Leaf mulch and GPS

July 31-August 6, 2006

We worked extensively this week in Bosque Encantado. The volunteer group is really efficient these days and we have been able to complete a lot of trail and maintenance work. All the trails have been cleared of the verano (summer) shrubs and we have been able to begin the inventory/labelling work for our seedlings. Catherine has begun preparing GPS maps for all our sites and we have created a numbered tag for each tree, including species, planting date and source of the original seed. While preparing each tree tag we have also created new flagging and new mulched beds around each tree to maintain the humidity of soil between waterings. With the clay soils of Bahia unable to absorb much water, direct sunlight hitting the soil rapidly evaporates any and all water. This leaf mulch used by local farmers not only keeps the suns rays at bay, it also provides some nutrients for the soil in the long term.

On Wednesday I took a horseback tour of the land Planet Drum bought here in Ecuador last year. What a breathtaking place, with gigantic Ciba trees and wildlife abounding. In the eight hours we were GPS siting the property´s borders we encountered over 20 species of birds, 4 tarantulas, evidence of mule deer and several mating pairs of rabbits. Luckily or unluckily, depending on who you are, the rabbits escaped our guide´s attempts to “prepare” the rabbits for lunch! In such a beautiful location on the Pacific coast of South America, I can hardly wait for Planet Drum´s International Sustainability Institute to open on this site in the future.

Jaime, Andrea and Cheo continue to work with us with several Ecuadorian volunteers wanting to join in the upcoming weeks. Two former volunteers, Brooke and Hammie have returned for a visit before they head back to Colorado and Oregon. Always nice to see familiar faces. 

Hoping to hear from some new faces soon! If you would like to volunteer with us in our slice of Ecuadorian paradise, please send an email: planetdrumecuador@yahoo.com

Hasta pronto, Pat 

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