Scouted out some new planting sites.

August 29 to September 4, 2005   

This week two new volunteers arrived – Briana and Stephanie, which puts us to 4 people living in the house.  Both speak Spanish.

We were able to retire one of the compost piles at the greenhouse and move it over into the storage area. We also repaired the fence around the compost area, and put up a new section. Parts of the netting that were flapping off of the greenhouse roof and walls were also fixed. I tilled the soil, and removed some big seeds from the seedbeds that had not sprouted in months. Some of the guachapeli are now coming up. It may be because I buried the seeds a bit deeper in the tilling process last week, whereas before they were practically just on the surface. We began going through each plant individually to fix up the baggies (add dirt, loosen soil, set straight, fold open top of bag, etc) and take out dead plants. Completed the colorados and ceibos, and got started on the samangos. I sowed a few guaba seeds I had brought back with me from Esmeraldas as an experiment. It may be that they are better suited to a more humid zone.

We watered Cherry Tree, Endara, Dairy Farm, El Bosque and  Fernando sites.   

Talked briefly to people at Cherry Tree and Dairy Farm about why they clear the hillside vegetation down to the very last blade of grass, leaving all the dirt exposed.  The answer was to keep the area “clean”, so I tried to explain a more ecological way of thinking to them. There’s not much use in us planting trees, if nothing else will be allowed to grow to protect them and keep the soil intact. 

At El Bosque we also installed some new watering pipes, picked up trash, and fixed the rope fence at the bottom entrance. The top of the hill (lookout point) was somehow wet with water and the land was eroding down the top set of stairs. We will have to think about how to go about fixing this as a big crevice has opened where the stairs are.

I stopped by the property of Pepe Santos, neighbor to Cherry Tree, to see about planting there this winter. He is still into the idea and will look over the contract I left. We talked about what types of trees he wants, and I will get a tour of the property in the afternoon sometime. Peter and I also scouted out some new planting sites this weekend. El Toro was badly and quite extensively eroded.

We continued hulling algarrobo, seca and barbasco seeds. Also found a place to recycle glass bottles around the corner from the Bed and Breakfast.

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