Round of presentations at the meeting in Bartola
Time for change… of volunteers!
During the month of August, several changes took place in Bartola. Jérémie ensured a proper welcoming and handover to the new volunteer, Matthieu, who arrived on August 14th. The latter will still stay in Bartola until end of December, and will continue working with the farmers. Matthieu will be joined by Constance, who is our new volunteer arriving in September and staying until February 2017.
Jérémie and Matthieu met and stayed in Bartola from August 16th -19th in order to meet the 16 families involved in the project, and in order for Matthieu to get to know the area. They visited each farm and met with each farmer during their stay. Furthermore on Thursday August 18th, they had the occasion to hold a small meeting with the farmers, where they presented the future plan and work schedule for Matthieu and Constance.
One of the most important tasks for the upcoming work will be to evaluate the impact of the project, on both a social and environmental level, since it’s instigation in 2013. The results will allow us to improve and tweak the tasks of the volunteers working on site. The month of September will be dedicated to harvesting and planting Inga seeds in the nursery: around 4000 seeds will be collected and distributed among eight farmers.
Matthieu and Jérémie
Workshop on composting and fertilizer
Alejandro adds a layer of crushed leaves to the composted fertilizer.
On July 8th 21 participants joined the workshop on the cultivation of Bocashi fertilizer. The aim of the workshop was to teach the participants to cultivate their own basic fertilizer on their own respective farms. The participants began by harvesting the necessary ingredients (cow manure, green/dead leaves, banana tree roots, hay, soil, ashes, carbon and water) The next step was then to cut up the leaves, banana roots and hay into small pieces. Finally they mixed all of the components together, and thanks to Alejandro’s useful knowledge, this was a successfully guided process– Alejandro is an agriculturist who recently visited an experimental farm in Nueva Guinea (Nicaragua)
The participants were all happy with the outcome of the workshop, and are already looking forward to joining the next one! During the month of July, the experiments carried out on the land plots will continue (planting new trees, mowing of weeds, setting up new land plots etc).
New families to join the project in Bartola!
From left to right: Denis (agriculturist), Marcial and Deyling (members of the Fundacíon del Rio) while meeting with the other families.
By the end of June, six new families from the Bartola community will have begun integrating the use of Sylvopasture in their farming. This means that from now on Envol Vert will be working with seventeen families in total. Our volunteer, Jérémie, interviewed the members from Fundacíon del Rio, a local environmental organization, in order to assess the future needs of each of the seventeen families. The families’ needs were twofold: they first of all need help on agricultural matters, but they also need help regarding family matters. In addition to this, Jérémie has also analyzed the interviews from May of last year, as a way to evaluate the work that was carried out by the previous volunteers. The analysis points out the strengths and benefits of past Sylvopasture projects-, but also where there is room for improvement for the next projects. So far the results have luckily been positive and encouraging, and due to the new and motivated families, the future looks bright for making good progress!
The work in Bartola is still going strong!
During the last two weeks, the personal interviews with the beneficiaries have been finalized, in order to plan the work schedule for the end of this year. The goal is to take them (the beneficiaries) and their opinions into account, in order to better adapt our actions on the ground to their needs. Furthermore the activities have been able to begin on the small plots of land, starting by the mowing out the lands currently planted with Inga, and the setting up of fences for future plots of land (planted with Inga) and for the plots of land for the Sylvopasture projects. The establishment of the new hedgerows has also begun to spread among other farmers. There is still a long way to go and a lot of work to do, but the motivation from each family is highly beneficial and encouraging to the progress of the project. As an experiment, we have planted Cassava (manioc) roots along the border of an Inga ranks. The space between the borders of the Cassava (manioc) and Inga ranks ensures that the two species will not compete with each other, in this initial phase of development.
Plot of land with Inga trees and Cassava (manioc) roots planted between the ranks. (picture : Jérémie Couédon).
A second experiment will consist of planting beans along the ranks of Inga. But before that, there are still many Inga planted land plots to clean up and cut down with machetes! Furthermore the plant nurseries must be prepared for planting more Inga trees in early September.
A small group of people motivated for their second session of English classes! (picture : Jérémie Couédon).
Apart from working with farming and agriculture, Jérémie also organizes English lessons for the interested members of the community. Bartola is very touristic, and these English lessons are therefore highly useful to the families who receive and work with tourists and therefore need basic capacity in English. The lessons take place every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon and last two hours!
Jérémie, our new volunteer!
While currently a student at Montpellier’s SupAgro aka. The National Institute of Further Education in Agricultural Science, Jérémie will finish his degree while volunteering for the the Envol Vert project in Nicaragua: ” Apart from this being a professional project, the experience of being in Nicaragua will allow me to influence a cause which I hold dearly: sustainable farming and agriculture which respects both the humans involved as well as the forest. My first week in Bartola and the people I met there, have motivated me even more to realizing and making this project happen! ” Jérémie has just made his first visit to Bartola and has become highly amazed by the community.
Five volunteers have already been through and succeeded working for the Envolv Vert project. In total around 5060 trees have been planted in the land plots of eleven families.
Here is a photo that shows the important work which was carried out by previous volunteers (hedgerows, Inga plantation..)
A barbed-wire fence, a hedgerow and an Inga plot. (photo: Jérémie Couédon)