October 15, 2004
We had a great week to be ended by an even better weekend. The Planet Drum house is heading to the beach for some recreating. I imagine that you are heading back home, finishing up your travels, as we depart for our weekend adventure. It will be nice to have you back in the home office again.
Our spurt of growth at the greenhouse seems to be in a recession. No new seedlings have emerged this week, which concerns me a little. One bed has not had any growth at all, not even weeds! We added some more compost and a thin layer of mulch to help retain some more moisture in the soil. A pleasant French man, volunteered with us for a day. As it turns out he is handy with a hammer and fixed the two small beds outside the greenhouse, which allowed us to sow more seeds. We planted another new species Jabon Cillo (new in the sense that we haven’t planted it before). This tree is best known for its little, round black seeds that are commonly used for jewelry by local artisans. It has a great deal of ecological importance as well, providing food for local birds and mammals.
The compost pit received some extra attention. Our pit was suffering from too much green material and not enough brown, which resulted in a foul odor and maggots! The pit had not been able to sustain the amount of fruit and veggie scraps added twice weekly by a house full of vegetarians, plus what the University contributes. With a plethora of greens and an absence of browns the pit was not able to achieve its optimum heat levels, therefore allowing fly and other insect eggs thrive. We mixed into the pile a combination of leaf detritus and newspaper that had previously been soaked in water. By soaking the material first the browns absorb a good deal of water and then slowly leach it out, adding much needed moisture to the compost. We plan to add browns with more frequency.
All the sites were watered as usually. We finished mulching the areas we couldn’t get to last week. The saplings are sustaining. There haven’t been any recent invasions by herbivorous neighbors.
Aside from our plants everything is so brown and dry it is frightening. What an amazing wonder nature is for there it be an ecosystem such as this that survives for so long without water. It astonishes me to have seen tiny green buds forming on adult trees (appearing for the first time this week) this far into the dry season. Perhaps the trees know something we don’t know, maybe the rains are coming soon. The word around town is that this year is going to be a real wet one! Not necessarily an El Nino but close.
With the reality of the rainy seasons approaching so rapidly I’m feeling a little pressured to secure sites for the planting season. We paid a visit out to the dairy farm area one morning to speak with folks there. As it turned out the landowners weren’t around, only their groundkeepers. We left a copy of the convenio including our contact information. I intend to follow up this week not really expecting them to find us. I’m thinking of writing another contract to present to landowners, one that outlines our intentions and the responsibility of the landowners if we collectively agree to re-vegetate their land. Has this been done before?
We have a new addition to the Planet Drum house. Lauren started on Wednesday. It has been extremely fulfilling to see Jackson and Sol taking the responsibility of showing her the ropes.