Warm Heart Foundation’s Agroforestry Project is getting ready to kick-off the first phase of the project.
The foundation is working with five farming families, with 45 rai between them to restore to its natural state, a forest area that can be utilised by the farmers for agroforestry.
Agroforestry is a more environmentally-friendly system, in which crops are interplanted with trees and shrubs. Some of these trees grow fruits or nuts that can be harvested. Others grow for many years, and can later be harvested for timber. And some trees aren’t grown for harvesting, but rather for the many other important benefits they provide: improving soil quality, preserving biodiversity, and creating shade and protection for more delicate crops.
In the shade of these trees, farmers can plant cash crops such as coffee, cacao, rattan, tea, Thai black pepper and many others. They can grow local fruits that have disappeared from local markets, and plant family vegetable gardens around the perimeter that provide food year round and excess to sell while waiting for the perennials to yield.
Preparing the Dirt
Years of abuse have degraded the land, one of the foundation’s first steps will be to bring life back to the soil by adding biochar and manure.
Last year Shangri-La Chiang Mai contracted with local farmers to make biochar. They then donated the biochar to local sustainable farming groups, and are donating 25 tonnes of biochar for this project. The farmers are providing the manure.
The biochar needs to be delivered to the farmers from the foundation’s warehouse and they will be hiring a crew to distribute the biochar and manure across the 45 rai.
The land also needs to be swaled. Swales are designed to slow and capture runoff by spreading it horizontally across the landscape following the elevation contour line. This helps facilitate runoff infiltration into the soil. The swales will be created by digging a ditch on contour and piling the dirt on the downhill side of the ditch to create a berm.
Once this is complete Phase 2 will begin.
Holes will be dug for planting, and a variety of Thai seedlings will be planted to restore the mountain sides with native plants, and begin the restoration.
Warm Heart was chosen by Global Giving to receive a 100% match of donations made during Earth Day week, April 19th – 23rd. This is a great opportunity to help bring additional funds into the community. We urge our local friends to support this fundraiser so the necessary seedlings can be bought to replant the forest once the soil has been properly prepared. Donations can be made online at https://www.globalgiving.org/fundraisers/agroforestry-project-sweet-deal/
Switching from corn crops to agroforestry will help some of the poorest households in Thailand lift themselves out of poverty. We could make a meaningful impact on climate change, as CO₂ is removed from the atmosphere and locked into the soil. And the less corn crop waste created, the less smoke from crop waste burning. One step at a time, we can end this smoke crisis.
Here you go again! https://warmheartworldwide.org/earth-day-2021-restore-our-earth
Or you can follow their efforts at: https://www.facebook.com/warmheartworldwide