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Help farm after hurricane María

$2,490 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 25 people in 13 months
We’re a small agroforestry systems based cacao farm that, as many others in Puerto Rico, was devastated by hurricane María. After many years of work, we lost our main nursery building structure, many young trees were buried in landslides, decade old fruit trees uprooted, we just found out that one of our main water harvesting tank is damaged and leaking. The devastation is overwhelming. Luckily we relocated almost all trees and seedlings that were on the nursery to a safer place, meaning we have some trees to replace those lost and quickly start the reforestation efforts.

We kindly ask for your help to help get back on our tracks. Our goal has always been to help bring back responsible and sustainable cacao cultivation to Puerto Rico and help and educate all interested farmers do the same.

We need to rebuild our nursery and the water irrigation system.  Purchase new reservoir water tank, tools, spares, organic fertilizers, contract machinery to repair inner roads leading to water springs so to reinitiate our propagation efforts.

The cleanup of the fallen trees will also leave us with lots of wood that could be converted to biocharto be used as a soil amendment. We need to build a medium to large scale pyrolysis stove to acomplish that.
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Hello. A quick update on our progress. I'm trying to keep myself in a positive mood, but sometimes I just stop and still feel overwhelmed and very sad. This past week I lost some trees that initially survived the ordeal. As you can witness in one of the pictures I just had the time to straighten up that tree with a stick and keep an eye on it sporadically during my morning walks. Missed some days doing tasks in other areas and then found it dead a couple of days later. Some others have damaged/burned branches drying out that I keep pruning down. Some to the critical point that there's only a stump left, hoping it reemerge some growth at some point. Those trees I remember planting and grafting them with the kids two years ago, many already had their first flowering, and due to start producing fruit early next year... We were hoping to get our first chocolate micro batch out... That will need to wait again. But there are many others that are doing fine, the new trees planted are thriving and currently working on the beds to transplant the greens, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers... That keeps my head busy. I take a deep breath and continue... I'll overcome. Thank you all for your support!
Some passion fruit was also planted.
Sacha Inchi seedling being transplanted.
This (SPA 10) cacao died on my watch. :(
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These will be planted on beds made with the decomposing fallen logs and landslide soil with some chicken manure compost. No tilling of the land. We plan to return to the farmer markets early next year with some of those and hopefully Sacha Inchi products until cacao starts producing again and fermentations can finally start again.

This is it for this update.

Thanks again for your support and for reading!

¡Gracias! ¡Gracias! ¡Gracias!
Grafting breadfruit.
Hopefully to be converted to biochar
Full bloom and growth.
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These past weeks we’ve been also busy transplanting on the field more or new :

Cacao (Theobroma cacao)
Mamey Sapote
Rambutan
Mabolo
Monkey pot tree
Banana (Musa)
Plantain (Musa)
Sacha Inchi (Plukenetia volubilis)
Mother of cacao (Gliricidia sepium)
Bucayo Enano (Erythrina berteroana)
Makrut (Citrus hystrix)


We’re (I got some help from the kids this week!) also germinating sweet peppers (“ají dulce”) and some other short term crops like eggplants, tomatoes, recao, beans, peanuts and other green leaves.
Helping hands.
Sweet peppers. (Ají dulce)
Some clonal selection. (TARS9)
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Yes, some of the initial trees that survived had died, but on the other hand, some others were lost and later found, and some were declared dead and are alive. Previously mentioned the only adult jackfruit tree is alive (but almost impossible to get it standing again without heavy machinery), found some other cacao “criollos” alive and the sugar apple trees, one of them shows signs of being alive.

It’s really intense, with no signs of easing out. The initial shock was so overwhelming, that simple tasks like quickly cutting, straighten and rehabilitating trees were not made on time, and maybe some trees were lost for that reason. There was no SOP for that.
Bad timing. Stuck.
Segment of repaired pipe.
Pipe downhill. Cacao waiting for shade.
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$2,490 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 25 people in 13 months
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LP
$300
Lylette Primell
9 months ago
$15
Enna Grazier
10 months ago
VC
$50
Vicki Comisso
12 months ago
$25
Romi Burks
12 months ago
$1,000
Anonymous
12 months ago
MM
$50
Miguel Muñiz
12 months ago
$150
Kristy Domenech-Miller
12 months ago
$25
Anonymous
13 months ago
MP
$50
Maricel Presilla
13 months ago
$10
Sarah Coen
13 months ago
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