I Count My Apples Alone.

I wonder, of course rhetorically, what would happen if starting from today I wouldn’t attend to the apples from my garden each year – take notice, I wouldn’t spray them with chemicals either – I wouldn’t pick up the fallen apples off the ground, I wouldn’t cut off the dry branches, I wouldn’t plant a cherry tree, a walnut tree or sour cherry tree every year, I wouldn’t cut the grass at least every two weeks!? And, moreover, I wouldn’t plant all kinds of vegetables and strawberries in my 500 square meter garden, I wouldn’t take out the weeds, I wouldn’t plant seedlings – just like before, I wouldn’t use any kinds of chemicals on them, only water from the well!?

Very simple: I would no longer have apples to eat or to make brandy with (in the good years I make about 100 litres, and about 30 in the very bad ones), I would no longer have shade in the garden, or green grass in which wild pheasants usually walk on, dozens of species of birds would no longer fly around here in search of food, stray deer would no longer find shelter here, I would no longer have fresh vegetables and fruits on the table, or mint for lemonade, thyme, oregano and basil for steak, clean water in the well and so on.

Still, I keep asking myself rhetorically, why am I doing this!? Because it’s my garden, it says black on white in the land statement. Because I like to have fresh and clean nature around me, for it to be neat and for me to be able to get use out of it, to have things to eat and drink directly from my yard, to walk barefoot in the grass, to protect myself under the trees from the heat of the sun, to watch numerous species of birds roam my garden every year, to grind my own apples for brandy, and about 1,791 other reasons. But the main reason is that it’s my garden. It is not an Agricultural Production Cooperative, it is not a public domain, it is not in the administration of the City Hall, nor of Romsilva, it’s not some form of ownership or administration that does not in fact belong to anyone. It’s simply mine.

And how do I maintain and manage all this? Sometimes on my own, using my own hands, with or without my children, other times I “call a guy” and pay him reasonably for the work done. And I’m keeping an eye on him to do the job, not to destroy anything, not to break the tools, the lawn mower or the apple grinder. And I do check. Maybe not every time, but every two times at least.

I’m convinced I’m not doing everything right or by the book. After all, I’m just a former “neighbourhood kid” who likes to get his hands dirty and who has learned these things by observing and practicing.

All my rhetorical questions are actually directed at the forests, who are managed by individuals who have absolutely nothing to do with them. They are not even bad owners or administrators. But because it’s not theirs, they actually don’t care at all about the consequences of their “administration” and, as a rule, they usually cut down and sell everything. A huge fortune wasted by non-owners and non-administrators. They don’t care about it, they don’t clean up, they don’t replant, they don’t guard the forests, they allow people to steal, they don’t do anything. There is no other motivation for the dramatic decrease of the forested area in Romania in the last 23 years. We can discuss the subject endlessly, but in the end, we will always arrive at the same conclusion: people cut more than they plant, they cut at a dizzying speed, they cut irresponsibly, despite any logical argument related to a good management of resources.

And there is no one to hold people accountable or to be held accountable for the countless “apples” that are sold or left to rot.