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Mar 7, 2020

Rabbit or not to rabbit?

This is a report that could almost write itself. That is, if we could pause long enough to type without laughing...

In our last report we elaborated the big plan to breed rabbits. First and foremost, for the reason that rabbits are very small and therefore very unattractive and too unruly for cattle thieves. After all, how do you herd rabbits away? Rabbits also breed fast enough to provide meat for a family, or with some planning, even livestock to sell when the appropriate festival time comes around.

So, to try something new, we bought two pair of rabbits and gave one each to the school in each village (see last project report). The pictures of the last project report were taken in October.

Nowadays we communicate mostly with text messages. It is cheap and efficient. The reports about the rabbit breeding program were unexpectedly very sedated and brief. It became apparent that something was not working.

Lucky for us one of the team members who teach building improved cookstoves and bio-charcoal making is an accomplished rabbit breeder for many years in his own backyard. We asked him for help with his expertise.

He went to both villages to inspect the cages and the rabbits. In his expert opinion the result was startling. He concluded: “It looks like the person who chose the rabbits bought one female and three males’

As this is a G rated report, we will be ending here.  

Dec 23, 2019

Fruit tree seedling for the school

Professional tree nursery along the roadside
Professional tree nursery along the roadside

For our site visit in October we bought five tree seedlings for each school: avocado, lychee, mango and 2 citrus trees.

We bought them in a professional tree nursery along the way to the villages. Patronizing the same nursery where we had sent our gardeners Bary and Jean for training a few months back. We wanted tio give them the opportunity to spent time with professional nursery people to hone their skills. While they were very excited to leave their village, which was a great bonus for them, they did not want to spent more than 3 to 4 days away from home.

The trees seedlings were planted, with the help of the students at both school yards during our visit. In both schools our gardeners dug the holes for the trees and tought how to mix the soft soil with cow manur as fertilizer.

Reforestation is one of Zahana’s core activities. It is important for us to combine site visits with tree-planting as often as possible, with the active participation of our students. Planting not just “trees”, but fruit trees, that can provide foods for the students for years to come, is the logical next step.

October is still in the dry season in the high plateau of Madagascar. It is traditionally not the ideal season to plant trees. So, this is also an experiment that our founder described in the following words: “due to climate change that is very noticeable in Madagascar, we don’t really know anymore what the right season for planting trees might be. So we just have to try it, if it might work”.

Both schools have access to water. All the students have to do is water the trees regularly, until the beginning of the rainy season, later in the year, when nature takes over this task.

Now that the rainy season, which is synonimous with rice planting season, has started, all we need to do it wait.

- - - - - - - - - -

And yes, houskeeping is required to keep Zahana going.

This is the end-of-the-year season where you get many appeals for support and enticements of tax deductibility. Yes, if you are so inclined, and have the means to do so, please consider our projects in Madagascar.

We also wanted to put a plug in for our latest GlobalGiving project Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation. It is our most ambitious project to date, that integrated many elements, including reforestation in its scope.  And the first results are amazing. You might enjoy reading our latest project report: Improved cookstoves that really work.

Digging the hole for the tree eyed by many
Digging the hole for the tree eyed by many
manure and earth mix for the seedling
manure and earth mix for the seedling
Planting the citrus tree seedling
Planting the citrus tree seedling
Planting the lychee tree seedling in school yard
Planting the lychee tree seedling in school yard

Links:

Dec 23, 2019

Planting fruit trees in our school yards

Planting the lychee tree in the school yard
Planting the lychee tree in the school yard

For our site visit in October we bought five tree seedlings for each school: avocado, lychee, mango and 2 citrus trees. We bought them in a professional tree nursery along the way to the villages. Patronizing the same nursery where we had sent our gardeners for training before.

The trees seedlings were planted, with the help of the students at both school yards during our visit.

Reforestation is one of Zahana’s core activities. It is important for us to combine site visits with tree-planting as often as possible, with the active participation of our students. Planting not just “trees”, but fruit trees, that can provide foods for the students for years to come, is the logical next step.

October is still in the dry season in the high plateau of Madagascar. It is traditionally not the ideal season to plant trees. So, this is also an experiment that our founder described in the following words: “due to climate change that is very noticeable in Madagascar, we don’t really know anymore what the right season for planting trees might be. So we just have to try it, if it might work”.

Both schools have access to water. All the students have to do is water the trees regularly, until the beginning of the rainy season, later in the year, when nature takes over this task.

- - - - - - - - - -

And yes, houskeeping is required to keep Zahana going.

This is the end-of-the-year season where you get many appeals for support and enticements of tax deductibility. Yes, if you are so inclined, and have the means to do so, please consider our projects in Madagascar.

We also wanted to put a plug in for our latest GlobalGiving project Improved cookstoves prevent deforestation. It is our most ambitious project to date, that integrated many elements, including reforestation in its scope.  And the first results are amazing. You might enjoy reading our latest project report: Improved cookstoves that really work.

Professional tree nursery on the roadside
Professional tree nursery on the roadside
Slecting the seeling to take to the schools
Slecting the seeling to take to the schools
Planting seedlings with the Bary the gardener
Planting seedlings with the Bary the gardener
Watering the new seedlings
Watering the new seedlings

Links:

 
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