2002 Kristen Ford: Report #3: “Successful vermicomposting”

Kristin Ford
Planet Drum Volunteer

I am here in Genesis enjoying the costumes that children are wearing tonight. I just saw Snow White walk by.

So much to say, where to begin? Well, in the last week I have gotten very involved in the up and coming vermicomposting project. Jeff, Chris and I have been in ongoing negotiations during the past month for the municipality to produce the worms. Jeff went to Portoviejo where he met someone who will have a starter population ready for us by November 15. 

I will be visiting the successful vermicomposting system they have in place in Loja in 2 weeks. I have already been in good touch with the supervisor of that project. After my visit to Loja, I am going to compile everything into a information and instructional packet for Jeff and future volunteers to use as they set up and maintain the wormbeds. I have been doing a fair amount of research on vermicomposting on this scale, so I already have a lot of this info packet together. 

I have to say that I am very very excited about the work that I have done in Fanca during my time here. I have brought numerous people from the Fanca community out to the patio to start to learn the compost process. Many have also helped with planting seeds at the patio. (We are on track with our seed planting. In fact, we have created a new system where we are going to sow seeds directly into what are now the worm beds. We will then transplant those seedlings into bags. So the planting should go even faster.) I have distributed nearly all of the Fanca Produce booklets throughout the community and talked with people about the process of separating wastes in Fanca. 

I am going to put together info packets to leave with people and groups like the Escuela Rotaria before I leave. It will include reminding them who Planet Drum is and that I was working with Planet Drum and where to find Jeff and future volunteers, a description of the Fanca Produce project including the jobs that need to be done there and info to remind them about setting up a community association that might run Fanca Produce in the future. This will be some physical evidence for them so that the ideas we shared regarding the project will not be lost. I will also put this in the Planet Drum binder to share with future volunteers. 

And that brings me to the binder. Rita has really taken charge of this project and Sara and I are helping her. We have put together a binder with sections about PD history, projects, volunteer experiences, a map and listing of useful resources in Bahia, and house rules. This will all be together by the time I leave, with my entries about my experiences here and ideas for future work. 

I have also been helping out wherever I can on other projects. I went with the guys to the university this week to practice my carpentry skills- I helped to build a bed that we will use to grow seeds there. I can’t believe the time has gone so fast, but I couldn’t have asked for a better place and people to volunteer with. 

Supplemental report: Tuesday, November 5, 2002

Chris and Matt have been working on the Universidad Catolica revegetation project all the time and will surely pass on their work to Simon. Matt has secured funds to create a greenhouse and we have already started working on design plans for the structure. 

Simon just arrived from Guayaquil a few minutes ago. His flight was arrived in Guayaquil instead of Quito because of the volcanic eruption that shut down the Quito airport. So Simon’s here and Jeff’s not because Jeff is still waiting for him in Quito. I only got to talk to Simon for a minute because I was on my way out the door.

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