SALVEASERRA. Grupo Prot. Amb. Serra da Concordia

SALVEASERRA Our mission is to spread awareness and knowledge of environmental conservation and sustainable development with agroforestry farming techniques, to help rural rehabilitation of very low producing areas and to maintain farmers and their families living and working in their lands. This can be achieved with the introduction of a system of land occupation holistic, self-sustainable, organic, biological, renewable and permanent, balanced with the environment and the economic use of natural resources. As mission we have also to spread the concepts of citizenship and better education in order to achieve superior earnings and quality of life.
Aug 11, 2009

Project Update

Training of a school gardener.
Training of a school gardener.

Dear donors and project friends,

Project “Provide Vegetable Gardens for Families in Brazil” continues its activities, and since last update report, this project made possible many things to happen here in our communities. We continue to search for possible recipients for new vegetable gardens donations, but this is not an easy task. Our first recipient continues his work and sells his production of different vegetables every Sunday at the local market. Mr. Helcione works as a mason most of his time but I am sure the income he gets from his garden helps a lot at the end of the month. With the end of the winter and with milder temperatures we will supply baby fishes for his water reservoir. He now has the means to feed these fish. We are supplying a truck load of cattle manure to his garden in a week or two. But, as I said, for many reasons it is not easy to locate and find new recipients for vegetable gardens donations. We even placed ads at the local newspaper and posters at the local market, without any result. As most of possible recipients are not ready to start an organic vegetable garden exploitation, we decided that the first thing to do was to improve the knowledge or in most cases introduce Organic Farming to them. Luckily there is a big organic producer in a neighboring town that regularly gives courses on organic agriculture and so in a course he gave in May we could offer 10 seats for possible recipients. His next training will be in September we will offer another 10 places. Please see the pictures of this course at the project page. As you know, this project runs together with GG project “Trees and Education Protect Rainforest in Brazil”, that among other things, takes students for “a Day in the Forest” Ecological Trekking to the Concordia Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary. Please find at the project page a link to this other project page. Most of these schools have vegetable gardens to provide the kitchen. But, believe it or not, these Municipal Schools gardens receive very little or no assistance at all from the Municipality. We saw that they needed help and we are trying to help, improving the vegetable gardens of these Municipal schools of Valença County. We are attending two schools and after winter holidays another two will receive our assistance and help. The two gardeners were students of the Organic Farming training course. For one of the schools we are providing a new watering system. Please see attached pictures of these two schools. As it has not being easy to find new recipients, we are working to enhance the production of sprouts of vegetables that are supplied to producers, helping one of them to make a new and much better production center. We are also studying the possibility of supplying a plastic water reservoir to another producer, all members of the local Organic Producers Association. The work continues, the project is better known today and some people are beginning to make contact with us looking for help or partnerships. I am sure that in the next report we will have many more achievements to show you. SALVEASERRA counts with your support to be able to develop these actions in a so needed and poor environment. Thank you all for your help and donations that make all this possible. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, ideas or suggestions. Thank you again for this support, Roberto.

The Organic Farming Course.
The Organic Farming Course.
Students and the planting trays
Students and the planting trays
Apr 13, 2009

End of planting season.

Agroforestry plots and tree corridor.
Agroforestry plots and tree corridor.

Dear donors and project friends, once again thank you for your support and donations that makes all this possible.

As we are about to finish our year plantation operations we want to share with you what we are do with our forests and the donated seedlings. Since 1995, SALVEASERRA recovers forests with agroforestry plantations methods in an effort to attract and convince economically land owners and cattle ranchers to protect the environment with the use of these ecological and economical possibilities that brings profits to them and avoids deforestation. As farmers have very little information about these agricultural techniques and procedures, our pilot demonstration areas are used in courses and field training programs to show students and land owners that it is possible to preserve the forest, protect biodiversity and obtain income doing things like we do. We add value to the forest with our planting methods. All the work starts at the tree nursery and our nursery produces low cost seedlings and costs very little to maintain since it was built under the forest shade and with local materials. We have produced countless seedlings since we started planting and when we buy seedlings they are brought here until definitive planting. From the nursery the seedlings are taken to a place near the plantation areas and then separated by species before planting. Each tree species is planted in its best appropriate ecosystem condition. In our plantations, trees, palm trees and fruit trees are planted in squares that have 3 or 4 meters sides and a great quantity of new plants can be introduced in a small area. This year we opened three new areas for different agroforestry system planting plots. In two of them timber trees were mainly planted and the other one was directed to fruit trees. Remember that when you plant agroforestry systems you never stop planting and there is always room to plant something else in the same area. All plants must have an economical and ecological interest to be there and because these areas are ecologically balanced areas there are no pest attacks and ants are a rarely problem.

But maybe this is the easy part of the act of planting trees as people always forget that if we want these baby trees to become mature trees they have to be inspected and cared for at least 2 times a year and during 4 years. If you don't do this, there is an enormous chance that these very fragile seedlings will die, be it by drought, by fire, eaten by ants, crushed by branches or tree trunks, swallowed by lust vegetation or stepped up by cows. What I want to say is and it is absolutely necessary to have this always in mind, is that for at least 4 years, it is not possible to abandon these young trees after they are planted otherwise many plants will not survive and this international effort in resources and manpower to aid the environment will be useless and meaningless. I am very much concerned with this plant abandon situation because I have witnessed this happen many times here in Brazil and I would not like to see this happen with GlobalGiving Green so dearly donated trees. Donor must consider that in many situations one dollar one tree is not enough to make this sapling become a big, mature and reproductive tree. I am writing this update in the middle of GlobalGiving's fundraising campaign, “Give a Little Green" and you can be sure that if you want to contribute, every extra dollar our project can obtain from this campaign will become a nice tree, timber, palm tree or fruit tree. Who knows if some time donors will be able to visit the planting areas and plant a few trees with their hands?

Thank you all very much and all the best,

Roberto Lamego

Inside tree corridor with coffee plants.
Inside tree corridor with coffee plants.
4 years old agroforestry plantation.
4 years old agroforestry plantation.
Mar 25, 2009

GlobalGiving 1911 update.

The project Provide Vegetable Gardens for Families in Brazil is running slowly but well and Mr. Helcione, owner of the first vegetable garden is now producing several different products for the local organic market. At least 1/3 of his revenue is already coming from his garden. His water tank is full and with not much use during the rainy season, but we are starting to grow fish in this reservoir. Most of the food for these fish will come from his vegetable garden. The project administration is very happy with the achievements already obtained with this first donated vegetable garden and we consider that this is the beginning of the first Oasis. Looking for new places for Small Family Oasis project is not an easy task and two possible recipients recently inspected could not be assisted by SALVEASERRA/GlobalGiving Fund. As we can only support organic producers, Mr. Luis, a hard working man, could not be aided because his neighbor has a conventional production of non organic vegetables where chemicals products are used. Unfortunately these toxic products are carried away to his propriety by the wind and for this reason Mr. Luis could not be certified as an organic producer and we could not help him. A second example is Mrs. Margarida and a friend who are volunteer organizers and workers in a communal vegetable garden, in a very poor quarter of Valença. For the Oasis project this could be a wonderful opportunity to support this garden inside the city, already producing and with a big chance to involve local teenagers in the work for better food and some pocket money. This vegetable garden is very close to community houses and it could surely provide food and other products to many people in the neighborhood. But, as the land was lent to these people, the first thing to do was to communicate with the owner, explain the new project and ask her permission to go on with it. We don’t exactly what happened but the landlord said no and we unhappily could not proceed with this new Small Family Oasis project. We were all very sad with the impossibility of placing this vegetable garden and helping the enormous effort of these people. But the project goes on and this week, two schools in two other poor quarters of the town are having their vegetable gardens improved with the project help. Thank you all for your support and donations that make all this possible. Roberto

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