Update on the Agro-Ecological Center

(para leer en español, haz clíc aquí)

Hi, all! This is Owen, the agriculture volunteer. I’m writing to give you all an update on the goings-on at the Agro-Ecological Center. The year began with finishing up the corn harvest. We also had a honey extraction in January followed by another in February.

Radish plants, enjoying some shade below the guiskil vines in the vegetable garden

Radish plants, enjoying some shade below the guiskil vines in the vegetable garden

Since we are currently in the height of the dry season here in El Salvador, our efforts are focused on a vegetable garden that we are maintaining with a modest irrigation system. In this garden we are currently cultivating radish, cucumber, green beans, sweet peppers, okra, beans, guiskil (a squash-type plant native to El Salvador), and potato. One of our main objectives with this effort is to be continually saving seeds from each crop that we cultivate in order to preserve a diversity of seed varieties as a resource for our future efforts.

The cornfields, sadly burned and blackened

The cornfields, sadly burned and blackened

Recently we have had to contend with the difficulty of a fire at the Center. As it is the dry season, conditions are prime for brush fires to begin and spread easily. This fire took place on the 7th and 8th of March, entering onto the terrain of the Center from an adjacent plot of land. While the fire spread over a significant portion of the property, we were able to contain it and protect the apiary and main areas of cultivation. However, the fire did destroy an unfortunate amount of biodiversity and organic material, including plants upon which our bees are dependent for pollen. Because of this we are attentively observing the beehives for any sign of trouble.

Despite these difficulties we are continuing forward with this effort, firm in our faith that human capacities can be brought into productive harmony with ecological systems and confident that planting seeds in good soil and good trust will always sustain us.

All the best,

Owen Needham

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