pruning vetiver at permatree in ecuador

Pruning Vetiver Grass

The pruning of the vetiver grass at its right time works like a carbon bomb

Like with many other elements within the PermaTree farm we are using vetiver grass, within systems such as the Adaptive Contour and Erosion Control with Vetiver grass and Arachis Pintoi. As usual the more one element can be interconnected with other elements and create more functions. The more value every single element will bring on a macro scale. Our goal is always to be able to stack elements of high value to get a final function of even higher value. Obviously the goal is that all those systems work self sustainably and are ideally regenerative.

Video: Pruning Vetiver Grass

Pruning of vetiver fences up to a height of 30 to 50 cm. prevents these from giving seeds, makes them thicker and consequently more effective in filtering runoff water and erosion.

At the ende of the day vetiver gras is being used at PermaTree in Ecuador for the following use-cases:

  • Crop fertilization with pruned vetiver grass (contains minerals)
  • Erosion control – bioengineering
  • Phytoremediation of water and soil contaminated by heavy metals, hydrocarbons, agrochemicals, and other pollutants.
  • Keep in mind vetiver has more than 1000 uses (construction materials, forage for livestock, landscaping and ornamentals, mulch, compost, veneer, fiber board, ash for concrete work, and insecticide)

Transplanting Vetiver Grass

Vetiver

Vetiver as Photosynthetic Energy Accumulator

Seeing vetiver grass as a “photosynthetic energy accumulator”, both on the ground in the form of plant biomass and under the ground as a creator of fertility due to the fixation of organic carbon, through the decomposition of its roots and the creation of Microbiological networks, we wonder how we can obtain the greatest amount of energy through its pruning or cutting.

1 Year Old Adult Vetiver Grass

vetiver grass 1 year old

Pruning Adult Vetiver Grass

recently pruned vetiver grass

The Logic behind the Pruning the Vetiver Grass

When vetiver grass grows, it reaches a maximum growth point (2 meters), where it stops growing and prepares for flowering and planting. There is the ideal time for its cut, since its roots have also been expressed as much as possible under the ground. In terms of energy saving, the grass, being pruned aerially, immediately cuts its roots, releasing all fertility to the soil. Then, we let the grass grow to its maximum potential, so that it accumulates or “captures” the maximum carbon (load) and then we cut it (it is unloaded). This works like a two-phase carbon pump, with a charge pulse and a discharge pulse.

vetiver
Vetiver

DIY Guacamole Recipe

Guacamole

Learn how easy it is to make homemade guacamole. Its no rocket science.

Ingredients

  • 2-4 Avocados
  • Lemon to taste
  • A red onion
  • Salt to taste

Preparation and ingredients for the guacamole

  1. Chop the onion into small squares
  2. We take the pulp out of the four avocados and crush it until it’s even
  3. Add the onion and mix it well
  4. Add the lemon gradually and we try it, I put about 30 ml of lemon juice.
  5. Add salt to taste

DIY Mayonnaise Recipe

Mayonnaise

Lear how to make homemade mayonnaise 

Ingredients

  • 1 Egg
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Salt to taste
  • Red onion
  • Kitchen Oil
Final product : mayonnaise

Preparation and ingredients for the mayonnaise

Egg + Onion + Garlic + Salt = mayonnaise
Egg + Onion + Garlic + Salt = mayonnaise
  1. First, we peel and chop the garlic a little bit, not very small because it’s going to be liquefied
  2. We chop half a red onion; it may be less if you don’t want the taste to be very strong
  3. Put the egg in the blender, add a quarter of a small spoon of salt, garlic and onion
  4. We liquefied for a minute or until we don’t see pieces of any ingredient
  5. As we liquefaction we gradually add the oil. The amount of oil depends on how thick you want the mayonnaise; the more oil will make you thicker

Notes

It is important that the blender is well dried so that the mayonnaise won’t be damaged.

Slowly add the oil to reach the desired thickness to the mayonnaise


Volunteer Experience – week 12 – Rebecca

Personal experience (lasts weeks)

As I mentioned in a previous post, I Rebeca Gaona, I’m doing my internship on the Yantza PermaTree Farm in Ecuador. Now I’m on week 12, almost ending my internship. I had to end my internship on december 20, but I have some health problems, so I’m going to have surgery on Tuesday, december 3, and the weeks between december 3 and december 20 I will work virtually with blogs, publications and information.

Jackfruit seedlings

I’ve been working in different things in the farm and I have learned new things. Some of the activities I have done are for example to plant seedlings from a jackfruit. At first we only used one jackfruit. After 1 and a half month approximately we obtained 102 plants, but 16 died.  Now we are waiting to see the other seedlings of 2 more jackfruits.

We transplanted new plants where some other plants did not survive. We used fruit plants and some native timber plants, and in some places we put some flowers, so the insects/bees and birds will have food and a place to stay. Enhancing biodiversity. 

In this time we harvested some ripe soursop fruits and we have made a lot of soursop-ice-cream. The biggest soursop that I saw, was one of 8 kg and we obtained almost 57 ice creams. 

Here rains a lot, and sometimes we have problems with the water. It can go under the earth and the landscape changes because the water is moving the earth. Erosion. Once we went up the mountain because the rain and mud covered the mouth of the main water tank. Which is used for the house, so we had to clean it and be sure that the water was arriving to the house. 

The farm dogs

I’ve always liked animals, and here on the farm there are four dogs. They are very friendly. The boss is Pulga (Flea), she is not the biggest, but she rules among the dogs. Then Toby goes, he is the biggest, Pica Pica is the youngest and the sister of Pulga (Flea). Mango, it’s a bit awkward, but he loves to receive affection and attention.

Other activity we made is to prune the bamboo, because it gives more strength to the plant and because of that it grows faster. We have to cut the new buds of the plant and the big ones. 

Sometimes we have to work on virtually because there is tropical rainfall. And sometimes we do not work outside because of the sun. Tropical climate.

Another important thing is that, after watching the farm and knowing how it works, the farm obtained the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification, given by the Agriculture Ministry. It’s important to say that it’s the very first farm in the Zamora-Chinchipe province that obtained this certification.

With the help of Conservation International, there will be a big conservation area linked with a biological corridor, so the native fauna will recover some of the natural habitat and they can have food and shelter there. Enhancing biodiversity.  

Currently, there is a project of building a small fabric to give local tropical fruits and vegetables added value. For example, the plant will produce dehydrated fruit, some different teas, natural oils and coffee. The coffee shop will be here on the farm and will work as a showroom for the added value products. For this we had to clean all the area where the construction will be, so the architects and the people of the construction could get a better look at the terrain.  

Farm Field Work

I have worked with “Don Ray” and Cunanchi, they are the workers of the farm. I really have fun with them because they are always fighting and saying nicknames between them. I work with them cleaning the perennial peanut (forage) and the soursop plants, reforesting some areas, making some steps on the terraces, relocating some perennial peanut to make soil  cover. 

Sometimes I go to eat with them, because it’s easier to eat there and then keep working than coming here to the main farm house and cook, eat and go down there again. 

I have learned, more than anything, about how life is, how hard things can get in a farm, how to work with other people and to organize my time and the activities that I have to do. This experience opened my mind to new projects and new way to manage a farm. Another important goal for me is that now I have more contact with people that can be helpful in the future, for new projects.

Making Home Made Bread in the Adobe Oven

I learned to make bread too, and I really like it. It’s something that I never thought I will learn but I’m glad i made it.

healthy food

I know to cook healthier things, and I’m reducing the quantity of meat that I eat. This is good because, even though people don’t know that, the meat production and cattle raising are destroying thousands of productive areas and are deforesting a big part of the Amazonian Rain Forest. 

Nature Surrounds the Farm

I think that now, I see more value in the natural resources, like flowers, plant, water, natural coverages and all the animals that complete this system, not only economic value, I mean, the importance that these resources have in our environment and to understand that all these elements work together and create a balance in the nature.