July 6, 2008

Volunteering - July 3

banana treeWe transplanted this banana tree from the orchard to this spot next to the pavilion. No small feat!

This week was a physically challenging one but we accomplished so much in three hours. First thing in the morning, while I picked up leaves, Gonzalo finished mulching a small section of the pavilion that we had missed last week.

Afterwards, I spent most of the time weeding some very aggressive grass from the pineapple grove in the orchard, which is right next to the pavilion structure. Gonzalo told me they had planted those pineapples just two months ago.

fairchild botanic garden banana treeWhere are the pineapple?

fairchild botanic garden banana treeGonzalo helped me do a little weeding.

fairchild botanic garden banana treePeek-a-boo! I see a weed-free pineapple grove!

Note to self: pineapple plants are very prickly! I didn't feel the jagged edges of the leaves very much while I was weeding, but when I got home I saw scratches all over my right arm. Some pure aloe vera gel helped heal the marks quickly.

While I weeded, Jon-Mario and Gonzalo were figuring out how to move a huge banana tree from one part of the orchard to a spot by the pavilion. I can't believe we moved this tree! Obviously, I did none of the major heavy lifting, but I did help steer the gardening cart and hold part of the trunk.

fairchild botanic garden banana treeThe big tree waiting to be transplanted.

fairchild botanic garden banana treeThe two pups growing out of the root ball are called sword suckers, because a) the shape of the leaves and b) they "suck" nutrition from the parent plant.

fairchild botanic garden banana treeThe tree was more top than bottom heavy. This root ball wasn't particularly big.

fairchild botanic garden banana treeGetting the tree to stand straight and settle into the soil. Maybe I'll eat a banana from this tree some day!

All this work was in preparation for the Mango Festival next week. Our final task also had to do with that event; we drove down to the coconut palm grove in the Lowlands to cut some fronds for a tiki hut. The Lowlands is the eastern part of the park, which lies low near a coastal mangrove habitat.

fairchild botanic garden palm frondsWe were allowed to collect only two fronds per coconut palm.

fairchild botanic garden palm frondsThe fronds will be woven into a roof using this metal canopy as a frame.

No comments: