August 13, 2004
Due to the volume of volunteers we had this week, we generally broke up into two groups each day.
At the greenhouse: More plants were transplanted into larger containers. The past transplants are at various stages of ugliness while in recovery. The fencing around the compost pit was fixed, replacing some poles and tightening the mesh. We arranged for the university students to water the greenhouse daily. We have befriended this group of young men and women who have taken a real interest in the work we are doing. They often ask us questions and how they can get involved.
At Jorge Lomas Casas: We fixed old cribbing bars and added additional ones to desperate areas. We also covered bare hillsides with sticks and other plant debris to help stabilize the soil and deter people and animals from using these vulnerable spots. All the plants were watered and are doing well. We had a couple of plants that looked a little gnawed on, however it is hard to say what the pest may be at this time. We obtained a signed contract from a homeowner who has agreed to our complete use of her cistern. A water truck filled the cistern for $13 (the water itself is free, however the cost is for the service). It is located just across the street from our site. We are the only ones that have access to the pad-lock.
At Jorge Lomas Canal: We have left two detailed messages for the landowner out there. I’m hoping that he will stop by this weekend, as we requested in our last phone message. The site itself looks good. We watered here as well. We also repaired some of the fencing in this area. I’m thinking we need to go back and reset some of the poles and add an additional string of barbed wire.
At the Bosque: The site was watered and we arranged a “park clean-up” (minga) with the community, which will take place on Sunday. We intend to remove trash and replace railings and broken steps. In two weeks we are giving a tour of the park to a group of students from the Genesis school so the timing seems appropriate. We will teach the students about bioregionalism and guide them through the park. Both these projects will be a great way to recruit participants for the Bio. Ed. Program.
New Sites: We surveyed the Mot Mot site this week. After a run in with some angry bees (I received six stings in my right hand) we found a place to plant next wet season. It is a plateau located on the right side of the canal about five minutes from the trail end. It is about 30 meters in width and 80 meters in length. Currently it holds a variety of grass and some chirimoya trees. Behind it is a hillside that we can plant as well, probably an additional 50 meters. The hillside is full with frutilla trees. We will actually have to cut back some of them to plant different species on the hillside.
Ing. Miguel from Guayaquil was contacted this week. He stated that we should locate a woman that works in Bahía to discuss planting on his property. This woman lives on a farm that is part on his property. We haven’t found her yet, all we have are two street names and a description of the storefront where she works. I will try to reach her this weekend.
Seed Bank: More information got translated and pulled into the spreadsheet. We also made contact with a professor at the Universidad Catolica that has been emailing us information on native tree species.
Renewable Energy: I spoke with Vladir this week and his opinion was to hold out on making any further advancement until we got funding. He mentioned speaking with some friends, however they were a little skeptical about the need for passive solar hot water.
Well the week was full as always. We didn’t get to some things I had intended, for example I was hoping to plant seeds this week. It was in the original schedule however things got a little behind on Tuesday when I had to dedicate an entire morning to being at the bank. The bank upgraded their system and I needed to get my account updated, which constituted giving them photocopies of my passport and standing on line for three hours. Besides the long wait the experience was harmless although I’m not sure your signature is still valid because I couldn’t produce a copy of your passport.
Some of the vols. made it to the soy cooperative, Los Caras, this week. We are enjoying a tasty array of soy products that we have delivered to the door. It saddens me to know that I have been here for seven months and only now am I indulging in the best tasting carne de soya (soy meat) ever.