» Archive for June, 2009

Update: Swine flu

Friday, June 5th, 2009 by Marie

The craze of the swine flu has died down considerably.  When we go to town we no longer see people wearing the masks or taking special precautions.

The flu gave us a chance to think about what we would do in a pandemic situation; it was an interesting exercise.  Would we cut ourselves off and not receive any guests?  Would we receive guests and have a period of quarantine?  How would we quarantine people who go to town to get supplies?  Would visitors be able to leave and return?

Luckily, in this case, we did not need to carry out any strict plan in response to the virus.  We did ask our volunteers to stay at the Bosque and limit day trips, and we did ask two volunteers who were coming from Mexico City to delay their trip.  Our actions were in response to a situation that was unclear.  But responding to the flu and thinking about what measures to take was an interesting situation for us to consider.  Living in the middle of a forest, and having a very large supply of dried goods and drinking water, gives us an opportunity to isolate if necessary.

While the flu scare has dwindled, the results of the scare are pretty devastating for Mexico.  Tourism is down, language schools are closing, and Mexico, which is already considered a dangerous place by many foreigners, became even more taboo.  We’ve lost somewhere between 5-10 volunteers for this summer.

We hope, as the flu becomes more history than present, that people will start buying their tickets again to visit this wonderful country.  And hey, buy them now, because tickets are cheaper than ever!

And we’ll be waiting, unquarantined and open to visitors, here in our forest, for you!

New baby trees in the forest!

Monday, June 1st, 2009 by Brian

I found a fellow named Fidel in a local town who has been experimenting with trees for over 20 years and purchased some from him. We chatted for a while about many of the tests he has done with apples, plums, and peaches he bought in from Holland, Canada and other places.  He has has a few successes and many failures as is to be expected.

Unfortunately he didn’t know the scientific names of the plants I bought from him.

Planting trees today.

I put in a “Chinese Cherry”…. no idea what it really is, but I would very much like to graft any cherries onto the native capuline.  Prunus salicifolia. Because they are completely rare trees here I paid $300 pesos for it. All the others were cheap.

Planted three more guayaba trees, 10 grafted apples of a variety of types, two plums of unknown species, one fig which apprarently isn’t the usual kind, one peach supposedly of a non-usual variety and…   a wonderful thing…

He had two lemon trees I bought!  Here yellow lemons are hard to find, though limes are common.  He called them Italian Lemons. We are trying to reproduce such lemons from seed as well.

We are going to baby the cherry and the lemons and track their progress. Normally we don’t water plants here in the dry season, but those we will try to keep alive so we can reproduce them.

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