We have a passion for greening, with a team of collaborating experts and a forest seed laboratory. The research we have done so far and the one we plan to do is enormous. We hae developed a methodology capable to restore our forests through planting, which is more effective, cheaper and more respectful than traditional tree planting.
We are focusing all our efforts on sowing hundreds of thousands of seeds starting this fall 2020 in Sierra Lujar. When the last acorn is planted we will make ourselves available to providing detailed information about the sowing methodology so that anyone interested can get expanded knowledge about forest restoration methods. That will give a wide scope of possibilities to choose from for each area, each species, each particular project.
The First Steps
We left cities behind and began to lie in towns and villages, in the mountains. The land, the irrigation channels, the orchards, the fruit trees, making bread, building a house were we can raise our children, started collective education projects and learning from those who came before us. We saw the value of joining the experience of our hands with the intellectuality that we brought from university.
Our journey started with Masnobu Fukuoka through agriculture. Later, seeing the ineffectiveness of forestry practices based in planting trees, we set out to apply his philosophy to the restoration of our Mediterranean forest.
We realized the value of wild seeds. Each species stores all the information necessary to develop in its habitat, even in the unfavorable desertificating conditions that we currently suffer in the Mediterranean area. If our mountains are in the state they are it is mainly because the species that could develop in that region did not reach it. The seeds that the few forests that we have produce are from degraded mountain so distant that it would take centuries to get to it.
We have spent years researching how to green the Mediterranean by sowing seeds, sowing hope. With due respect we can already say that we are sower at nature’s service.
How we reforest
We seek to imitate nature to restore the mountains. Nature does it randomly dispersing seeds through birds and mammals, wind and water. Although many of the seeds thus propagated fail to germinate, those that do, establish themselves in appropriate places and develop their roots naturally, deepening in the soil.
Our methodology is based on taking advantage of this natural development of the roots which, in a climate as arid as that of the Mediterranean, is vitally important. Rather than letting the seeds fall anywhere at random we choose the places where each specie can be sprouted and developped. In this way we take advantage of nature’s full potential which results in considerable economic and manpower savings both in planting and subsequent care required such as irrigation.
We do imitate nature in more than one way. For instance, we use priming techniques to prepare the seeds in the laboratory in the same way as nature would during the years that the seeds remain in the ground. In this way, when we sow seeds in the bush that would take months or years to germinate (due to the process of dormancy), we manage to germinate them with a single rain. And to get even closer to the natural process, we sow the seeds wrapped in a layer of various materials (seedball) among which there are mycorrhizal spores. Thus, when the seed germinates together with the spores, the symbiosis between them will be immediate, what will be very favourable for the absorption of nutrients, water and the improvement of your immune system. The processes of plant succession, from a degraded mountain to a forest, cannot be understood only through plant communities. Fungi and plants form the substrate of the forest on which all other forms of life can develope.
Using this methodology is not only much more effective and economical than traditional tree planting, it also respect and leave unaltered the existing vegetation of the forests to be restored.
It is not necessary to put backhoes to make holes, nor to thin down the plants. The grasses and shrubs that have already established themselves aid the germination and establishment of the species we introduce. The techniques that have been used so far for reforestation are based on an understanding of nature derived from theories of agricultural production. Nature is much more complex than that.
Fukuoka passed on the knowledge: “we cannot understand the infinite immensity of interrelationships existing within nature”. It is better to be humble than to stretch a lettuce (or an oak) to further its growth, The ecological cost to do so is too great. Thus, holding hands with our mother earth we can reverse the degradating process that we humans have been carrying out on the planet for thousands of years.
This is our revolutionary proposal: to restore our mountains and to leave the best inheritance possible to the coming generations, a green Mediterranean.