Matt, Matt who? Matt Charrette is back!
A few posts ago I gave you all a sneak peak at our adventurous T.R.E.E.S owner and director who has been away for a few months. Now is the time you get to know the truth!!
Matt has been travelling and experiencing the world, networking for T.R.E.E.S and enjoying life as everyone should be doing.
He is currently gaining new bird banding skills at the Long Point Bird Observatory in Ontario. Banding birds and watching out for rare vagrants during migration monitoring at the tip of Long Point in Lake Erie. It’s only been a few days but he’s very excited about all the new techniques he’s learning and having his first experience banding a yellow-billed cuckoo in Ontario!
We are still hoping fingers crossed to go through with our animal study internships in October, including continuing our resident and migratory bird banding on T.R.E.E.S property so all the good knowledge learned by Matt now will be transferred to us when we reunite next month.
So while we’ve been away from T.R.E.E.S it is still full of busy bee workers, with a team of local and international helpers who stayed behind to keep things running smoothly.
So what’s going on at T.R.E.E.S??
We are still working on expanding our organic farming and have begun growing beans and legumes as well as increasing our crop of leafy greens such as Bok choy and spinach, but also cassava and sweet potatoes. Putting new compost and fertiliser practises into action we’ve been combining dried palm fronds with chicken manure from our lovely ladies and natural fungi.
As borders remain closed in Belize and Covid 19 infection cases which were once very low, have now started to rise, people in Belize are still struggling to find ways of income and livelihood to feed and care for their families. Over the last few months we have been working on a solution and are now starting to put our plan into action but we need your help!
In our community and in widespread areas of Belize slash and burn agriculture which involves destroying and burning of huge ancient land areas is the primary method of farming used by subsistence farmers resulting in habitat being lost from agricultural expansion.
Over the years we have invited farmers to our center to partake in various workshops on sustainable agriculture and we have found them to be very receptive and interested in new techniques. However, due to limited funding and personnel we are limited in how many workshops can be offered and what tools can be provided to local farmers.
Due to the effects of Covid 19 pandemic this method of farming has readily increased as the country has remained on lock down, restricting travel and tourism, which was the country’s main revenue and source of employment for its residents.
Our new plan aims to support and teach these families alternative ways of income and farming through more sustainable and environmentally friendly methods, expanding on previous work done with these communities in the past.
Money raised will go towards:
· Belize Farming Co-operative, organisation facilitated by T.R.E.E.S and partnered with village leaders and commercial farmers to educate and support them in sustainable farming practices.
· A Community Backyard Gardens Initiative teaching families how to grow and maintain gardens for their own personal use
· Farm to Table Production Scheme inviting people through workshops to experiment and learn food processing techniques and recipes as a source of income.
· T.R.E.E.S Permaculture and Agroforestry Plan to work with the Belize Forestry Department to monitor and increase protection of land areas
· Community Food Donation Scheme, we have successfully provided food donations to 22 families in 2 villages. We hope to continue these donations to families through increasing our own onsite organic farming, providing employment for locals through working on our site and increasing cultivation for donations
We are asking our loyal student visitors, researchers and guests who have loved and enjoyed their stay with us over the many years, please help us to continue in our good work. Help us put this plan into action as fast as possible for the people and wildlife in Belize.
Click here to read more about our aims and help make a difference.
As always my fellow Eco-warriors,