A privileged location to teach local populations
Since 2010, Ishpingo foundation owns a farm located in the sector of Talag used to improve the reforestation skills of local populations, to preserve the vegetal heritage of the Amazon and to initiate scientific researches. This farm includes 6 hectares of agricultural land and 5 hectares of primary forest.
On this quite wide property we built some facilities such as : a covered platform that we use to produce organic fertilizers (bokashi and biologicial), a hut we use for educational purposes as well as a tool storage warehouse, a large greenhouse that can produce 10.000 young shoots a year. This source of young trees allows us to support other communal greenhouses as well as distributing more plants to the farmers who have initialy underestimated their needs.
Within this greenhouse we set flowerbeds for seed germination. We used to buy those seeds to local farms or to harvest them in the forest. The young shoots coming from those seeds are the ones we distribute back to communal greehouses.
In 2011, 3.000 plants were cultivated within our educational greenhouse, allowing the plantation of 2 hectares allocated on different agroforestry systems.
The associated cultures, the different wood lumber species and fruit tree species, their distribution, their density, the distance in between trees do change for each agroforestry model. We periodically measure growth rate as well as death rate in order to compare the different models.
Since 2013 all farmers involved in our projects were invited to a practical training within the farm. They could observe our agroforestry practices and learn about the way we proceed to allocate wood species. Our purpose was to make sure those techniques can be replicated in their own farm.
In 2014, 1.500 young trees have been planted on a surface equivalent to 1 hectare and we did exactly the next year.
Spreading the plantation over such time periods in a good thing because it helps to observe the evolution between the different agroforestry plots.
Some fruit trees have now reached maturity. The local populations are able to taste unknown fruits (mostly coming from Asia) which become an extra motivation to continue reforestation work.
In 2015, our farm had access to more than 50 different lumber wood species and 70 fruit tree species. Seeds have been selected among top quality mother trees. For wood lumber species we look for high trees presenting an upright log whereas for fruit trees we look for small trees, resilient to diseases and producing a lot of fruits.
Some of the trees we have planted are already producing fruits and we can use their seeds to continue reforestation work with local populations. Soon, Ishpingo will have a rich seed bank which will greatly facilitate reforestation process because it will no longer be necessary to spend time looking for proper mother trees.