Home | BotGarden | Nº 116 – Climate protection in Esgravatadouro – Caldas de Monchique
Why not become an active member of our Botanic Forest Garden

Nº 116 – Climate protection in Esgravatadouro – Caldas de Monchique
Why not become an active member of our Botanic Forest Garden

Saturday 27th November 2021.

When winter arrives in the Monchique mountains, all life slows down a little, and the first rains turn the soil humid. Every year, at exactly this time we start planting our new biodiverse mixed forest on the areas destroyed by a forest fire in 2018: a major challenge and a present to the generations coming after us. In our own little nursery we have taken out time to prepare the many different seedlings for this moment, raising them over two, three or more years in planting pots. Now is the time to gift every little tree its own favourable place. This needs careful preparation, as every species of tree has its own requirements. There are plots with good black humid soil and others that harbour lots of stones and sand or clay and where the rain water quickly trickles down into deeper layers of soil or seeps down slowly.

How about being a part of our team, planting trees and installing a sprinkler system. Esgravatadouro includes warm and cold, humid and dry places, some protected from the wind and others fully exposed to it – there are tree species that don’t like wind and others that are less sensitive. A tree planted today should be happy in its place for as many hundreds of years as possible. It’s s a major task that we’ve set ourselves with the Botanical Forest Garden. For a tree, once planted, should remain there for ever, its roots providing firm footing, drawing its liquid nutrition for survival from the depth of the soil. We’ll make sure a tree has everything it needs for a good life in Monchique. Would you like to learn how to do this and become part of our team of volunteers?

Shortly we’ll be installing the necessary infrastructure. We’ll be laying down water pipes for  the sprinkler system, which will protect the Botanical Forest Garden from possible future forest fires. In 2021, our ECO123 crowdfunding campaign managed to raise the capital to invest in the protection of the new forest, thanks to many national and international donors. This will happen over the coming three months of December, January and February. If you’d like to accompany us and lend a hand, you’re cordially invited to join us and share a vegetarian lunch afterwards.

We’ll be meeting every Saturday morning at nine o’clock in Esgravatadouro near Caldas de Monchique and work towards saving our native mixed forest from destruction by future forest fires. If you want to help out on a Saturday, please drop us an email by Thursday evening at editor@eco123.info anmelden. Every Saturday we work for some four hours in the Botanic Garden. We can still offer four to six volunteers a place on the two teams; the number of participants is limited.

The Botanic Forest Garden is a climate protection project on a voluntary basis run by the Esgravatadouro – Cooperativa do Ambiente CRL. Cooperative. Every Saturday between 9am and 1pm in Esgravatadouro, near Caldas de Monchique we plant oaks, beech and carob trees, umbrella pines, cedars and cypress trees, lime trees, alders and ash trees, walnut trees  (including black ones), chestnuts and willows, fruit trees and many other native species of trees.

If you decide to sponsor an olive tree, for example, you’ll receive a bottle of olive oil as a thank you after each harvest. Now is a great time to start participating in our Botanic Forest Garden Monchique. There are plenty of opportunities to take part. Ask us how you may reach your own personal climate neutrality.

Uwe Heitkamp (60)

trained TV journalist, book author and hobby botanist, father of two grown-up children, knows Portugal for 30 years, founder of ECO123. Translations : Dina Adão, João Medronho, Kathleen Becker
Fotos: Uwe Heitkamp

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