Rainy Season News

On Tuesday Dr. McGrath, Sega, Ford, Linnea and I arrived in Cange once again excited to check in on how things have progressed in Bois Jolie since our last visit. I had been back to Bois Jolie once since our big trip over spring break, but it was still to early for the coffee seedlings to have sprouted. So when we arrived at our peppiniere (nursery), I was just as excited as everyone else to see that almost all 10,000 seedlings had peeped out from the dirt in their little planting sacks and made the big switch from respiring the energy stored within their seed to  the magnificent task of photosynthesis! This is the very task that makes these little plants carbon-sequestering machines, and which will eventually allow these now tiny plants to grow and to produce all of the most critical ingredients to life: oxygen, income, and, of course, caffeine!

We arrived at Bois Jolie to find these cute little guys so newly sprouted that they were still holding on to their seed coats.

We arrived at Bois Jolie to find these cute little guys so newly sprouted that they were still holding on to their seed coats.

Maxo tending to the coffee seedlings. The seeds that havent sprouted are covered with palm fronds to keep them moist and sheltered while they work themselves up to germinating!

Maxo tends to the coffee seedlings. The seeds that havent sprouted are covered with palm fronds to keep them moist and sheltered while they work themselves up to germinating!

We also met with Monsieur Sentilus, the main “responsable” for the nursery within the community of Bois Jolie, and discussed future needs for the nursery. We decided to fence it in to keep out ravenous goats and overly interested human passers-by, and to use an organic insecticide tested out by students at Zanmi Agrikol’s Centre de Formation Fritz LaFontant that is made out of oil from the seeds of Moringa trees, crushed hot peppers, and garlic. We also made plans to expand the nursery to include more coffee seedlings as well as over-story fruit trees.

It was wonderful to see the landscape we were accustomed to since spring break transformed by the onset of the rainy season. Here are some pictures from the hike home to Cange from Bois Jolie, both in March and this week:

This valley had recently been burned when in March in preparation for planting. Although burning quickly returns a portions of the nutrients in vegetation back in the soil, many precious organics are vaporized and lost in the process, making this an overall degrading and unsustainable agricultural practice.

This valley had recently been burned when in March in preparation for planting. Although burning quickly returns a portions of the nutrients in vegetation back in the soil, many precious organics are vaporized and lost in the process, making this an overall degrading and unsustainable agricultural practice.

This photo is actually one valley over from the previous picture, but is overall very similar and only about a two minute walk away. Now that crops have been planted and the rains have started the whole landscaped is lush and green.

This photo is actually one valley over from the previous picture, but is overall very similar and only about a two minute walk away. Now that crops have been planted and the rains have started the whole landscaped is lush and green.

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