got hooked on being green. I mean, I've always adored nature. Trees. Lakes. Dirt. My family's annual (and sometimes bi or tri-annual) camping trips (usually to the majestic Rockies) led to a love of the great outdoors and all that it represents being wound into the very fabric of my being. But did I always recycle? No. Was I always that person – you know, the one who dies a little inside when someone at a birthday party throws away a paper plate, or licks clean plastic cutlery and puts it in their purse so it can later be reused? No. No, I wasn't.

I'm a firm believer in the fact that green living is about integrating eco-friendly choices into reality. I clearly recall that I didn't start blue-bagging until I lived in my first apartment, which had recycling bins in the parking lot.

Click here to read full post...

Of House and Trees Blogger Archive

Of Houses and Trees Blogger Archive
(Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

If you're looking for my older posts (or just trying to navigate away from this site and over to Pinterest... you know, where the real magic happens) they are currently still hanging out on my old Blogger site. After much trial and error, it turns out the best way to import my previous posts to my new site is to do so manually. As in reconstructing them one at a time. Good thing I wasn't a very prolific poster in those days as it is time consuming work! So the old posts will be gradually moseying their way over to their new home on the new and improved Of Houses and Trees site, but in the meantime try and drop by to say hello – even blog posts get lonely in their old age.

And while you're there don't forget to comment as your lovely and thoughtful words will be imported with each post...

Click here to read full post...