July 23-31, 2005
We’ve been getting slight sprinkles here but no rain to speak of. The plants are hanging on, but I can tell they’ll need more water as the dry season progresses. Some have lost their leaves but I am assuming it is because they are naturally deciduous, being native to the dry tropical forest. The ceibos and algarrobos are doing the best, and the colorados the worst.
There is enough water in the various cisterns we draw from for now.
We watered all the main sites – El Bosque, Universidad Catolica, Ciudadela Maria Dolores (km 8) sites, Inter-Americano and both Jorge Lomas sites. The trees in El Bosque aren’t doing as well as the rest since they were planted in the dry season aspart of that minga we had for World Environment Week. Also, the grass on the hilltop had been burned down and our trees (3) went with it. The trash problem at the lower entrance persists, but we do a cleanup every time we go.
We installed more watering pipes at the Fernando site, and will have to pitch in for donkey loads of water that are carried up there to keep it full.
The greenhouse is doing well. We finished fixing the last outdoor seed bed, transferred more trees from bags to bottles and sowed some chirimoya seeds. The compost piles are quite warm inside, meaning that they are breaking down fast.
As far as new sites go, Dr. Sanchez at the Inter-Americano would like us to plant a new section of the hill in the winter and I saw a small property on a hill in the middle of Jorge Lomas, less than a hectare, but it is a barren hillside. The owner said he would like it planted in the dry season but that his employees will water the trees everyday. I didn’t say yes to him because it is like his backyard and is not very big. What do you think?
I had a meeting with Juan Carlos from the San Vicente-based Fundacion Futuro, who is willing to collaborate on the Seed Bank project. We are going to compile the info we have in a table and send to him to fill in the gaps. We think the project name should be changed to reflect the project more accurately, as “Seed Bank” gives the impression of constructing a seed storage facility.
Three of our volunteers will be leaving this coming week, which leaves myself and Jackie. The next volunteer arrives in Ecuador August 10th. By the end of August, we will be full again.