Happy New Year folks!
We kicked off 2014 by taking some of our investors on a tour of the operations in Arimae and Nuevo Paraiso. Overall things are looking good, and we're in discussions with an indigenous community and a smallholder in the Nuevo Paraiso area about leasing land for planting in June.
The mahogany (swietenia macrophylla) from in the Arimae #1 finca is hitting a growth spurt after attack from the shoot borer (hypsipyla grandella) slowed its development during the first few years of growth.
It looks promising that Jose "Ino" will join the team full time starting in February. Ino has shown leadership in managing operations in the Nuevo Paraiso area, and we look forward to helping him deepen his experience in agroforestry and management.
The plantains continue to produce, and most are now on their second "round" of harvests. We expect to get three harvests from each cluster of plantains before needing to resow from seedling. A plantain expert from the area is spending time with the team to help us improve our cultivation and maximize harvests.
The trees are beginning to close their canopy, meaning we can start planting shade-tolerant crops like cacao and coffee.
Over the next few months we'll be prepping for the June planting - meeting with community members, finalizing land lease contracts with local landowners in the area, ordering timber seedlings, and coordinating financing.
Check out more photos from the trip on our Google+ page.