What would you do following a career burn-out? Timeout thinking and re-evaluating your life of course. Isn’t that what everyone does?

So following 20 years of building websites, I brought a van and delivered parcels for Amazon Logistics across rolling hills and down tiny lanes and turned my technology off.

My plan was to get fit and untangle my thoughts, following what seemed like a lifetime sitting on my behind and burning the midnight oil. It must be said… Amazon wouldn’t be many people’s idea of a therapeutic retreat, but it offered me the contrast I sought.

In my scheme to move forward, I was to undertake something which would add value to society, to regain my sense of worth. Concerns around climate change and the need to create a brighter outlook for our 7-year-old daughter seemed to fill my newly regained headspace.

I experimented with making vegan waxed wraps, vegan chocolates, and I even grew a few mushrooms, vegan of course! I churned over other vegan-based business ideas, but at the back of my mind was growing trees and a list of unanswered questions; Would growing trees have a greater positive impact on reducing CO2 in the atmosphere than encouraging people to reduce their meat and dairy intake? How do I get land to grow trees? How do I grow trees? Will my back break growing trees? Why did I cut that sapling down in my garden last year when we need more trees?

So one September day I was surprised to see my partner and our daughter brought home some acorns from their dog walk. Ok, so I had been hoarding a few in my coat pocket too. But my partner announces she had researched how to grow the acorns. “How to grow the Acorns!”, hang-on this was my idea!! rushed through my head. It was time to stop talking and start growing.

To be honest, I never knew there was a way to grow acorns, I just thought we’d pop them in pots, and hey presto oak trees. That might work but it’s not what we did.

We started our efforts by collecting acorns from our neighbor’s tree. I didn’t count them at the time, but they seemed plentiful. My daughter and partner float tested the acorns separating the floaters from the sinkers. Insect-damaged or dehydrated acorns tend to have air trapped inside. At this stage, only 6 floated and were discarded. We then bagged the remaining acorns up in plastic and left them in the bottom of our fridge for a few months.

So as a family we have started growing our acorns to feel proud we are contributing to the healing of the planet. We want to see less doom and gloom when we think of the future.

Follow our story of how we grew 51 oak trees and found them homes.