|In the Spring of 2009, the initial building of the workshop had been completed for over a year, and it was time to embellish the surroundings. We decided to plant trees. Ritoma has few trees, the only noticeable ones being those planted on the hill facing the monastery and they are fenced off, protected from cattle. I used to think Ritoma, at 3,200 meters was above the tree line, but the monastery trees proved the contrary. Rather, it was Ritoma’s exclusive dedication to herding that gave the area its rolling green (in summer) hills. Cattle can only co exist with an ecosystem of plants, low bushes and flowers.
We bought pine trees from a tree nursery in Tso and planted them all around the walls of the workshop. A protective fence was also put. Now, seven years later, they are a few inches taller, often decorated with bits of wool and their lower branches missing. The sheep, especially in the early spring when grass is scarce, and fall, when it is largely gone,
managed to regularly squeeze their way inside the fence. The trees inside the courtyard fared a little better, due to the constant shooing of the guards. One day, we hope they will tower high…