Digging of pits in grove  began in Sep., 2008. They were left to weather. Subsurface piping for watering trees had existed up to the contour trench. The network was extended to grove , ready to serve the new arrivals After the rains, foundation feed was filled in the pits. Plants were procured from a nursery run by a self-help group of women of the Irula tribe. All these were achieved in the teeth of extreme labour scarcity. It would not have been possible without the active support of Sumathy and Ananthu who mobilised volunteers.
No activity takes place at pointRteurn over Sundays, which is when friends of pointReturn are free to come. On weekdays they are at work. So raising volunteers is a hard task until basic facilities come up and overnight stays are possible. On January 13, it was finally time to settle the saplings in their home. Ananthu worked the eMail to muster support.
in the end, we were 9 people in all ferrying plants, tamping them down, placing stakes and tying them. Then all plants were given a cold drenching. A a few broke off to cook lunch at the kitchen. It was a one course meal of organic broken wheat with vegetables of every colour and spiced just right. Sumathy’s recipe went down well with the planters.
When I stood on the new field and looked east, I was taken aback by the ten acres that remained to be planted. But then I turned west and gazed at grove  planted almost exactly an year ago. I had not quite seen the grove from the point where I now stood. “Oh my!”, I gasped. “how much and how well they have grown”. Some were over 7′ tall and most were casting a shadow. The sight lifted my spirits.
I recalled something that Bill Mollison had quoted in his Permaculture Designer’s Manual. I looked it up that night. It was quote from a Herman Hesse book:
“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating teachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves… They struggle with all the forces of their lives for thing only: to build up their own forms. to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary, than a beautiful strong tree.”
Nothing is more satisfying, I might add, than to be of assistance to trees in their quest for service.