By the time the rains hit, we will have trails leading to approximately 3,000 holes waiting for their native tree to be planted.

Sept. 23-Oct.6, 2009

Work on the first new revegetation site (for 2010) has commenced. With machetes we clear trails to be able to navigate the site and holes are dug for planting the trees once the rains begin (late December or early January?).

Britt, Andrew, Rob, Isabell, and Maddy survey the terrain for trail making.

This site is actually a piece of land that is owned by William Zambrano, a neighbor of the Planet Drum apartment/office in Bahia. He approached us asking if we would be interested in planting trees on his land. William has a background in commercial forestry and understands the fragile state of Dry Tropical Forest in the area. His land was previously used for a combination of planting corn, watermelons and grazing cattle and has been repeatedly ‘slash and burned’ over the years. Now he wants to dedicate his land to ecosystem restoration.

He specifically requested native trees and was even interested in species which are not typically sought after for logging. Most people who are looking for trees to plant are interested in planting valuable hardwood species often exclusively around the perimeter of their land. I suppose they can’t be blamed, it’s not a bad mid-range investment. That’s not exactly the kind of revegetation we’re interested in however.

Despite not being entirely on the slope of a hill, William’s site is in a strategic location, situated directly in the middle of a small watershed (300-400 hectare) called Maria Dolores. Planet Drum is very interested in working there because of extensive devegetation. The site actually borders a long section of the seasonal creek which feeds the estuary during the rainy season. There are already 6 previous Planet Drum revegetation sites within this extensive watershed.

Andrew, Maddy and Rob find a small bit of shade to take a break from hard work.

Another benefit of this site is its size. Hopefully we will be able to plant approximately 500, perhaps more, trees there. The goal this year is to plant fewer sites (6-7) with an average of more trees per site. In 2009 there were 10 sites with an average of 210 trees per site. Logistically, it is easier to plant more trees at fewer places.

Within the next couple of months more sites will be acquired and if all goes as planned, by the time the rains hit, we will have trails leading to approximately 3,000 holes waiting for their native tree to be planted.

Andrew waters trees in the greenhouse.

Aside from site preparation, we’ve also continue to make steady improvements to the greenhouse. A new hose was purchased to facilitate watering. Weeds have been kept at bay. Seed beds continue to germinate and over the next couple of weeks we will be doing a lot of transplanting. Another batch of 3-liter bottles was collected, cut and washed in anticipation.

Maddy and Rob cut open 3-liter bottles. Note cutoff bottle top in mid-air.

Signs with text and pictures explaining how to compost using our trench method were painted and will be installed to teach new-comers how it works. The compost trench has a new second stage, complete with shade device and a huge pile has been moved along in the process of decomposition.

On Friday the 2nd, I gave a tour of the Planet Drum apartment and greenhouse along with a history of the Eco-city and our projects to a group of recently graduated high-school students from the non-profit organization Thinking Beyond Borders which is on an epic eight month globe trot, visiting and participating in a wide variety of projects across four continents.

Pásalo bien,

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