Saturday, August 7, 2010

Munchkin's Mandarin

It is traditional for Maori to keep the whenua (placenta) when a baby is born. The whenua is later buried in a place of special significance to the baby's family, usually looking over a mountain or some other place of belonging to that whanau. A tree is planted on top. My understanding is very limited on the matter, but I believe it is all about stating where this new child belongs. By placing their whenua in the earth, they are now connected to this place. I love this concept of connection and belonging!

When Munchkin was born, we chose to keep his whenua. A month or so later, we finally managed to go out and get a tree for him...motivated by a desire to create some more room in our freezer by removing the whenua, if I must be honest here!

We chose a mandarin. It now sits in a large pot outside our front door. As we are renting, we chose to put it in a pot so that it can move with us. When we eventually buy another property, we may then plant his mandarin tree in the ground, but doing it this way meant he still gets to have his whenua tree. The pot is a 'self watering' one with a little reservoir in the bottom. I am not very good at remembering to water pots, you see, so was somewhat concerned that I might kill Munchkin's tree by neglect. That would be rather tragic as it is a special tree with special meaning! So we got a decent sized self-watering pot, and a Miho variety of mandarin as the label says it is good in pots.

I noticed just this week that it looks like Munchkin's Mandarin might be starting to put out more leaves. Yay!

Here it is, with the friendy neighbourhood kitten being nosey (who has decided to adopt is not allowed in the house as I am allergic to cats, much to Andrew's disappointment as he loves cats...but he does get fairly frequent visits from our friendly grey kitten, coming for a rub out by the washing line or on the front door step!):


MaxineD said...

Looks good, Amy - and like Boyo, I love that puss - beautiful markings!

I am sure Munchkin will appreciate the tree in due time - if he is anything like his Dad, he will try and claim the fruit as his alone :-)

Little Bit said...

What a cute kitten!

We chose not to keep the placenta, just ick to us! I think I was put off it as friends of ours, (and also Luke's sister) kept their babies ones in the freezer for so long that they and had to keep checking it to make sure it wasn't meat to thaw for dinner... used to joke when we came over that we could be eating the baby's placenta. It totally grossed me out, and put me off keeping it!!!!

Luke thought it gross to begin with also, but once Lydia was born he became quite fascinated by it and tried to convince me to keep it...!!