May 8-14, 2006
The greenhouse lay silent for most of the week as little has been germinating, but more so due to an infestation of 9 wasp nests. With Mark holding a shovel, Brooke with the can of Raid and me with the hose, we set out to destroy our beloved greenhouse occupiers. We turned back at the first nest as the Raid proved ineffective, the shovel merely annoyed the wasps when their nest fell to the ground and I filled it with water. We retreated to the house and Mark and Heather returned the next night under the cover of darkness and sprayed the nest with a homemade insecticide as they slept. All was well. Despite the work hazard, we continued to water daily through the walls and roof to make sure things stayed moist. It proved successful because with last week’s rain and the change in humidity, our greenhouse stock has taken off with a new growth spurt; I’ve never seen the greenhouse so lush!
Heather Crawford and her Colombian friend Jeff helped water at both Bosque Encantado and Cherry Tree sites this week. It has been quite interesting at Cherry Tree as the cistern fills itself a little each night, however there is never more than one foot of water. Personally, this makes for my favorite part of the week… Cherry Tree carnival! Using a bucket on a rope we attempt to fill our twenty liter water container as fast as possible. Since the bucket is plastic (i.e. floats), we each attempt our own personal combination of rope, weights and throwing style (bucket upside down, tied on one side, freefalling). It’s quite fast, breaks up the watering day and means we don’t have to climb 10 feet down into the cistern! As I said, favorite part of my week!
Interamericano and Maria Piedad sites were maintained last week and appear as though the school children and caretakers are watering them thoroughly. We will continue to check in on them every two weeks and ensure this continues.
As a final note to this week’s upbeat report, exciting news from the city of Jama (just up the coast). While collecting bottles on the beach for the greenhouse, we ran into a past volunteer, Orlando. Due to the current drought conditions here on the coast, the greenhouse in Jama feels they can not maintain their seedlings through the dry season. As such, Planet Drum has been offered 4000 of the native seedlings for free. Although this is nearly double the inventory we currently have, I have discussed it with Fundacion Futuro in San Vicente and Marcelo Luque at Cerro Seco and we would each be interested in taking 1300 each. In the same exchange, there is also interest in trading some of our nearly 700 Aguias for other species of which we are currently lacking.