August 29-October 28, 2011
The past couple of months have been spent focusing on the greenhouse and getting trees ready for planting in the 2012 rainy season. We have surpassed 5,000 trees that will be ready. We have a ton of native fruit trees (Guayaba, Pechiche, and Chirimoya) and lots and lots of other species. Fruit trees tend to be good for donating to the communities and people around town. The others are great for preventing soil erosion because they grow quickly and don’t need much water.
We’ve also made a couple of new additions to the greenhouse. The old ramada with it’s falling down roof was replaced with a new, taller one. It is made out of bamboo and thatch, two of the most sustainable local building materials available. We had some left over thatch from the new ramada, so we decided to buy some more bamboo and make another shade device nearby. These ramadas serve as places to work out of the sun, rest when we need a break, and also as a way to provide shade for recently transplanted trees, which may be sensitive to too much sunlight. Ceibos, for example, are particularly sensitive when they are first transplanted.
We have also accomplished seed collecting and seed preparation. A couple thousand Guachapeli seeds were collected and removed from their shells for storage until next year. Jaboncillo seeds were also collected in the Astillero barrio.
On a regular basis we go out for a walk to collect bottles. Neighborhood residents are now accustomed to seeing us out looking for bottles and have started helping us by collecting bottles in their houses in sacks. Now when we walk through town we just pick up the sacks and are able to collect a lot more bottles much faster. We have promised to donate baby trees to the households which have helped us collect the bottles. Routinely collecting bottles like this has meant that we no longer need to go out looking for bottles in the trash. Quite the improvement!
In addition to continuing greenhouse maintenance, in the next couple of months we will be talking with landowners about creating new revegetation sites and prepare them for planting. This will involved a lot of macheteing trails and digging holes. If you want to get your hands dirty repairing damaged ecosystems, come volunteer!