Community Outreach

Machete Therapy: Orlando machetes brush with volunteers next the greenhouse.

While regular Planet Drum greenhouse operations at the Catholic University continue to flourish, we are also strengthening community outreach with two Bahía neighborhoods that have been project collaborators for years: Bellavista and Astillero.
Last year, Planet Drum constructed an elevated seedbed made from recycled materials in the Bellavista community and coordinated seed collection, planting, and transplanting  with local residents, who produced native fruit trees to plant in their own backyards. This year, we continue to support the community-based initiative, and are building a new elevated seedbed, this time made from bamboo.

Planet Drum constructs an elevated seedbed for tree production in the Bellavista community.
Planet Drum volunteers fill the seedbed with soil for planting.

While there, one of the community members, Martha, noted that a handful of residents are interested in creating a communal garden. I offered Planet Drum’s technical and volunteer assistance in exchange for continued community participation in Planet Drum’s revegetation work. On a future visit, we will survey feasibility and interest.

Bellavista resident Martha proposes a plan for a community garden.

Meanwhile in the Astillero, significant progress has been made on compost production and the implementation of a satellite greenhouse operation. We have been collecting damaged fruit from the Bahía market for over one month, and the first compost pile was ready to be turned. The compost will be used as soil for a community-based revegetation initiative. Fruit-trees will be distributed to local residents, and forest species will be used on a nearby hillside for habitat restoration and erosion control.

In the Astillero neighborhood, Orlando and the crew prepare compost with damaged fruit from the Bahía market.
Orlando and Jose María with a large pile of freshly turned compost.
Construction of an elevated seedbed for tree production at the Astillero site.
Orlando and William turn the massive compost pile.

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