Tips and tricks for saplings on a slope.

September 10-14, 2007

The week started off with going bottle hunting in Leonidas Plaza. Judy joined Patrick and me as we scoured the suburb of Bahia picking up empty three-liter plasticsoda bottles. We talked to some fishermen about the possibility of using old nets to cover young trees to protect them from insects and animals during the dry season. As it turns out, the fishermen spend most of their free time repairing their old nets, so coming across someone throwing away a used net is very unlikely. From Leonidas Plaza we caught the bus to the greenhouse to water the plants and transplanted Caoba trees from a seedbed to three-liter bottles. Judy jumped right into the work. 

On Tuesday we watered the La Cruz site and did site maintenance for the trees.  Upkeep of the basins around the trees, particularly uphill of the trees on steep slopes, is proving to be critical to their survival, even more so than the bamboo tubes installed earlier in the dry season. 

A nice ‘bowl’ to pour water into uphill of the trees allows the water to slowly filter through the ground and reach the roots. Without this depression, the water is not concentrated directly around the tree, and often runs wastefully down the hillside. Leaves, twigs and rice shells placed in the ‘bowls’ help to maintain humidity of the soil and minimize evaporation. The positive effects of this kind of maintenance are visible after a single week of watering.

Tuesday afternoon Patrick and I headed to the beach in Bahia to pick up more bottles that had washed up there. In the evening all of Bahia went to see President Correa give a speech at the inauguration of the Bahia-San Vicente bridge. Although environmental effects of this bridge are highly suspect, Correa’s speech was very interesting and illustrated his plan to unify and develop his country, the commencement of the construction of this bridge being one example. Economically speaking, the bridge will represent a rebirth for this shell-shocked city.

On Wednesday we dropped off the organic waste from the Planet Drum house at the greenhouse, watered and then headed to Maria Dolores and Don Pepe to water the revegetation sites. Maintenance continues at both of those sites. The trees have since responded very well to upkeep.  

Thursday we watered and did maintenance at the Ruinas site. In the afternoon I led a tour of the wild park we call ‘El Bosque en Medio de las Ruinas’. I pointed out many of the hundred and twenty trees that were planted last rainy season and checked in on other trees that Planet Drum has planted there over the past eight years, some of which are now over ten meters tall. 

See the Algarobos that were planted along the path in this picture.

Friday morning we watered the trees at Bosque Encantado and paid a visit to the greenhouse to water the trees before the weekend. In the afternoon the ‘clausura’ (closure) to the summer session of the Bioregional Education class was held at the Cerro Seco nature reserve. There was a barbeque and the students surprised us with a collage of pictures from all the field trips that the students had been on during the previous twelve weeks. After eating, we had a chat with the students to get some feedback about the class and to see how we can further develop the Planet Drum bioregional education program. All of the students were thrilled with the class and want to continue to learn about their bioregion. We will see what we can do to satisfy their interest.

Pasa lo bien,


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