The rains were late but they finally arrived mid-October and the Priceless Farms team and resident farming families jumped to the task of prepping the soil and getting the patiently waiting Lyra seedlings out of our farm nursery and into the ground.
Twenty-thousand seedlings were planted in the first 14 days on the recently designated 10 acres of land. The rains are consistent now and another 10 acres is being prepared and an additional 20,000 trees will be planted this month (November). In addition, another 13,000 seedlings are being distributed to our Shamba Farmers–there are 22 families living and working on Priceless Farms–who have their own plots and they will plant those trees over the coming weeks as well. In total we will have 53,000 trees in the ground this season. For those of you who have been paying attention we originally set our sites on planting 100,000 trees. However with the lateness of the rains and the level of funding and resources available we adjusted our plan to 50K which turned out to be a good move for our first planting. When you stack them up, 50,000 seedlings is quite an impressive under taking. So we are pleased with the result.
It should be understood that these plots are designated as tree plantations but they are intercropped with other cash crops as well such as onions and other vegetables that grow well under the shade and protection of the trees. The trees are planted 1.5 meters apart on a grid which allows for plenty of room for intercropping and culling a significant portion of the trees for pole wood over the next couple of years will create more room for the balance of the trees to grow much larger and increase in market value.
“There is as much biomass in the ground below the tree as there is above”
This is a soil building process. There is as much bioamass created underground by a tree as there is above the ground. So when a tree is harvested it leaves behind all that biomass that is utilized by other crops and future trees. In permaculture farming, soils are never depeated, they are always enhanced. By growing and harvesting our own trees we are in fact saving a creating new forests all around us as we expand a grow.
I’ll be talking more about this and our commitment to massive re-forestation in the next years in the next blog.
Thank you for your time and interest. ~