Apr 6, 2021

Seeds, seedlings, nursery work, it never ends.....

A handful of hope from the forest
A handful of hope from the forest

Good afternoon, dear donors, supporters and friends, and we hope you are looking after yourselves?

Are you ready for another action-packed bulletin from the rainforest? Because there's a lot going on...

Now that the main planting season is safely past, you might have thought it was time to relax a little? Sit in the shade and read a good book? Well - no. In fact, Deivid and his team are busier than ever. 

First off there's the maintenance of the baby trees we planted this season. If we don't visit them regularly - particularly in the first few weeks after planting, they can get smothered by the weeds, eaten by some passing herbivore, or attacked by leaf cutting ants. So we need to clear the weeds and grass in a circle around the trees, and also give them a dose of fertilizer to encourage them to keep growing.

Meanwhile back in the nursery, the expansion project is going full steam ahead. New seedling tables are being assembled, painted with rust-proof paint and almost immediately put into service. Some of the seeds are germinated in germination beds on the ground, others go directly into bags of soil on the seed tables, depending on their preferences.  

When the team needs a break, they are off in the forest hunting seeds, always a favorite job. And there´s more to it than just finding and identifying seeds – most of them need to be treated through scarification - which means ensuring that they can break through the outer coating which has so far protected them from being eaten! This is done by soaking, or by abrasion with sandpaper - varying again according to the species.  And, after all that work, germination rate is low, so they will collect a lot more seeds than will actually germinate, and not every seed that germinates will survive and turn into a healthy seedling.

Then there are records to be kept, germinated seedlings to be transplanted, and all of them to be carefully tended and given access to sunshine, shade and watering. 

And, did we tell you about the on-farm nurseries that Iracambi is establishing? These involve visits to the farms delivering seeds, bags, organic fertilizer, along with exchanging information and drinking cups of hot, sweet coffee. Uptake on the forest nursery idea has been encouraging, since it´s not a traditional farm activity, but those farmers that are interested are becoming more enthusiastic by the day, and the children are always excited when Deivid and his team show up!

So you can see that there isn´t much time for sitting in the shade with a good book..... 

And before we know it, we´ll be starting to prepare for the next planting season. Stay tuned for our next bulletin, and so many thanks for your support and your kind words. Together we´re getting it done. 

Planting trees, planting ideas, and planting hope.

Look after yourselves and we´ll talk soon! 

with rainforest love from Deivid and the Iracambi foresters  

Seeds before scarification
Seeds before scarification
Ready to germinate
Ready to germinate
Mar 23, 2021

Expanding our forest nursery!

Marcelo, new nursery team member
Marcelo, new nursery team member

Dear donors,

How's it going with you? We really hope you are doing well and inching towards getting the vaccine – or may even already be vaccinated?

It seems hard to remember the old normal, doesn’t it? But the new normal is pretty full-on in our neck of the woods.

We’ve been enlarging the forest nursery, starting with building more seed tables. This involves cutting wood for the supports, welding together the framework, painting it with anti-rust paint, wiring on the heavy duty mesh, and then erecting the removable shading. Each seed table holds around 350 seedlings, maybe more now that we’ve ordered smaller bags to plant them in.

And then there’s the irrigation system. It may seem odd to talk of irrigation in a rainforest, but it doesn't rain every single day, and young seedlings can be very thirsty!

You can get an idea of what we've been doing from the photos, and we’re showing the older model of seedling table which is made of bamboo so you can compare it with the improved model. 

We’re very excited to be enlarging the nursery and want to send you all a big thank you for making this possible.

Between us we’re planting trees, planting ideas and planting hope!

Lots of rainforest love, and look after yourselves,

Deivid and the Iracambi foresters.

PS You see the guy in the cover picture? He's Marcelo, new forest nursery team member. We'll tell you more about him in our next letter.

bamboo seedling table
bamboo seedling table
New improved seedling table
New improved seedling table
Shaded table
Shaded table
irrigation system
irrigation system
Mar 23, 2021

Environmental Leaders rolling up their sleeves

Environmental Leaders Online
Environmental Leaders Online

Dear donors, 

We hope you are doing well and seeing light at the end of the covid tunnel? It's been a long haul, hasn't it? 

But one good thing that came out of it for us at Iracambi, is our online environmental leaders course. Which wouldn't have happened had we not been locked down with the schools closed for a whole year. 

Our second course is going very well, and this group is really getting down to business. We encourage them to reflect on the issues in their communities that they would really love to fix, figure out the underlying causes, and mobilize to solve the problem. And this group seems to be laser focused on sustainable lifestyle choices, as well as developing ways of dealing effectively with the problems of garbage collection and proper sanitation.   

So, whether they live in the tropical zone or in the deep south (which is temperate, in Brazil!), in a city or in the rural area, they all agree that Brazil is an amazing country, blessed with extraordinary natural resources, and we need to organize and take action, individually and collectively, to live more sustainably and protect our soils and water from further pollution.    

It's so encouraging to hear from so many articulate people of all  ages and all backgrounds who are  determined to make a difference in their communities. The students are telling us that lockdown has forced them to reflect on their lives and lifestyles, and they are excited to meet other environmental leaders and be able to strategize and work together. Oddly, isolation has, in many ways, brought us together.

While we're running our online course, we haven't forgotten our Young Ecoleaders and we're still hoping that we may be able to start hosting them again in the second semester. We're planning weekly lessons for 40 middle school children, with all manner of outdoors hands-on activities, and we know that the children are as eager to come back as we are eager to see them. So we'll be able to hit the ground running when the covid situation permits. 

Until that time, we're so grateful to you, dear donors, for your support, and we're grateful for the tech  solutions that enable us to work together even when we live thousands of miles apart! 

Stay well, and we look forward to bringing you more news of our environmental leaders online, 

with love from Yasmin and the Iracambi team 

    

Come back, Ecoleaders! We miss you
Come back, Ecoleaders! We miss you
Waiting for you, Ecoleaders!
Waiting for you, Ecoleaders!
 
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