March 6-12, 2006
Greetings from Ecuador, I hope my first attempt at these weekly reports lives up to those that Heather has set the bar with.
Planet Drum visited El Bosque Encantado not once, but twice this week. We carried out a lot of trail cutting and planting in several heavily eroded gullies. About fifty trees went in this area. Plenty of opportunity for more. With all the rain we have been getting it is absolutely amazing how lush the vegetation is right now. The shoulder height vines hid the wasps’ nest quite well while Dan was cutting trail with the machete! Oops!
We also planted the last of the seedlings we had at the Espinoza site in El Toro on a slope leading up to an old slide. Actually, Ricardito , the owner of Bosque Encantado helped us plant the last of these seedlings. He’s been a real godsend since I’ve arrived here. We will be moving more trees to both sites next week.
We met with the mayor and the planning department this week regarding working more closely and publicly with the city. Carlos Mendoza (the mayor) was very receptive to our ideas and identified with our cause. He introduced us to the Community Development team with whom we will meet next week to focus our efforts with landowners in the Maria Dolores and El Toro watersheds. I’ll keep you posted on our progress.
There’s been lots of activity out at the greenhouse this week. The anerobic compost seems to be under control after we moved it along side the greenhouse. Dan suggested we move it out of the current pit and into the trenches which we can better cover from the rains with plastic tarpaulins. Everyone also pitched together in the rain to build a stone path way in the muddy aisles. The hot and wet weather we have had lately has brought up a lot of new seedlings… I would imagine we will be busy transferring plants in the coming weeks. In order to make room we have been giving away the exotics and fruit trees as promotional trees to Jacob Santos, local landowners and the high school. Only 1500 more trees left in the greenhouse!
Finally, although Valentina officially finished work last week, we held her despedida (going away party) on Canoa beach this weekend. Good times were had by all. It was a great finale to a fantastic Friday after the boat tour Peter arranged up the River Chone for bird watching, a look at our bioregion and a little relaxation.