Talando trees moved to new site
Although some of the team is snowed in, that doesn't stop us from racing to meet 2013!
Three new Madagascar proejcts are being initiated to add value to our current farmers' work that we hope will entice new farmers to take up their shovels.
Insect protein production: We are applying to the TOPS program for funds to analyze the different nutrients in 4 species of silkworms that we are producing agriculturally for silk. Larvae in three saturniid genera, Argema, Antherina, and Ceranchia, plus Hypsoides (Notodontidae) larvae, spin silk and have been used by some in our area for food. The fourth Saturniidae moth, Bunaea, does not spin a cocoon, but like the Mopane silkworms that are eaten throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, undergo metamorphosis underground. Bunaea are eatern in the Madagascar highlands. We plan to compare pupae protein content and micro-nutrients such as iron and zinc, and total calories as well as scan for microbes. Knowing the nuitritional contents will allow us to target agricultural production of pupae to those returning the highest value. We will also be experimenting to determine the best way to process the pupae (dried, smoked, boiled, broiled, fried, fresh) to maintain the highest nutritional return as well as insure palatability. Bertrand and Mario are brushing up on their gourmet recipes.
New Markets, New Products: To date, most of our textile sales have been to artists, individauls who "have to have" the latest in shades and curtains. In the coming year we are expanding production to include new lamps that are being designed by Rikki Moss (www.studioglow.com). While still in the works, we visited Rikki at her studio yesterday and the sculptures she is designing are unique for CPALI's textile and show off its best angles. I do not have pictures at this time - but stay tuned and watch her webpage. She will be posting updates soon.
Theresa Zent and Gina White are also designing new products for CPALI to post on www.wildsilkmarkets.com. We hope to add designer pillows (made in Madagascar) to our future line-up for goods made in Madagascar.
Additional New Partnerships: Boston Architects for Humanity are partnering with CPALI to design a training center for our new land. The training center will include large, well-lit working areas, a bunkroom where visitors can spend the night, outdoor areas for working (as are preferred by the women) and solar power facilities to enhance the value of our program.
Monitoring: Finally, the soils project has commenced. The samples arrived at Cornell University before Christmas and we will add the silkworm pupae nutritional studies reserach as part of our monitoring program. In addition to looking at the effect of the trees on soil value, we will look at the effect of tree folliage on insect protein value - a wonderful dovetailing of projects.
Thank you for your very generous donations to CPALI/SEPALIM in 2012. If you haven't had time to donate yet, or if you are impressed with our work and want to give us an extra, tax-free kick, please take a minute to make a new donation through the Global Giving site.
All the best and Happy New Year and let the adventure continue!!
New site before trees transplanted
Transplanted trees in new site
Grinding soils in preparation for shipment
Lydia and Eddie oversee soil preparations