Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Re-treeing Honduras

Over this summer I have attempted to get some things to grow (The jalapenos all got some kind of fungus, unfortunately), and among them, I planted a couple of guanacaste seeds just for the heck of it. I honestly thought they were a lost cause until last week when the seeds finally germinated and started shooting up.

After thinking to myself, ¨What the heck am I going to do with a tree in a pot on my paved-over patio?¨, I decided to give them away to a friend, Karen, who has a farm up on the mountain (El Volcan). Karen says in the 12 or so years she has lived up on the mountain, there has been quite a lot of deforestation due to illegal logging for lumber, and the fact that most folks use wood fires for cooking. I have noticed that even city folk cook over wood fires when they will be cooking something like beans (that requires hours over the stove) in order to save on electricity costs. Karen makes it very clear to her neighbors and any suspicious pickup trucks that no one will be touching any trees on her property. She also knows that since guanacastes have a beautiful broad canopy, they will be good for creating shade for her coffee plants. Karen also plants tons of seedlings of caoba, cedro, and other valuable tropical wood to plant on her property and to give away to reforestation projects of friends. I think my little seedlings will have a good home there :)

I have been interested recently in the work of several NGOs in promoting the use of solar ovens as a method of cooking to replace wood fires in ¨sun-rich¨ countries (which Honduras definitely is). It is one of my dreams/long-term goals to construct several working solar ovens in order to give demonstrations and workshops to folks whose families and communities would benefit from more sustainable methods of cooking. Hopefully with replanting and alternative cooking methods, we can all do our part to re-tree Honduras!

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