Monday, January 14, 2013

The tara seeds

Here I am at the swearing-in party. This is my boss, Diego.

Diego wants all of us in the environment unit to plant native tree species. He gave each of us a large bag of the pods of his favorite native tree, tara.

I am here to tell you that shelling those pods is a lot of work.
In my town, there’s a technical college. One of its programs is agriculture. I met with the students and department chair and took a tour of their facilities. They have lots of cool stuff: worm compost, experimental fields, special cows, and so on. However, their vivero (tree nursery) floods during rainy season. We decided to build a new vivero and do a tree experiment together. I gave a charla on viveros and we agreed on a plan.

After a few false starts, the day came to plant the seeds. There were 4 conditions in this 2x2 factorial design: with and without soaking crossed with whole vs. shells clipped open. Hypothesis: soaking will only improve germination if the seed shell is clipped.

We spent a long time getting the soil ready (equal parts worm compost, sand and agricultural soil) and then stuffed our bags with soil and planted 2 seeds per bag. If both germinate, the weaker one will be culled.

We were very productive

Now the trees are tucked under a tree at the institute, beginning to sprout. We should have baby trees to plant in a few months. It’ll be dry season, so we’ll plant them along the irrigation ditch so they’ll be easy to water. We're starting to see germination, but so far I don't see a difference between the conditions. And I'm not sure yet what is a tara tree and what is a weed.
But something is sprouting.

So, Diego, I hope you’re pleased.

No comments:

Post a Comment