After much hard work by members of the San José and Palacio communities helped by Rolman Velarde and Rodrigo Flores we planted another two agroforest plots this April 2014. The seedlings were four months old and this entails a risk that they could be root-bound. They were also planted right at the end of the wet season and so will not benefit from a couple of months of rain to become established. We will be observing their progress with a lot of interest as due to poor weather earlier in the year and flooding at Palacio these plots have been plotted in suboptimal conditions. Their success or failure will provide us with important information on maximum seedling size for sowing and whether or not the dry season should be considered a barrier to planting out young plants.
Planting is done communally and in negotiation with each community following various visits and a council meeting. We don’t pay the communities for their time but we do want to ensure that work on the agroforest plots does not compromise their own livelihoods. For this reason we provide communal meals in compensation for time and effort. It may seem surprising but for much of the year communities do not have access to meat and so the food that we do provide is a useful supplement to their diet.