Tubes and mulch make watering easier as dry season begins.

June 18-22, 2007

Things can change so quickly here!  I went back to the US for a short family visit and left one of the volunteers, Lise, in charge of taking care of the Drum family. Many thanks for her help and wonderful reports. I returned to a brand new house of volunteers and a new season as well. Farewell wishes to Lise, Andy, Jim and Rox. Thanks for making the most of your time in Bahia and all the work you gave to Planet Drum. You will be missed.

It is now definitely into summer, the dry season, which means watering on a very regular basis. Fortunately volunteer numbers are still in the double digits so we can cover more ground easily. Also, the tube watering system has drastically cut down on the time that it takes to water the trees. Hardly any water is wasted in runoff down hillsides, and each tree only takes a few seconds to load up with water. The rice hulls put down around the trees also seem to be doing a great job of maintaining soil humidity. So despite the repetition of watering trees, this process is going nice and smoothly. And the planted trees are looking nice and healthy.

This week was pretty much defined by watering. On Monday we went to the greenhouse, and watered the trees and seed beds, and also collected some Guachepeli seeds from some nearby trees and planted them in fresh seed beds in order to stockpile more trees for next year’s planting. Hopefully regular watering of the seed beds will facilitate seed germination. From the greenhouse we walked over to the Maria Dolores and Don Pepe sites and took care of watering trees.

Tuesday we watered at the La Cruz and El Toro reforestation sites. A small group went to transplant one hundred Algarobo seedlings which sprouted by the side of the road near the beach. Cleanup crews with trucks will be trampling the area and the Algarobos would have been crushed if not moved. After taking the trees out of the ground, they were taken to the greenhouse and transplanted them into 3-liter bottles with fresh batches of soil prepared with our own compost.

On Wednesday a group went to Bosque en Medio de las Ruinas to water the trees there and put down rice hulls. A couple of volunteers headed to the greenhouse to water seed beds while others took care of installing tubes and watering some trees at an “extra” site planted at La Cruz.

Thursday we dropped off compost at the greenhouse and did some watering. A dozen Guachepeli that were growing into the ground itself went to Bosque Encantado to plant at the entrance. It’s late in the season, but the trees had to be moved out to make room for next years seedlings. Hopefully they will be alright despite being planted late. On the way we watered the Maria Dolores and Don Pepe sites again, and also watered the Bosque Encantado site while there.

On Friday some of us went to Bosque en Medio de Las Ruinas to repaint an entrance sign, do some trail maintenance and water the trees there. Another group of volunteers stopped by the greenhouse to water seed beds again and then went to the Don Pepe site to repair a fence, which protects the trees from local cattle, that was falling down and to also take some GPS readings. A few bilingual volunteers began work on what will be a monthly Eco-city newsletter of the ecological happenings around Bahia. The first issue will come out in July. Currently they are gathering interview materials and scoping out Bahia for current ecological work. The newsletter will give much needed publicity to the hard work that is being done in the name of the Eco-city.

¡Conciencia Verde!


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