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Dehydrated Bananas Ecuador Permatree Superfoods

Our Impact – Permatree Superfoods

Permatree Superfoods Logo

Our goal with Permatree Superfoods is to transform the productive territory in a regenerative way, creating social, environmental and economic impact.

(1) Social

A regenerative system includes the social well-being of human actors within it and in the broader landscape: rural farming families, collaborators, and their family. Providing safe and healthy work environments ensures that our collaborators are in optimal condition and more productive. Create a true economic value to not only survive, but live well from farm work. Far beyond “Fair Trade”. It is not logical, that in the value chain, the raw material producers (farmers) are the one that earn the least. This is a key issue of the current low industrial local and global food products quality.

(2) Environmental – Biodiversity and Water

Biodiversity provides us with key ecosystem services that allow us to naturally and sustainably improve production within the field.

Diversity of soil fauna: Healthy soils are alive with a diversity of organisms in it, a living ecosystem that sustains and sustains plant life.

Crop diversity: This refers to the collection of plants that we have chosen to be part of the regenerative tropical system.

Diversity of endemic flora and fauna species of the humid tropical climate: The conservation of the highest levels of biodiversity is achieved by maintaining a mosaic of different habitats, including forest slopes, river channels, wetlands and reservoirs within the limits of the farm.

Strengthen resilience to climate change: Conservation of water sources and micro-watersheds. Promote the regeneration of mega biodiversity to have crops more adaptable to climate change.

(3) Economic – Circular economy

With the circular economy model, waste can be reduced by up to 99%. Human beings are the only element in nature that generates garbage. The goal is a circular economy in which we have to close production cycles and maintain a constant flow of natural resources. With our holistic business model, we are creating a great change in the agro value chain and the industry that transforms it into added value. We promote the production of superfoods, beyond organic, in our humid tropical territory.

Dehydrated Bananas Ecuador Permatree Superfoods

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Permatree Superfoods (PTSF) addresses some of the most pressing global challenges, as expressed within the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Gender Equality, Quality Education, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Conserving water resources, Supporting solutions for sustainable, resilient cities, improving resource efficiency, adapting to climate change, reducing health risks and stimulating innovation & Economic growth.

Permatree Superfoods – Beneficiaries

  1. Direct beneficiaries: 2000
    400 rural farming families selling raw material directly to PTSF. 40 Employees in the plant, show-room and administration. 40 (40 x 4 = 160) in the plant + 400 (400 x 4 = 1600) rural agricultural families + transport services, material inputs, food providers for the plant, municipality, parish government, banks and local savings cooperatives SRI national income tax, superintendency of banks and companies, certifying companies, Agrocalidad, ARCSA, MIPRO, ProEcuador and Senae.
  1. Indirect beneficiaries: 50,000 families
    The entire sector of the parish of the encounters, including the El Padmi neighborhood, impacted all the producer families in the provinces of Zamora-Chinchipe and Morona Santiago, which according to data from the MAG and INEC, there are approximately 50,000 agricultural producer families with basic needs dissatisfied.
  2. Youth job opportunities – boosting youth employment.
  3. Women with problems of domestic violence and single mothers.
  4. 1500 hectares of land that becomes productive beyond organic.
  5. BPA and Free Mining Certification for the 400 agricultural families with an emphasis on holistic certification.
  6. 200 bamboo plants, per family farm, for reforestation, water sources conservation and erosion control.
  7. 2000 kg, on average, of dehydrated bananas on a daily basis at PTSF.
  8. 400 biodigesters creating liquid-biol to improve the soils for the crops on the family farms.
  9. Creating spaces for holistic tourism.
  10. Creating flora and fauna conservation areas. Focused on the mega biodiversity of the unique local species on our planet.
  11. Creando alternativas y conocimiento de nutrición saludable. 
  12. Promoting the local and global circular economy. Increased income for raw material producers so that they truly generate profitable income for them. Thus generating knowledge.
  13. 400 agricultural families free of agrochemicals in Zamora Chinchipe and Morona Santiago, Ecuador
  14. Transparent company policy for all.
  15. Clear and precise communication with an educational approach.
  16. Independent Bio Entrepreneurship: FREE from Politics, Religion and Mining.

Reforestation status with Bamboo – July 2020

Bamboo Reforestation in July 2020. This is the 4th area within the MachuPichu zone we are reforesting with bamboo. Below is a bird-view. We are reforesting zone by zone. It takes some time. Priority are the critical zones first then the rest. (1) Bordering zones – pink circles. (2) Light blue, bottom right (3.) Yellow, bottom left (4) Dark blue, top.

Location: “MachuPichu” zone near the main PermaTree bamboo house at about 900 meters over the sea level. About 50 meters higher that the bamboo house and about 500 meters away.

Bamboo Reforestation at MachuPichu Zone at Permatree in Ecuador.
Bamboo Reforestation at MachuPichu Zone at Permatree in Ecuador.

Highlighted within the photo is the are which has been cleaned of the giant grass just a few days before. The white dots are planted bamboo seedlings. The yellow zone is Guadua angustifolia kunth also known as “cana brava” planted in a line about 1.5 years ago. The yellow circles on the top of the image are Dendrocalamus asper also known as “giant bamboo” which has been planted on the top terrace. What seems flat is actually a very steep mountain (100 meters altitude difference).

Birdview of MachuPichu Terraces at PermaTree in Ecuador.
Birdview of MachuPichu Terraces at PermaTree in Ecuador.

What you see is the MachuPichu zone of 2 hectares in size which has been terraced back in 2008. Initially this zone was 50% cacao CCN-51 monocrop and 50% elephant grass for pasture of cows for cattle ranching.

CCN-51 CACAO

“Coleccion Castro Naranjal (CCN-51) was created in the 1970s by Homer U. Castro in Ecuador. This variety did not become widely planted in Ecuador until the 1997-98 El Niño event which wiped out a great deal of Nacional crop, and the losses suffered by Nacional growers during this period prompted many to switch to CCN-51”.

CCN-51 Cacao is a cultivar famous for its extremely high yields and its poor flavor characteristics. Most CCN-51 cacao beans are used for the mass-production of products like cocoa butter and “candy bars” heavily laced with milk, sugar, and other additives. Widespread throughout Ecuador due to its high productivity.

Elephant Grass

A species of perennial tropical grass native to the African grasslands. Widespread throughout the tropics due to its high productivity. Causes soil compaction. Reduction of topsoil and soil nutrient. Cattle ranching is expanding in all amazon region and one of the main causes of deforestation of endemic tropical forest. Elephant grass pasture monoculture poses a serious threat to the fragile tropical mega bio-diverse ecosystem.

Conclusion

So the MachuPichu zone was a typical example of local use land since the 60s till almost today in this so unique mega bio-diverse tropical mountain rain forest region in Ecuador. So the decision was made to transform this into something truly regenerative and multi-useful.

  1. First the terraces where made because its extremely steep. Now we have a great access to the top of MachuPichu directly from the bamboo house.
  2. All terraces have been reinforced with vetiver grass as bioengineering tool to control damage by extreme tropical rainfall such as erosion landslides and overall loss of top soil. The vetiver also helps to enhance the soil microorganism due to the deep root activity
  3. Another implemented on site solution where road access horizontal drainage canals (50 cm width) located at the inner side of the access road. Also vertical canals (25 cm width) from top to bottom of the terrain. These vertical canals where hand dug every 25 meters from the top terrace till the bottom. They help to break down the quantity of drainage water after tropical rainfall, which is literally A lot of water in very short amount of time.

Now that access was truly improved and the terraces have been reinforced and the extreme rainfall was under control. It was time to focus on a general solution to enhance bio-diversity again and additionally find a solution for all the different surrounding neighbors which are still with pasture monoculture on CNN-51 monoculture managed with pesticides.

Long term solution: Bamboo

Having transplanted more than 1000 bamboo seedlings at Permatree since 2016 the idea to work with bamboo on “MachuPichu” was not so far away. There have been more than a few learnings which differ from theory but that was to expect. It was also interesting to see how well the bamboo can adapt and grow with this red clay soil (Ultisol) compared to other fruit trees. In some parts of the red clay soil even the vetiver grass had difficulties to grow because of the high iron amount in the soil. Bamboo is amazing. Once you have all the relevant knowledge about bamboo and the uses you will be speechless. 

Overview of the planted zones with diverse bamboo all over PermaTree
Overview of the planted zones with diverse bamboo all over PermaTree

The bamboo reforestation is a long-term transformation process which was started at PeermaTree back in March 2016 (History). Until today over 1000 diverse bamboo seedlings have been successfully transplanted over a area of about 10 hectares. Now

Transporting bamboo 1 year old bamboo seedlings from the nursery to MachuPichu

So on this saturday 25th july 2020, we have managed to plant 57 bamboo plants! 44 Guadua angustifolia and 5 Dendrocalamus asper and 8 Phyllostachys.

Additionally to the bamboo reforestation we have been able to identify local shrubs and trees that attract insects and birds because of their flowers. They are growing all over the areas so the seeds have been lying in the soil for some time and now they are sprouting. And they attract more bio-diversity. The bamboo does the same thing for the birds and reptiles.

Bamboo and Fauna

Bamboo offers many important resources to animals, including food (seeds, shoots, leaves, insects, etc.), and cover from enemies. There are two main properties that the bamboo provides that attract birds. Firstly, the shoots and leaves provide birds with good nesting material, while the plants themselves are an excellent source of cover, protecting the birds from predators and the weather elements. When you plant bamboo you enhance your local biodiversity.

More photos of bamboo and how it enhances biodiversity in especially fauna like birds and reptiles (snakes). Flickr photo album with wildlife birds in bamboo. Also you can check the iNaturalist profile to see all the identified species of the flora and fauna at Permatree Wildlife Conservation in Ecuador.

This region is one of the very few last remaining MEGA biodiversity hot spots of the planet earth because of its remote location and also its a natural wildlife corridor from the great amazon basin to the Andes Mountains range for the remaining wildlife.

Identified Wildlife on Bamboo at Permatree in Ecuador

Permatree Superfoods Presentation

Our operation of regeneration within the production territory with Permatree Superfoods is advancing despite the global challenging situation with COVID19 and the global warming… The last PTSF blog update was in back March 2020 and now its all-ready 13th of July 2020, time flies. As of today we have created our presentation material where you can get a much better understanding of what, why and of course how we are going to do it.

Just in case you have forgotten what PTSF is about. Our mission is to create added value superfoods from: dehydrated seda banana and orito banana, turmeric powder, coffee, raw-chocolate, soursop and guayusa leaf teas. 

Because we are working this on a holistic level it seems slightly more complex at the beginning to understand how we are enhancing the entire horizontal value chain. From the seeds to the transformed added value – superfoods.

In case you want to stay up-to-date on a daily basis you can follow our twitter or instagram too.

Plant Construction Status

In the meantime the construction of the transformation plant for tropical fruits, seeds and vegetables is also well visible from the bird view as you can see yourself. The area itself is not greater than 0.66 hectare in size. But the location is perfect on the main nacional road *Troncal Amazonico E45* connecting us to Loja or Cuenca and from there to Guayaquil or Quito. This drone footage was taken about 1 month ago. Our construction team has been working now since 27 days and its challenging of course with the tropical climate but the transformation is well visible. We are on schedule. Currently we are working 22 day shifts.

Business opportunities – Trade Shows

Due to the COVID19 situation all the existing trade shows have been canceled and some have been reactivated virtually. We have been able to all-ready present the PERMATREE SUPERFOODS innovation at the ECUADOR FOOD FAIR – I Virtual Edition 2020. The first Interactive Food Fair of Ecuador organized by ProEcuador and Fedexpor. Tomorrow the 14 of July we will be present at the ExpoAlemania.com #ExpoVirtualAlemania organized by all the latam German Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHKs) – which are promoting international trade.

The Presentation

Now the information has been prepared for you in various media channels. According to the latest research video content engages most. So below you will find a striped down video version of about 2 minutes for all of you who have no time to waste and are in a hurry.

Video: PERMATREE SUPERFOODS

2 min video duration

YouTube – Permatree Superfoods Presentation (2 min)

Now personally Im not really a big fan of videos … because most of the youtube-videos now a days are just way to long and not really relevant information. So I prefer a slideshow. Below is our 33 page slideshow in English language. There is also a powerpoint-version but with 45MB it’s just way too heavy in data size.

Slideshow: PERMATREE SUPERFOODS

6 min text read

SlideShare slideshow of Permatree Superfoods (33 pages)

And well for those few who do like to read articles here comes the content as classic article with text and lots of images with more text :-).
Enjoy.


PERMATREE SUPERFOODS

Holistic + Regenerative + Transparent

PERMATREE SUPERFOODS = Holistic + Regenerative + Transparent
website: superfoods.permatree.org | Email and Tel only visible in the image

A VISION FOR A BRIGHTER FUTURE

While the planet earth and our bodies fall victim to destruction, we find hope and solutions in regeneration. Through our holistic business model that values the interconnectedness of all things, and with more than just organic farming methods, we envision a better and brighter future for all living things. It starts here in the Amazon, with a gift from the planet itself – nature’s Superfoods.

THE SUPERFOODS

The Superfoods: Dehydrated bananas, Ginger, Turmeric, Soursop-Tea, Guayusa-Tea, Raw-chocolate and Coffee
The Superfoods: Dehydrated bananas, Ginger, Turmeric, Soursop-Tea, Guayusa-Tea, Raw-chocolate and Coffee

We have chosen to start with superfoods which we have been consuming ourselves that are rich in nutrients and enhance our health. Also of which we know that they grow well in our mostly extreme tropical humid micro-climate at the edge of the amazon basin in Ecuador.

ABOUT OUR COMPANY

SUPERFOODS TO THE RESCUE

SUPERFOODS TO THE RESCUE - Its Time to Fix A Very Broken System

Its Time to Fix A Very Broken System

OUR VALUES

  • Holistic – We care for everything and everyone along the entire production process.
  • Ethical – We make conscientious choices in all we do.
  • Altruistic – Creating a better quality life for everyone is part of our business model.
  • Regenerative – Beyond sustainable, we’re healing and transforming territories.
  • Transparent – 100% trust because we’re super proud of everything we’re doing.

Three Guys With a Vision, and On a Mission.

PermaTree SuperFoods is a independent startup, based in the Amazon basin of  Ecuador, founded by three visionary entrepreneurs sick and tired of the outdated agriculture-to-market system that oppresses the family farmer and lies to the consumers. We think everyone deserves better – those who are producing food, those who are eating it, as well as the many creatures and lands  that are silently affected in the process of exploitive, conventional systems.

We want to be the most conscientious, ethical, and empowering company to cultivate nutritious, health enhancing, Superfoods from the Amazon through transparent processes and regenerative agriculture. We want our holistic business model to be the force behind territorial transformation that creates thriving social, economic, and environmental situations for all. We believe we can reverse the damage, enhance the soil with flora and fauna
to bring back a natural equilibrium, and cultivate a brighter future.

Meet The Guys

Permatree Superfood’s Founders

Meet The Guys - PERMATREE SUPERFOODS FOUNDERS

Walter Villacis, CEO
Experience in socio-organizational federations small producers and public / private companies in Ecuador. Focused on the standard- ization of value-added processes with organic certification, commercialization and export.
Linkedin : Walter Villacis

Jago Jan Veith, COO
Experience in SMB, Fortune 500 and mHealth startup. Focusing on innovation in e-commerce, marketing and communication. Passion: regenerative disruption by applying innovation processes to create a better world in the future.
Linkedin : Jago Jan Veith

Danny Carrillo, DPR
Experience in entrepreneurship and family businesses in the agriculture industry and public companies / private SMEs in Ecuador. Focused on coordination between ministries, organizations and producers related to productive value-added systems in the territory.
Linkedin : Danny Carrillo

Our Company Timeline

Our Company Timeline
PERMATREE SUPERFOODS S.A., was created on November 6, 2019, as recorded in the commercial register of the Canton Yantzaza in Ecuador under registration number 45, repertoire 1544 of the Companies register.

DEEP IN THE AMAZON OF ECUADOR

DEEP IN THE AMAZON OF ECUADOR
Birdview of PermaTree Superfoods and the Finca Yantza

Our Interconnected System

Everything Within The Territory

Growing

We grow our own raw ingredients on our farm, as well as work with 400+ family farmers who use our systematic regenerative farming model. This allows us to know exactly what we are producing from it’s very start and to empower other locals to better their farming methods,territory, lifestyle, and economy

Harvesting

Because we handle every step of the process on site, we harvest at the idea moment as we don’t have to worry about lenghty transport and storage logistics. This allows us to use higher quality ingredients at their freshest point and have direct insight to how our crops and orchards are doing

Processing

We own and operate our own processing plant on site where we use processes that maintain the purity and nutrition of our raw ingredients so we can provide  REAL Superfoods that maintain their health benefits – something our competitors are not doing.

Packaging

We pack on site too. We use minimal packaging that preserves the integrity and freshness of our products. All products are marked with a QR code that when scanned, link to videos related to each specific product providing more detailed information.

Exporting

Directly from the same location, we ship out our products nationally and export internationally. From start to finish, we handle the entire production process of our Superfoods.

The highest quality Superfoods from the Amazon; grown in micro-lots, from a unique single origen, minimally processed, packaged to preserve freshness, and shipped directly to you.

Behind The Scenes of our Raw Cacao Chocolate

Behind The Scenes
of our Raw Cacao Chocolate

Transformation of Territory & Healthier Living For All

We integrate regenerative ideas into everything we do,
from the seeds we grow to the cells in your body.

Our farming and production process is regenerating healthy environments, economies, and communities.

  • Regenerative and organic farming methods create healthy ecosystems allowing biodiversity to thrive.
  • Keeping the entire production process on-site, creates more jobs and new business opportunities for locals.
  • Organic farming jobs allows locals to choose a healthier industry to support – versus the common destructive mining industry.
  • More family farms means more families can stay together, creating a healthier lifestyle.

We produce superfoods that are delicious and nutritious that support the regeneration of cells in your body.

  • Our farming methods are 100% clean and natural, without the use of agrochemicals, zero pesticides, zero herbicides and zero chemical fertilizers
  • We don’t add sugar nor ANY preservatives during our food  processing, which means nothing harmful for your body.
  • We use processing methods that preserve the nutrition of these Superfoods so that your can enjoy the full health benefit of each one.

BUSINESS BREAKDOWN

Strategic Goals

Our five strategic objectives and development strategies in the region are:

HOLISTIC TRANSFORMATION
Transform territory to enhance environment, economy, and society. To work across the value chain in a transparent way with direct and indirect actors. Focus on the beneficial properties of health and well-being.

WORK WITH FAMILY FARMERS
Develop the production of raw material in collaboration with 400 family farmers with a focus on micro-lots of single origin from the southern territories of the Ecuadorian Amazon.

RESCUE & RESTORE CULTURE
Rescue and restore the local multicultural identity, focusing on gastronomy, history, culture and ancient medicine.

GO BEYOND ORGANIC
To go beyond just organic with our vertically intergrated, interconnected, and holistic system, and regenerative agriculture model. No agrochemicals: zero pesticides, zero herbicides and zero chemical fertilizers.

EDUCATION & COMMUNICATION
Total transparency to build trust with skeptical consumers. Communicate clearly and precisely to educate, inform, and inspire consumers and buyers.

5 Hemispheric Programs

  1. Bioeconomy and Productive Development.
  2. Territorial Development and Family Farming.
  3. International Trade and Regional Integration.
  4. Climate Change, Natural Resources, and Productive Risk Management.
  5. Agricultural Health, Safety and Food Quality.
  • Gender and Youth
  • Innovation and Technology

Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development Goals
Our business model satisfies all 17 United Nation’s SDGs.
Take a moment to enjoy our view...
Take a moment to enjoy our view…

Principles of Administrative Management

We operate with well organized, professional administration and management.
We operate with well organized, professional administration and management.

Organizational Flowchart

Organizational Flowchart
Organizational Flowchart

Legal Permits and Accreditation

Legal Permits and Accreditation
Legal Permits and Accreditation

Certifications and Quality Seals

Certifications and Quality Seals
Certifications and Quality Seals

Monthly Production Capacity

Monthly Production Capacity
Monthly Production Capacity

Our Unique Products SUPERFOODS Straight From The Amazon

BANANITOS - Dehydrated banana slice, dice
BANANITOS – Dehydrated banana slice, dice

TURMERIC

Amazing Antioxidant & Anti-Inflammatory Powder

TURMERIC Powder
TURMERIC Powder

GINGER

Dynamic DNA Damage Prevention Powder

GINGER
GINGER

Soursop Tea

Soursop Tea (Annona muricata)
Soursop Tea (Annona muricata)
From The Amazon Straight to Your Cup
From The Amazon Straight to Your Cup

Guayusa Tea

Guayusa Tea - contain L-theanine, theobromine and caffeine
Guayusa Tea – contains L-theanine, theobromine and caffeine

Raw Chocolate

Raw Chocolate (Theobroma cacao)
Raw Chocolate (Theobroma cacao)

Coffee

Coffee
Coffee – Mood & Brain Boosting

Guadua Bamboo Reforestation at PermaTree in Ecuador

Transformation by bamboo reforestation

Since January 2020 we have been weekly and daily planting a handful of bamboos within the so denominated “MachuPichu” zone near the main PermaTree bamboo house. Before January 2020 we transplanted larger areas with bamboo and amounts of bamboo plants in 5-10 days in a row. But with a team of 5 persons helping on site here at Finca Yantza in PermaTree, Ecuador.

How are we approaching the reforestation? Are we reforesting all the 80Has? Or half of it? Hell no. We are selecting zones. Which are critical. Those zones can be lined up plants or “pata gallina” triangular (A-Shape 3 plants. Next V-shape 3 plants. etc. ) to densify the reforestation effect. Lets call it a smarter approach than reforesting 50’000 seedlings on 50Has area. Why? Well actually we are just helping nature to do it’s job. But slightly designing it… This is also sometimes called “assisted natural regeneration strategy” or “applied nucleation”. Also “tree islands”. This which involves planting only a very small number of seedlings that attract birds and other seed dispersers, which can spread seeds around the tree islands / zones. Gradually, these tree islands turn into intact diverse forests. Additionally we have been able to identify local trees that attract birds because of their flowers which are growing all over the areas so the seeds have been lying in the soil for some time and now they are sprouting.

Now that there are only a very few uf us left here. Normally 1 or 2 persons which have time for the transplanting of seedlings, the process is fragmented over a much larger amount of time. But never less we don’t stop. This is a long-term transformation process which was started back in March 2016 (History). Until today over 1000 diverse bamboo seedlings have been successfully transplanted. Aside to the more than 6000 diverse tropical fruit trees. All in various selected more or less accesible areas of 0,25 to 1.25 Has in size.

Long-term Transformation

The process takes some time. First the bamboo plants need to have a size and a amount of leafs to be able to survive within their new natural soundings once transplanted. This generally means thats the seedling will be taken care off for about 12 month before being transplanted at its final destination. Depending on the bamboo species, after the duration of 12 month the seedling is already over 150cm tall. Before the final transplanting act we need to clean the area where the whole will be dug for the seedling. The area around the hole needs to be cleaned from other plants so that the seedling will receive enough sun rays to grow fast. This takes time and needs to be repeated during the first 12 month after transplanting the seedling. Normally ever 2-4 weeks depending what seeds are trying to sprout from the soil. 

Birdview of the bottom part of the farm. All orange areas have bamboo. Yellow are is MachuPichu with pink circles representing one bamboo plant.

Bamboo reforestation status Jan to 14st May 2020

  • 10 Feb 2020 – Reforestation with bamboo! Here goes another giant bamboo (Dendrocalamus asper)
  • 23 Feb 2020 – More Guadua angustifolia “caña brava” transplanting 
  • 24 Feb 2020 – 14 bamboo transplanted in degraded cattle farming land
  • 18 March 2020 – Transplanting more Guadua angustifolia kunth brava
  • 29 March 2020 – Another day transplanting bamboo
  • 29 April 2020 – 10 bamboo plants
  • 7 May 2020 –  Total 9 plants: Moso bambú, Phyllostachys nigra, Fargesia robusta campbell
  • 10 May 2020 – 6 plants: Dendrocalamus asper, Moso bambú, Phyllostachys nigra, Fargesia robusta campbell
  • 14 May 2020 – Reforested a total of 9 bamboos 
Lowest part of the MachuPichu zone with Bamboo (Guadua angustifolia Kunth) on terraces.

Cattle farming

Cattle farming have caused extensive environmental damage in the amazon basin. And over-grazing of cattle, has been a significant cause of soil degradation. Step by step we are transforming this again into a microorganism enhances tropical humid soil. 

Reforestation with Bamboo

I have noticed that reforestation is not a big topic at all. It should be. There is no reforestation program I know of in Ecuador. Its not because it would not be needed. Yearly deforestation is at its all time high. Its just – not – yet a priority for anybody. Once there is no more fresh air. Like already know in the local cities. Time will make the people plants trees again. Time will tell. I believe. Never-less I also believe its key to talk about reforestation and spread the word. With bamboo its slightly faster – after waiting the 6 years till the bamboo plant is mature. And 30% of its trunks can be harvested, ideally at good moon, so it will last for very very long. Also don’t forget that harvesting the mature bamboo trunks (30%) will give the bamboo plant more energy again for young shoots. Its a cicle. 

Why do we at PermaTree believe that bamboo is much more than “only bamboo”?

Bamboo is amazing. Once you have all the relevant knowledge about bamboo and the uses you will be speechless. 

Did you know the following general bamboo facts?

  • Bamboo is technically a grass although you’ve likely seen it mistakenly described as a wood due to its tree-like appearance
  • Bamboo is extremely diverse, there are 1575 Bamboo species across five continents
  • Produces 30% more oxygen than the average tree 
  • Some bamboo shoots are edible. A common ingredients in stir-frys, soups, spring rolls, dumplings, and lots of other savory dishes.
  • Medicinal: Bamboo resin, leaves, and shavings are said to have medical uses for respiratory and digestive illnesses, fevers, and inflammation. In general, being around Bamboo reduces anxiety/stress and may decrease depression.
  • (co2 sequestration) How fast a plant grows has a part in determining how much CO2 it can absorb in a given time. One hectare (100×100 meters) of “moso bamboo” species can store up to 250 tons of carbon. 
  • It enhances biodiversity by giving new spaces to all kind of fauna such as birds, snakes and microorganisms which are linked to the bamboo root network. There is even a specific bamboo mushroom.
  • Bamboo plants prevent erosion on hillsides 
  • Bamboo requires no chemicals to thrive
  • History: Bamboo played a role in one of the first light bulbs that Thomas Edison initially created. Edison and his colleagues discovered that a carbonized bamboo filament in a light bulb could last over 1,200 hours. This led to the start of large-scale manufactured light bulbs in the year 1880
  • History: Bamboo was used in Alexander Graham Bell’s first phonograph in 1880. The first phonograph needle was made out of Bamboo. 
  • Bamboo actually has a tensile strength greater than steel.
  • Bamboo Is Naturally Antibacterial. Bamboo and cotton were tested for how much bacteria they killed over a 24-hour period, and the bamboo killed nearly all of the bacteria, while the cotton did not kill any.

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

Certification of Good Agricultural Practices

Certification of Good Agricultural Practices (BAP by its acronym in Spanish) Yantza Farm – PermaTree

Yantza Farm – PermaTree obtained the Certificate of Good Agricultural Practices (BPA) from the Ministry of Agriculture with the register Nr. EC-Z-05-53-PA-G-2019-067 for the following crops: Soursop (Annona Muricata L), Guineo Ceda, Ilex Guayusa and Turmeric (Curcuma longa) on Friday, October 4, 2019.

Good Agricultural Practices or BPAs according to the Ministry of Agriculture “They are a set of principles, standards and technical recommendations applicable to the production, processing and transport of food” with the aim of improving food quality, in order to improve the health of families who consume these foods, take care of the environment and improve the quality of life of workers and their families.

BPAs are important because people are more interested in the traceability and transparency of the origin of their food.

Among the main problems of not having BPA is that food produced may contain residues of agrochemicals, such as herbicides or insecticides, can carry diseases or pests that have some negative effect on the consumers of these foods Contaminated. Unsure of the provenance of our food, farmers will sell fewer products and their income will be reduced.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, there are 3 fundamental pillars of BPAs:

  1. Food safety: Ensure that food is free from physical, chemical and biological hazards. 
  2. Quality and environmental management: Ensure the care of water, soil, native plant species, beneficial insects and natural sweeps.
  3. Occupational safety: To seek the health of farmers, the proper use of protective tools and equipment, training on the importance of their work in the field.

Why be BPA?

By being BPA certificated we can obtain better quality and healthier products for consumers, it guarantees the health and well-being of workers. Children from working families can go to school, production becomes sustainable over time and you have the opportunity to reach more competitive markets.

You can also have better control over the production of the farms. With better quality food yields are improved, farmers can improve their income, improving their quality of life.

Steps to obtain BPA

  1. History of the agricultural production unit and land selection
  2. Properly prepare the soil to prevent degradation and washing
  3. Plan the planting of crops and establish them
  4. Perform maintenance and care during the production cycle
  5. Fertilization to add nutrients to the soil to improve production
  6. Perform integrated pest management (IPM)
  7. Control the quality of water entering crops
  8. Properly handle products in harvest, transport and post-harvest.
  9. Keep production areas clean and disinfected
  10. Provide well-being and care to workers.
  11. Protecting and maintaining natural resources
  12. Traceability system, documentation and records for transparent processes.

Information obtained from AGROCALIDAD in Ecuador.

BPA at Yantza Farm – PermaTree

It is important to understand that organic production systems are the most natural and sustainable in time, as they are the closest thing to nature. these systems use natural resources and do not use chemicals that affect biodiversity and the balance of productive areas.

The Yantza Farm – PermaTree, is the first farm in the province of Zamora Chinchipe. Being an organic and permaculture farm, it aims to make consumers know what production processes are like. From the selection of plants that are sown, in this case soursop, which is the largest crop, to the process of added value and packaging of the products.

An important part of the estate is also the holistic approach it has. It is understood that the entire system is related and it is important to protect and maintain each of the elements of the system, from the smallest insects and microorganisms in the soil, to the larger animals such as the birds and trees that give shelter to them.

By implementing BPAs, you seek to obtain the best production results, taking care of the plants and giving them the necessary resources naturally for them to produce continuously. However, the most important thing is to get quality products and not necessarily quite poor-quality harvest.

The soil handling is a bit complex, as the area is not completely flat. Erosion is a big problem. With the large amount of rain that this area has, the soil is washed and the productive part is lost. For the management of this have been chosen to make terraces at level, every 5 meters to facilitate the planting and management of crops.

The use of plant toppings is important to reduce the impact of rain on the soil. For this it was chosen to use forage peanuts, as it is an excellent nitrogen fixer, resists trampling and is good at colonizing areas, thus reducing the spread of weeds.

Vetiver has also been planted on the edges of the terraces to prevent them from moving. The roots of the vetiver can grow up to 15 m, and this helps to hold the earth.

Near the productive areas are planted different native plants with flowering that attract insects. This in order to conserve native species, both flora and fauna, since insects help pollination, obtaining better results in production and quality.

For weed control, it is fumigated with urea, which is toxic in large quantities only for grasses. This applies when grasses start to appear again and make it difficult for other plants to grow

In this way, the PermaTree farm implements BPA’s, always taking into account the component, productive, economic and above all, environmental.


Coffee harvesting at Don Vitaliano Merino

Saturday Minga August 24, 2019

The goal of our minga last Saturday, was to harvest 1 quintal (45kg) of coffee cherries. In Sangre de toro (Red, ripe). To prepare a micro-batch of special coffee, double fermentation, of unique origin. There where a total 9 people helping with the collection of ripe cherries. Later on those same coffee beans will be transformed into coffee and sold at Tipikas Coffee in Zamora.

The climate change of the last 12 months is visible. There was a lot of winter, too much rainfall, compared to the previous years. That impacted the production volume in negative. And it also delayed the harvest. There is a visible presence in the leaves of iron excess (orange leaves) and nitrogen (fallen leaves). Well, we had a presence of rain during the whole coffee cherry picking activity.

While we harvested the ripe coffee cherries from the selected pink bourbon plot, we figured that it works to have good communication in each group of coffee pickers. So that small and very important details can be improved which help gain more value in a single-origin coffee. For example not having the stem in the cherry, overripe grains, with good cherries, leaves either, green grains, yellow-red varieties cannot be mixed and the plant or branch cannot be broken either.

Basic Farm Information:

Finca la Victoria, Inbana, Production Family: Don Vitaliano Merino

  • Location: 3 hours from the city of Loja in Zamora-Chinchipe
  • Climate: Humid tropical montane forest, 1750 m.s.n.m
  • Coffee: 8 hectares, 20’000 plants, coffee varieties: Pink Bourbon, Osidra, Tipica, Caturra, Catuai
  • African bees: Active honey production
  • Other fruit and crops: sugar cane, Lemon, Mandarin, Granadilla, Raspberry, Pineapple, Quince, Blackberry, Morera, Aracacha and vegetables in the garden. Like laurel, Chinese potato, sango, potatoes and sweet potato.
  • Flowering trees: Avocado, Soursop, Arayan, Guabo, Sungana, Guayacan, Raft, Lumas and Peaks.

Antioxidants

Did you know that one of the benefits of coffee beans is that they contain an antioxidant called chlorogenic acid (CGA) in addition to other antioxidants?

Raw beans contain roughly 9% CGA by weight, which can help with weight loss and is a neuroprotectant. Coffee beans also help reduce inflammation, which is associated with a number of health concerns. In addition, the caffeine in coffee beans provides benefits such as reducing headaches.

Understanding these health benefits can help coffee-drinkers appreciate more than just the taste of their next cup of java.

Reduced Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

By drinking caffeinated coffee, without sweetener, on a regular basis, one can potentially reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The reduced risk is associated with drinking multiple cups, as many as six a day. It is believed that the antioxidants, such as CGA, found in coffee beans are at least partially responsible for these lower rates. According to some studies, CGA may even help keep insulin levels even.

Whole Coffee Process

The entire coffee production will be explained in another future blog article. In the meantime you can have a look at this infographic which does the job pretty well too IMHO.

Infographic: Journey of the bean
Tipikas Coffeeshop Zamora PermaTree in Ecuador

Tipikas Coffee shop in Zamora

The PermaTree family is growing. As true holistic organization we focus on the entire transparent value chain. From the farm to the shop where the added value products can be purchased. This is why we are now collaboration with Tipikas Coffee Shop in the capital of Zamora-Chinchipe. This is literally brand new.

This will be the store front for all PermaTree added value products. Such as Soursop-Tea, Soursop-ice-cream and Soursop-pulp. Also Guayusa-Tea and Raw-Chocolate. Naturally all from our Finca Yantza. More than just organic. Using no agrochemicals: zero pesticides, zero herbicides and zero chemical fertilizers.

So far Danny Carillo and Walter Villacis which are highly experienced in the field of organic coffee: From processing in the field, harvesting, selecting, drying, milling, roasting the to final coffee cup. Both are experts in coffee international brewing methods.

Did you know that the way a coffee is picked, processed, dried and stored has a huge impact on the longevity of the green coffee based, measured by the degradation of the flavor of a coffee over time? The best-case scenario is that coffee is used within two-to-four weeks from roasting for peak flavor. Coffee should be stored in a cool, dry space and away from direct sunlight. Once opened, it’s best to use the coffee within a two-week period for highest quality coffee results.

Photo: Fresh espresso coffee
International Brewing methods

Available coffee in serving with many international Brewing methods: French press (France), Moka (Italy), Espresso (Italy), Chemex (USA) and Hario V60 (Brazil)

Opening hours Monday to Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m

Location: Hernando de Benavente y Av. Paquisha. In front of the House of Culture of Zamora near the Zamora River and the Malecon. Zamora-Chinchipe. Ecuador

Sitting in the outside patio and drinking a espresso with some zamorian friends.

We have been lucky with the location. Its not as loud as in other places. We have the House of Culture in front of the Coffeeshop which is ideal.

The coffee shop is well visible from the road.

Transplanting giant bamboo permatree amazon ecuador

Massive Reforestation with Giant Bamboo

Friday the 2nd August 2019 we just finalized a massive reforestation on a old and steep pasture field with giant bamboo (Dendrocalamus asper). This is a extremely steep hill part of the farm. The giant bamboo will also help fight erosion. Additionally it has been planted so that it will create a tunnel pathway of about 150 meters. Most likely well visible in 2022 (3 years in future).

Microorganism

We have already planted vetiver grass in this part so the microorganisms are activated. This should help boost the bamboo growth speed even more.

Bamboo Reforestation

Total 73 giant bamboo plants have been transplanted after 3 days of work. Planted in 6x6x6 meters triangular. The plants are already huge as you can see in some photos. It was time to transplant them. This will attract many birds they love to have their nests within the bamboo. So do some endemic snakes too. There is space for all. Increasing biodiversity with bamboo. Next step plant more endemic flowers in that area. This is food for the birds and endemic stingless bees