January 27, 2003
We had a park clean up day. The crew got together and picked up all of the trash and cleared the trails of brush and debris. We have plans to build the steps and repair benches in early February.
A meeting was held at the house in which I got together with Patricia and Shannon. We discussed how we would approach the residents. We are making new copies of the brochure that describes the composting procedure at the patio. We will distribute these and meet the residents by going house to house. We are drying fruit seeds to plant under the roof at Fanca. I am going to Rio Machacho this week to view their worm beds and get a description of how they operate by Dario. I still have not received the worms. I spoke to Galo this morning and he told me they would be here for sure this afternoon. That didn’t happen (surprise, surprise). I am waiting patiently. It gives me time to educate myself on vermiculture, which I have been doing by consulting with others (i.e. Dario and previous Rio Muchacho volunteers). After viewing the other worm beds, I will commence construction of ours. Perhaps I will try to visit Jacob’s brother as well to see his beds. I have a fresh pile of unturned waste reserved for the worms, when they arrive. I hope to get Megan interested in the project at the meeting tonight
I have been in contact with Eric Horstman. I will be taking an overnight trip to Guayaquil to meet him, get seeds, and advice on germination and planting techniques. His consultation and the seeds are all free. They seem very eager to help. We acquired about 300 algorrobo seeds from the wild. I was told by Horatio that the best way to plant them is to open up the pod and remove the seeds. Then, if they are wet, you dry them for a couple of days and plant them. We are doing this. One more of the sections in the greenhouse has sprouted seedlings. This one is labeled “little red seeds” which I will identify when I meet with Mike Morgan or when I see Marcello Luque. We have transplanted the seedlings into sacks, with about a 90 percent success rate. My technique was 100 percent successful, and the ones done by Simon and Megan were about 80 percent. They didn’t seem to take the time or use the soft touch necessary when doing the transplanting. I showed Megan how to be gentle with them, and today she did it perfectly. I will be moving the rest of the sacks from Fanca to the Univ. tomorrow with the use of Ivan’s truck. The sand was picked up from Guacamayo last week. I think I told you this in the e-mail that was lost. We will also transport more compost, rice hulls, and manure to the greenhouse so that we can complete the rest of the beds. The greenhouse looks good. It is filling with more green every day. The plan is to plant the Universidad on Feb 3rd (if the rains have begun). Jacob seems to think they will start this weekend. He says the locals think it has to do with the moon, and he buys into this. So hopefully we will get plants in the ground starting Monday, February 3rd.