July 30-August 3, 2007
This week we lucked out by finding some extra hands around town to pitch in with the work, since our numbers have dwindled to one volunteer. Simply keeping up with watering the planted sites proves to be a challenge. Fortunately some travelers came out to help the cause for a couple days.
On Monday, Brian and I went to the greenhouse to water and prepare more seed beds. The greenhouse is beginning to transform dramatically as increasingly more floor space is dedicated to the seedbeds. We are also experimenting with soil composition. Previous mixtures contained too much clay and would not filter water well. This hurt the germination process of some seeds and a few of our initial batches of seeds were lost. Sand has now been added to the soil to improve filtration and it seems to help dramatically. I am hopeful for future seeding.
From the greenhouse we walked over to Maria Dolores and Don Pepe to do some watering. With only two people we’ve had to get creative to be able to carry all of the water and have started using backpacks to carry double the usual amount. To cover both sites there had to be two trips to give enough water to all of the trees.
Monday night we made friends with a group of German travelers staying at a nearby hostel and were able to convince them to come out for a day of work. On Tuesday, our local friend Gabrielle also showed up and another passerby was recruited, Will from North Carolina. With our numbers temporarily bolstered we took advantage of the occasion and headed to Bosque Encantado to do some serious watering. With all the extra hands it was possible to take care of the normal site there, as well as an extra site from this year and even did some watering and a check up on the trees from last year, which are holding up.
Will liked the Planet Drum life and decided to stay for the rest of the week. So on Wednesday the three of us, Will, Brian and I, watered the sites at La Cruz and Bosque en Medio de las Ruinas.
On Thursday, while I took care of some office work, Will and Brian went back to the greenhouse. While there they turned the compost and planted Guachepeli and Algarobo seeds in the new beds made earlier in the week.
On Friday we got a ride with Ricardito into the El Toro site. In addition to watering, some of the water catchments around the trees that had degraded were improved, and some trail maintenance was done to make getting around easier while watering. More rice hulls were added as mulch around the trees. Will and Brian took off in the afternoon for a weekend excursion to Puerto Lopez, and I headed to the greenhouse to do some end-of-the-week watering. The trees look good, and hopefully more will be sprouting soon.