This Could Change the World!

September 2011 Permaculture Cottage 002Real Crisis in the Economy, Economic Forecasts, Economic Recovery, …the list of headlines, news and political in-fighting over the economy seems endless.

september 2011 bealtaine cottage 012However, the figures that are collected year on year, collated and spun out to us all, regarding the state of our country’s economy, are referred to as GDP or Gross Domestic Product.

September 2011 Permaculture Cottage 009GDP is the market value of all officially recognized final goods and services produced within a country in a year.

September 2011 Permaculture Cottage 016This includes trees. 

Dead trees.

Only dead trees!

Trees that have been cut down and transported out of the country, or sold.

September 2011 Permaculture Cottage Bealtaine 005Now, imagine this…

May 2011 Bealtaine 005What if living trees were included in GDP?

May 2011 Bealtaine Cottage 039For, after all, a tree is of more value to us all, alive than dead! 

September 2011 Permaculture Cottage 008A tree is worth $193,250…

According to Professor T.M.Das of the University of Calcutta. A tree living for 50 years will generate $31,250 worth of oxygen, provide $62,000 worth of air pollution control, control soil erosion and increase soil fertility to the tune of $31,250, recycle $37,500 worth of water and provide a home for animals worth $31,250. This figure does not include the value of fruits, lumber or beauty derived from trees. Just another sensible reason to take care of our forests.

From Update Forestry Michigan State University

cropped-november-2011-018.jpgGDP is one the primary indicators used to gauge the health of a country’s economy.

It represents the total dollar value of all goods produced by that country

November 2011 018But, surely, the health of an economy is as much predicated on the health of it’s people, land, air and soil, as it is on exported dollar goods?

May blossom at Bealtaine CottageCan you begin to imagine how the inclusion of all living trees could change how we regard economic health, wealth, growth and progress?

May 2011 Bealtaine Cottage 018This small step could change the world!


You can place an order for seeds harvested here at Bealtaine cottage, from the plants seen growing here…all strong and vigorous. Click on the link below that will take you to the selection available:


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  1. Thanks for the Tree’s. Inviremental illnesses are on the rise. I feel it is connected to the death of Nature’s inviroment. Bees have much to do with this too. Mason Bees were deed in the thousands in my area some four years ago.

  2. As always, a lovely blog posting. hopefully you have a Green Party candidate in your neck of the woods – they’re the closest we have to a future!

    • I was asked to stand by the Green Party, but decided not to ally myself to any political grouping. In so doing, I continue, unhindered by politics, to remain an advocate for Mother Earth.

  3. Yes, I have seen this stats before, seems so crazy to me that gdp ignores living trees. Most neighbourhoods that have huge trees and lots of green space are typically far wealthier than those without. People instinctively want to live around lots of mature trees and will pay more to do so.

    Here are some great stats about the trees in New York City in the US, trees are certainly more valuable alive than dead.

  4. I have something called Rose of Sharon that start out as bushes and grow into tree size. When I bought my house 14 years ago I let the back end of my yard go natural to see what would happen. I LITERALLY have a FOREST of Rose of Sharon trees with new ones springing up each day like mushrooms. (if I could just find a way to eliminate all the various thorny vines and poison ivy that comes in from surrounding yards and is all woven through it!) These trees have very large bell shaped flowers in various colors-some are white with red borders. some are pinkish purple- they have no scent to them but when in bloom they are very pretty and the bees love them!

  5. Hi Colette

    GDP is one of those cons they put out to lull the masses of unthinkers. It sounds great, increased GDP. But a train crash increases GDP. Fracking increases GDP. Flooding increases GDP. Wars increase GDP. Crazy economics.

    You probably already know this – though they have serious issues that need to be addressed in some areas, the tiny Himalayan state of Bhutan is making great strides towards creating a more realistic alternative to GDP – GNH, or Gross National Happiness.

    One of their early goals is to go 100% organic; another is to go 100% renewable energy (helped of course by their mountainous location); add this to measuring the well-being of their citizens by other means than just money and we can all learn from them.

    A healthy tree adds value to a property in so many ways that you really don’t need to value it financially; unfortunately, everything is commodified these days – even down to the air we breathe – and it reminds of the phrase “they know the cost of everything and the value of nothing.”


  6. Reblogged this on Laura Bruno's Blog and commented:
    I love this idea! As I try to track down three birch trees, a serviceberry tree, apply tree, and a Mr. and Mrs. Holly, Colette’s idea presents quite a tangible paradigm shift. Brilliant!

  7. As you have said before, Colette, we need more trees. I did my bit this morning, I ordered a Cornus Mas, or Cornelian Cherry. I saw one in York last year, dripping in the most delectable cherry like fruits. I read recently that it makes the most marvellous jam. Only problem is they take quite a while to grow before they produce fruit and although self fertile, it only kicks in after two or three fruiting years. I hope I live long enough to see the fruit.. The bonus is that it has lovely yellow flowers in the spring and is a very attractive tree.

    • And as part of GDP, your beautiful tree is worth a small fortune! At least that is how it will be if we all tell our politicians! I feel a visit to my local TD coming up and a lecture on real economics being delivered to him!
      Blessings XXX

  8. You are right Colette. In our Celtic past, the criteria that the health and well being of people, animals, water and trees and other cousins and relations were indicators of how good a king was and whether he was deserving of his place. Bearing that in mind, maybe we all need a change of government or leadership.

Your comments are welcome!