I apologise for the long gap since the last newsletter. It’s not because we have been idle. Quite the contrary. We are a small group and sometimes when there is a lot going on there just isn’t time to tell you about it, much as we would want to. But we will make up for it over the next month. So this ‘Spring’ newsletter covers from January into April, after which it will again be mostly monthly.
Did you know our chairman, Charles Barber, is a poet?
He is about to prove it in a fund raising marathon where he will write a 300 line poem in 24 hours. Please sponsor him at
where you will find full details. Charles has set himself a very modest target of raising only £250. Surely such an original idea deserves far more. Let’s see if we can quadruple that!
I visited our Honduran partners again, so this newsletter will be about Honduras. Things have been happening in Cameroon too, but we will keep that for the next newsletter.
School Inga plots
Some of you donated the cost of providing Inga plots to schools where Dr. Valle, aided by other professors from CURLA (part of the University of Honduras), has been teaching an environmental program, including Inga alley cropping. These are rural high schools for farmers’ children. When the plots are ready for pruning, growing crops and harvesting all this will be demonstrated to the students’ parents as well as the students, and they will be encouraged to start Inga alley cropping on their farms. Some of the Inga at the schools will be left to produce seed so that they can be supplied with seed or seedlings for that.
These are two schools where the Inga was planted over a year ago. On the left Dr. Valle is sheltering from the rain among well grown Inga at the Diamante de Sion school. On the right are teachers from Las Marias in front of their large Inga trees. March 2013.
The Inga at Cacao school was planted very recently. They were interested, have a nursery with various plants, and on the right is the teacher. March 2013.
From Cacao: their teacher, Dr. Valle, and two students from FunaVid. The picture on the right is of the school.
There has been a shortage of Inga seed which they are trying to remedy. Partly this is due to irregular production, probably due to climate change, and the monkeys have been eating it too. This has delayed the planting of the large Inga demonstration area that is planned for high up the mountain.
We like the monkeys of course, so will just have to plant enough for us and them in the future.
Some seed has been obtained recently and was planted.
Nursery at FunaVid with 200 Inga seedlings just beginning to come up on the left, and beans growing well in an Inga alley on the FunaVid mountain on the right.
On the FunaVid mountain there are several small plots of Inga alleys. These plots provide some crops, can be used for experiments on growing conditions, and for teaching. Some have been planted with beans, corn or pineapples. The corn is not doing very well. It was an experimental plot where Dr. Valle wanted to see if different planting times would be more appropriate with the changes in climate. The beans and pineapples were growing well.
Pineapples growing well in an Inga alley on the FunaVid mountain.
A lot of the FunaVid land was cattle pasture when Dr. Dodson bought it for FunaVid. Good forest has now grown on it in the last twelve years. Useful trees, like Mahogany and fruit trees have also been recently planted. These will enhance the eco-tourist trail on the mountain, and having a plantation (even though most of it is natural, regenerated forest) gives the land better legal protection.
Forest regrown on the FunaVid mountain on the left.The picture on the right shows forest right up to behind the FunaVid houses, with Inga trees in the foreground which we hope will soon provide more seed.
Farmer’s demonstration plot
Many farmers have to farm on very steep slopes in Honduras. A demonstration plot on such a hillside has been planted, and the young Inga are doing well.
Farmer using A-frame earlier to plant Inga rows along the contours on the left, and young Inga growing on his sloping land on the right.
Looking down along the farmer’s land with Inga in the foreground, and the top of his seedling nursery visible behind it. This picture shows how steep the land is. All these slopes are farmed with serious problems of erosion. Inga will stabilise the soil.