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.
Mar 13, 2013

Project update March 2013.

Dear donors,

In this last period between reports not much happed in the field due to the fact that I was recovering from an illness that affected me in October and reduced greatly my capacity of displacement and also at the end of the year all activities are reduced in this town.

I have to mention that we were still very busy building new facilities at our Wildlife Sanctuary that is taking a much longer time than we expected to finish.

This Visitors Center is partially being built with funds provided by the 2011 GlobalGiving/Neutrogena Wave of Change campaign prize to our other project. Please see here: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/protect-brazil-rainforest/

Anyway, project "Provide Vegetable Gardens for Families in Brazil" is arriving at a defining moment when we will have to make a decision, to close or to change it, because providing tree nurseries and green houses to Brazilian rural families did not have the appeal and interest we were expecting and we can’t not find the families to help.

As we believe that if we apply the Permacultural principles we will be in a much better situation to assist families to become more self reliant through the design and development of productive and sustainable communities and its gardens and farms, we want to change this project into something bigger where the present project will be an item of the 4 parts of a new project.

Just to remember, “Permaculture is a branch of ecological design and ecological engineering which develops sustainable human settlements and self-maintained agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems”.

This new project will be called: “The vision of your future. What do you think about this? What can you do about it?”

This project or the continuity of this one will be composed of:

1. Bring information to the communities about important issues in order to develop the Environmental Awareness that will allow citizens to contribute more effectively to neighborhood preservation and local and municipal environmental protection.

2. Promote Citizenship and the organization and training of community residents, in order to find new opportunities and forms of welfare, labor, employment and income through training and professionalization courses.

3. Produce locally fresh food in communal or domestic organic gardens, as well as fruit and other useful plants in backyards and idle areas in the neighborhood. (The original purpose of the project).

4. Introduce the concepts of Permaculture that will enable a much better planning and development of communities by applying basic principles of nature and integrating people with plants, animals, and buildings in a productive environment, aesthetic and harmonious.

We have now to decide with GlobalGiving if we can continue this project with these new items or we if we will have to discontinue it and come to an end to initiate a new one.

Soon you will know the decision.

Please accept my sincere thanks for your help and support.

Roberto

Feb 27, 2013

Project update February 2013.

Visitors Centre. First group to use the space.
Visitors Centre. First group to use the space.

Dear donors,

In this last period between reports not much happed in the field and our project has no schools or visitors groups to show you due to these factors: 1. I was recovering from my illness that reduced my capacity of displacement, 2. This period now it is Holiday time for schools in Brazil and only in March they will retake classes, 3. In November, Valença city had elections for a new Mayor and as we work mainly with municipal schools, a new effort will have to be made to approach the new Education Secretary responsible and present to them our “Day in the Atlantic Forest” educational and ecological trekking program and propose a partnership, and 4. We were still very busy building the new facilities that are taking a much longer time than we expected to finish. 

The Visitors Center, built partially with funds provided by the 2011 GlobalGiving/Neutrogena Wave of Change campaign prize, is practically finished and we are now furnishing it with chairs, benches and tables, cooking appliances, kitchen outfit and applying the finishing touches.

Just before Christmas we received a Jeep raid with 11 jeeps and about 30 participants that visited the Wildlife Sanctuary, the tree nursery, the agroforestry demonstration plots, the new Visitors Centre and were the first to seat at the tables we placed there for them. I am posting these pictures for you to see the building.

As the construction of the Visitors Center and other facilities at our base at the Concordia Mountains Wildlife Sanctuary are finishing, we are preparing and planning the 2013 activities that includes, beyond retaking our regular activities with schools and the agroforestry practices: 1. Create a new folder/ leaflet, 2. Expand our Day in the Atlantic Rainforest program to two other neighboring municipalities and 3. With these new facilities, start to give 2-5 days courses on ecology, environmental education, agroforestry and Permaculture at the Sanctuary.    

The rainy season came back with little rain and we started to plant this seedlings. We have a stock of about 1000 in our tree nursery.

Please accept my sincere thanks for your help and support.

Roberto Lamego

We have plenty of room with these new facilities.
We have plenty of room with these new facilities.
Katya showing the kitchen and dried fruit factory.
Katya showing the kitchen and dried fruit factory.
Group going to the multi use room.
Group going to the multi use room.
Tree nursery.
Tree nursery.
Tree nursery.
Tree nursery.
Tree nursery and agroforestry demonstration area.
Tree nursery and agroforestry demonstration area.
Agroforestry demonstration area.
Agroforestry demonstration area.
Jeeps.
Jeeps.
Nov 29, 2012

Project update November 2012.

Dear donors.

I am sorry to be late with this update report, but I became ill with a very serious infection and had to stay out of business for almost one month. I am well now but this fact retarded our actions and delaying things I wanted to show to you in this report.

Project "Provide Vegetable Gardens for Families in Brazil" continues to think that the Permaculture concepts, with its procedures and techniques, are those that can be better employed in our work with the communities here in Valença.

According to Bill Mollison, co-founder of the world-wide Permaculture movement, this science works to ecological design systems for sustainability in all aspects of our lives. Permaculture teaches us how build natural homes, grow our own food, restore diminished landscapes and ecosystems, catch rainwater, build communities, take care of waste and much more.  

The philosophy within Permaculture is one of working with rather with than against nature, and of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than premature and thoughtless action.

As I said in the last report, we decided to attend a 7 days PDC, Permaculture Design Course, the basic introduction course on the subject, to live the experience and to learn more about the subject. The Permaculture Design Course was developed by Bill Mollison to teach principles and foundations of sustainable design.

All PDC courses offered throughout the world must follow the same format to assure that the integrity of certification process is upheld. A PDC course is something like this:

http://www.permaculture.org/nm/images/uploads/PDC_cert_book_.pdf 

We travelled to a place called São Tomé das Letras, in Minas Gerais State, 250 kilometers from Valença, to spend the next 7 days in PDC, Permaculture Design Course.

Our group was composed of Katya and me from SALVEASERRA and two guests, Julio, a master mason from Cambota Community that was very much interested in the ideas of Bioconstruction and Permaculture and Lucas from another community called Passagem, an intelligent and keen youngman that works with Julio.

Please watch here a slideshow of our PDC.

https://picasaweb.google.com/110709315454919422487/PDCPermacultureDesignCourse02?authkey=Gv1sRgCPPQ47ulj5-3Zg&feat=email

It was a fantastic journey that brought to all of us the certainty and assurance that we are going to transform the Project "Provide Vegetable Gardens for Families in Brazil" into something bigger and with a wider view, considering many different subjects, where the vegetable gardens and tree nurseries will be one item among many others as was seen in this PDC, Permaculture Design Course. 

Coming back from the PDC course, we decided to start practicing some of the permaculture techniques we learned and as we are building a new Visitors Center at the Concordia Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary, an Evapotranspiration bed sewage system, designed for disposal of black water, the domestic wasteD water originating from the toilets in being built.

This system is unique in its ability to dispose of wasted water into the atmosphere through evaporation and transpiration by plants, without necessarily discharging it to the surface water or groundwater reservoir.

In an evapotranspiration system the main components are a septic tank called an ET bed, wasted water distribution piping, a bed liners, and fill material, monitoring wells, overflow protection and a surface cover. Large leaves vegetation has to be planted on the surface of the bed to enhance the transpiration process.

In a sealed tank the black water gets in trough a tunnel made of different materials, old tires, cement pipes, etc. The tank is filled from the bottom with stones, construction debris, bricks, then a layer of small crushed stone, and one of sand, and one of fertile soil.   

The black water effluent flows into the lower portion of a sealed ET bed. Capillary action in the fine sand causes the wasted water to rise to the surface and escape through evaporation as water vapor. In addition, vegetation transports the wasted water from the root zone to the leaves, where it is transpired as a clean condensate. This design allows for complete wasted water evaporation and transpiration with no discharge to nearby soil.

Please see attached pictures of the construction of our system.

We planned to show you also our first bio-constructions in superadobe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superadobe) be because of my illness and other delays this is will not be possible.

We believe that with Permaculture we will be in a much better situation to assist people to become more self reliant through the design and development of productive and sustainable communities and its gardens and farms.

For instance, this method of onsite wasted water treatment and disposal offers an alternative to conventional soil absorption systems for sites where protection of the surface water and groundwater is essential, and can be widely used in many low income communities everywhere.

I hope you enjoy our recent work, pictures and presentations and please accept my sincere thanks for your help and support.

Roberto Lamego 


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