One of the first things we do at the La Esperanza Vivero/Nursery is sit and discuss
last week's work and plan the work for the day.
This has been a new concept for the Brigadistas. I include them in the planning and critique.
And I remind them of the importance of respecting other people's time and efforts. This seems to be a constant, weekly topic.
Last week I left the task of creating a Compost Area in our Vivero. Arturo and his crew did a fine job, all on their own. We still need to properly place materials and signage, but it is a work in progress.
A lot with a view.
Our Permacultural teacher, Douglas got to work on his Biochar oven.
Arturo took a special interest and assisted Douglas.
Biochar is charcoal used as a soil amendment. Biochar is a stable solid, rich in carbon, and can endure in soil for thousands of years. Like most charcoal, biochar is made from
biomass via pyrolysis.
Biochar is recognized as offering a number of benefits for soil health. Many benefits are related to the extremely porous nature of biochar. This structure is found to be very effective at retaining both water and water-soluble nutrients. Soil biologist Elaine Ingham indicates the extreme suitability of biochar as a habitat for many beneficial soil micro organisms. She points out that when pre-charged with these beneficial organisms biochar becomes an extremely effective soil amendment promoting good soil, and in turn plant, health.
For plants that require high potash and elevated pH, biochar can be used as a soil amendment to improve yield.
Biochar can improve water quality, reduce soil emissions of greenhouse gases, reduce nutrient leaching, reduce soil acidity, and reduce irrigation and fertilizer requirements.
The final product, ready to be used in our garden.
A New Door
Security has been an issue for us at the Vivero. We previously had to store any valuable items
(i.e. tools, tables, chairs) in a bodega at a neighbor's house or at the home of one of the Brigadistas.
Our friend, Barbara Reinhart had a wonderful surprise for us at the Vivero. She had met an ironsmith named Alvaro Salazar from Guadalajara and had him install a metal door complete with heavy locks. He has completed the work with partial payment and has asked us to pay him as we can.
Thank you both Barb and Alvaro. Now we can store our tools safely.
As a result, the girls started clearing our second lot, under Barb's direction.
And so we grow...