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Reports from Planet Drum Staff
Eco-Ecuador Project 2014

Index to 2014 Reports, Set 2

Field Report #2

Clay Plager-Unger
Ecuador Program Director
Planet Drum Foundation
February 6 - March 10 2014

Field Report

Note: Click on photos for larger picture.

The rainy season has been on the very light side this year. In fact, it's hardly been raining at all. Larger plants and trees from previous years that already have big roots are doing well and can take advantage of every little drizzle and downpour. Smaller, more recently transplanted trees are struggling to take root with the very sporadic rains and will need close attention in the coming dry season.

Orlando and Juan Jose Vernal unload trees at the Junco community, where residents specifically requested native fruit trees to planting.

The volunteer scene has picked up a bit and there are now two volunteers here, Charlotte and Cassandre. Ally has just arrived to begin a community engagement internship and Daniela will arrive tomorrow.

Cassandre, Charlotte, Afranio, and Orlando delivering trees to San Isidro.

Planet Drum has donated nearly all of the trees from 2013 and the greenhouse gets emptier and emptier. Of the 8,000 trees produced, fewer than 1,000 remain. We donated trees to rural communities through the national electric company and Global Student Embassy also received a large portion of trees for their reforestation project at Cordillera el Balsamo nature reserves. Afranio helped transport trees to San Isidro. With help from Juan Jose Vernal, we delivered a truckload of trees to the Junco rural neighborhood near Pajonal. The residents were eager to receive the native fruit-trees that will grow very in that specific climate.

Harvesting fruit at Afranio's farm in San Isidro. Photo by Afranio Alava."

There remaining trees will be donated to interested communities. Ivan Aguirre says that his rural contacts have been requesting more trees and we plan on delivering trees with him soon. This will be the third year in a row that we deliver trees with Ivan.

Cassandre digging holes at the University Catolica site.

We are also replanting trees at the University Catolica and Bellavista revegetation sites and will continue to maintain and monitor these sites for habitat recovery and erosion control. The University Catolica site has been replanted and work at Bellavista has commenced and that site will be planted this week.


 
Cassandre plants an Ebano (with a Papaya, too) at the University Catolica site.
Charlotte prepares a hole for planting a Pechiche tree at the University Catolica site.

Schools have been in exams and most have gone on vacation, so working with groups of school children will have to wait until classes resume in May. In the meantime we will be contacting school administrations to present plans for collaboration. The Montufar and Vicente Hurtado schools specifically requested to work with us again in 2014, and we will be drafting plans to present to them, as well as at other schools.

Clearing overgrowing weeds and generally cleaning up around the greenhouse.

In addition to finishing tree planting at the sites, upcoming work will include cleaning up the greenhouse to prepare for 2014 production and beginning to transplant trees that are in the seedbeds and ready to be moved to bottles.
 

Pásalo bien,
Clay
 

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