Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day

Strap on your Birkenstocks and get out the granola for today is Earth Day, my friends.

That’s right, today, April 22, is the day when we walk to work, when we recycle our cans and remember that we are simply stewards of this beautiful Earth, protectors of its resources for the next generation and entirely responsible for leaving it in a better state than we found it.

(Can you feel that? That’s Al Gore beaming with pride.)

Here in Bulembu we make an effort to ensure that the town functions in environmentally sensitive, globally sustainable ways. One such effort is the Bulembu Forestry Seedling Pilot Project.

This project has been developed at the very base level to supply forestry seedlings to the greater Swazi forestry industry in order to generate income that will move Bulembu closer towards its goal of self-sustainability.

By providing the Swaziland’s major forestry sector players with seedlings that are produced inside Swaziland Bulembu will allow these companies to cut down on cost as previously they had to import all their seedlings from South Africa.

Economically the focus would be to reduce transport cost as far as possible by reducing travel distance to the market. Minimizing the movement of the seedlings also reduces possibility of damage and loss.

The seedling project is located in a 27-meter long tunnel that is located on the west side of the town up behind Stores. The tunnel was purchased used from a different seedling project in Swaziland and is covered with UV resistant plastic and a 40% white shade net. The plastic covering prevents washout in the seedling trays during hard rain, protection from wind and provides a stable climate, which is conducive for the germination of the seeds.

The Home of Bulembu Forestry Seedling Pilot Project

Seedling racks were built inside the tunnel to raise the seedling trays off the ground ensuring good drainage of water through the growing medium. This is important, as seedling directly on the surface tend to remain water logged and die off.

The seedling racks are all built inside a tunnel and raised in order to keep the seedling trays off the ground thereby ensuring good drainage of water through the growing medium

Lastly, an overhead micro sprinkle system was installed enabling separate watering of seedling rack as is needed. 
Each seedling rack is watered by a separate overhead micro sprinkler

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