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.
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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.
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