September 15-26, 2008
Summary: We shift our energies towards securing revegetation sites for planting in the coming rainy season. In the greenhouse seedbeds that were planted a few weeks ago are ready to be transplanted, adding even more trees to the arsenal. Still no new volunteers.
On Monday we are at the greenhouse transplanting Guarango, Chirimoya and Cascol trees into three-liter bottles.
Tuesday was for a scouting adventure, looking for places that would make suitable revegetation sites. We get off the bus at the entrance to the El Toro watershed and walk in. The first place that catches our eye is a piece of land owned by the government group MIDUVI. Flor Maria Dueñas planted a ton of Pechiche trees along the road a few years back. Now they are 5-8 meters tall and look great. But we’re interested in the hillside at the back.
There’s a large deforested area that looks prime. We chat with a man who is growing Maracuya (Passionfruit) on one of the plots nearby. He lets us know about the water situation (a water tank near a vacant house). We’ll need to follow up at the Municipio for permission to plant, but that shouldn’t be a problem.
From El Toro we walk towards the other side of the jail and check out a piece of land that is badly devegetated and eroding, but there’s no one to talk with. Then we walk to behind the Inter-Americano school, past where Planet Drum has planted in the past, but the options seem limited because most of the land is owned by corn farmers and water sources in the area are scarce.
Wednesday starts off picking Ceibo seeds out of the cotton that surrounds them (these are seeds collected last week). Then Ricardito swings by the house and drives out to the greenhouse. We load up the truck with garbage from the greenhouse and head to the dump. At the dump we unload the trash and fill up the truck with 3-liter bottles scavenged there.
Thursday starts with more Ceibo seed prep while waiting for Ricardito to show up. This time we take a load of water in his truck into the Nuevo Globo site and water the trees there. Thanks Ricardo!
On Friday despite the drizzles coming down, it is still possible to walk into El Toro and water the revegetation site from this year at Don Pedro Otero’s land. The trees are looking good, especially the Cedro and Guachepeli.
Saturday night it pours for a few hours and so it’s time to start thinking about all the work we’ll get done without having to water.
On Monday we’re back at the greenhouse, cutting bottles, and transplanting Guachepeli.
In the afternoon I take a tour of the San Roque neighborhood with the local contact, Graciela Moreno. She’s a proactive community figure and has requested that we plant trees there. She is having the Municipio clean up an abandoned lot to plant a patch of trees. Additionally, we will plant trees scattered around the neighborhood and donate trees to interested households.
Walking around the neighborhood we chat with local residents who agree to help out with planting and express interest in receiving trees to plant in their yards. The entire neighborhood is set on a steep hillside in desperate need of revegetation. Algarrobo trees will take very nicely here.
Tuesday we go to the greenhouse and cut even more bottles and transplant even more Guachepeli and Chirimoya.
Wednesday is a holiday in Bahia so take the day off.
Thursday we break ground at the first of the new sites for 2009. It is located near the entrance to Bellavista. Jaime talked to the landowner, Rattis, who agreed to plant trees there. In addition to helping maintain the soil on the hillside, it is a relatively high profile site near downtown Bahia that can demonstrate our work more publicly.
On Friday machete work continues at Rattis. Trails are cleared for access to the areas in which trees will be planted. Then we head to the greenhouse to water the plants before the weekend. Two seed beds of Ceibo seeds are planted as well.