Managing a nursery is not for the faint-hearted!
In April, we had our first scare when, no sooner had the first seedlings popped out of the earth, a cold weather brought negative temperatures during three days! The young seedlings seriously suffered and withered. Luckily the root systems were not affected and most plants were able to recover after a couple of weeks.
Mid-May another emergency came up. The weather had been dry for 10 days and no rain was forecasted for the coming days. The young plants needed water urgently or they would all die. We bought a 1.5 ton portable tank, a 50 meter hose, many buckets and hired a small truck to water all the plants. The team worked till 10 pm to finish the job ensuring the seedlings could survive. Luckily rain soon arrived and we all felt relieved.
However, this was a warning signal that a permanent solution had to be found if we wanted our nurseries to be successful. More on this in the next story below.
Our Debet nursery suffered the same dry spell, a week later. Our pine trees needed water desperately. So we bought a second 1.5 ton tank and watered the plants there.
To find a permanent solution in Debet however is much more complicated. There is a lot of water available nearby as there is a river running very near… However, it is in a steep gorge 50 meters below! We need a serious pump to bring it to the surface. A first visit was organised to examine the area but the banks of the river are so steep that we could not readily survey it properly. A second expedition is necessary. We might even need to rappel down the cliff with ropes in order to access the river. Stay tuned for the next episode.
Irrigation System in Gugark
With the arrival of dryer months, the pressure to look for solutions intensified. Luckily, near our Gugark nursery we found out there was a disaffected canal used for irrigation not far away up in the hills.
A day later, we discovered there was even a pipe arriving to about 150m of our nursery!
We sent a team of our workers to clean the canal and connected a new pipe to the existing one to bring water to the nursery. In total, we purchased and installed no less than 900 meters of piping so that each parcel of our 3.5 ha nursery can be watered.
Seedlings are growing well in both nurseries. Pictured here are the horse chestnut in Gugark and the oak and walnut seedlings in Debet. We are quite satisfied with the results.
Foundation for our worker’s house
The foundation for the worker’s house is finished. We started this week the construction of a wooden house that will serve many functions: a day shelter for our workers; an office for Gagik, our nursery manager; a visitor centre for our guests; toilet facilities, etc.
We have also built a solid cradle for a big water tank we will install at the highest point of the nursery. It should support a weight of 28 tons.
Uniforms for Nursery Workers
We were really happy to discover the new uniforms we had ordered for our nursery workers. The product was very satisfying. The fabric is strong yet
supple natural cotton, and we had the logo embroidered on the heart.
We distributed 20 uniforms to our workers in Debet and Gugark.
Reforestation and Afforestation
While the work in the nurseries is going on, we are preparing our next task: Reforestation. After all, planting trees is our ultimate goal. Actually, not really, our real mission is to ensure, through rigorous maintenance, that our saplings take roots and grow to become mature trees who will be part of new forests. But that will be for later. For the moment, we are doing the necessary administrative work in order to be ready for planting in October and November. That means drafting and signing the agreements with the communities, preparing the Environmental Impact Assessment documents, obtaining final approval from the Ministry of Environment, etc. Of course, the Covid-19 situation in Armenia is also affecting different administrations and it has an impact on our progress.
We have selected two communities in Lori province. One land is 86 hectares and the other one is more than 300 hectares. We have already received enough funding to plant 10 hectares in each community. That is a total of 50.000 trees. Can you help us bring it to 20 hectares each? Click on Donate, select as many trees as you can and show your love for the planet! No amount is too small … or too big! Plant yours today.
Thank you in advance!