October 31-December 19, 2011
The past month and a half has been dedicated to greenhouse maintenance and to watering the trees in bottles that will be transplanted once the rains begin. In the field two new sites have been started, one in El Toro on a piece of government land being used by a local friend who asked us for trees to plant on the hillsides, and the other is a continuation of a site from last year on Doctor Cesar Parra’s land near the greenhouse. Site preparation requires macheteing and hole digging.
There has been a severe water shortage at the University Catolica, where the greenhouse is located, causing complications and setbacks concerning the availability of water there. Pipes that normally provide a regular source for water have been dry for months. As a result the University has resorted to hiring water trucks to deliver water to their tanks. Scarcity of water around Bahia recently often makes it difficult to even find a truck available for hire.
Due to the dangerously low levels of water at the university, on occasion we have been forced to water the trees by hand, with gallon jugs that are normally reserved for watering trees at the revegetation sites. The rest of the time, the water only trickles out of the hose.
Being accustomed to the ways in Bahia, we are used to conserving water. Unfortunately, the crisis at the greenhouse means it takes a lot longer to accomplish the simple task of watering the trees. Also, we haven’t been able to transplant new trees out of the seed beds because of a lack of water for mixing more soil. There are still seed beds of Jaboncillo, Guasmo, Tierramonte, and Guayaba that are ready for transplanting.
Here is an inventory of the trees at the greenhouse that are ready to be planted in the field as soon as possible:
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Of these tree species Chirimoya, Guayaba, and Pechiche are fruit trees. There are 3,007 of these three species, which means well over half of the trees we have this year are fruit producers.
While waiting for the rains to start and the ability to plant trees, we will continue to make progress with new site preparation.
Have a good holiday season.