Wednesday, June 25, 2008

How to Plant a Tree: Adventures en Brousse

A few weeks ago my new site mate, Kali, and her homologue, Jude Thera, took me out en brousse to teach me about PLASA Method. We went to Tayo, a tiny, extremely motivated Bomu town of maybe a few hundred located about 10 km from Tominian. Tayo is slowly trying to reforest an area donated by village chief with the technique Jude first taught them last year. We went out to plant 20 more trees.

PLASA is a dry season tree planting technique that enables Malians to plant while they have time during dry season, as opposed to when they're working in the fields during rainy season. The technique was developed by Jude for northern, extremely dry regions. After the initial planting, trees need to be watered only about three times...ever! It works by directing tree roots down toward the water table early, instead of allowing them to grow outward when the land is saturated with water. I'm sure there's a lot more to it...ask Kali.

Step 1: Dig a deep hole...
until the soil becomes moist.Step 2: Pick your tree.
Step 3: Build a pyramid of moist soil and fertilizer at the bottom of the hole...
Step 4: Place the tree at the center of the hole...
fill the remaining space with rocks and build rocks up around the base of the tree.Step 5: Smile for the camera!Step 6: Protect your that nothing can get in! Step 7: Relax.It's hot out.The PLASA Method Masters.


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