Exciting training sessions this week! We learned all about compost on Monday: how it works, what you can use to make it, why it´s awesome, etc.. The kind my group worked on was made out of chicken poop, sawdust, ash, rice dust, rice and or coffee husks, and top soil. The dry materials are mixed together first, then a mixture of sugar (1 bag), water (about a tanque, which is a large bucket), and yeast (1 packet), is sprinkled in bit by bit as you continue to mix the dry materials together. The mixture has to be wet, but not too wet. If you grap a bunch with your fist and squeeze it, you should not see drops of water, but the mixture should clump in your hand. After that, you cover it with a tarp. Every day for the next 10 days, you test it to see how hot is is getting. This can be done with a machete by sticking it inside, removing it, and touching the part that was in the middle. If it is really hot or really dry, you can mix in more water. So, everyday you mix it again and sprinkle in water until it is back to the consistency mentioned above. After 10 days it should be ready to use! This was definitely one of my favorite training days so far.
Yesterday we worked on making seed beds for seedlings. We split into four groups and all designed areas for seedlings with various materials. My group made hanging seed beds with plastic bottles. We cut them in half and strung them from trees and between pillars on the school. We put holes in the bottom for drainage. We also, as a whole group, mixed pre made compost, river silt, and rice/coffee husks to use for the seedlings. The coffee/rice husks add air pockets and the river silt and compost add tons of delicious nutrients.
It has been really great to be outside doing a lot of hands on work. The information we are learning indoors will definitely be useful and is important, but it was great to get creative and actually make compost and seed beds.
I cannot get the pictures to upload right now but I will try again later in the week!
Fruit of the week: Maracuya! (passion fruit)