Securing Resilience through Ecological Restoration – Parque Bambú / Ecuador
The project is part of a global movement of Transition from our current growth economy, based on fossil fuels, to a sustainable post-carbon society.
During two decades of continuous planting - following the principles of Permaculture and Ecological Restoration - I converted an abandoned hill-side, depleted of topsoil due to years of slash-and-burn, into an island of vibrant green.
As the decline of the capitalist economy, built on relentless depletion of resources, is drawing nearer, I have been building up biomass and biodiversity in Parque Bambú, as a means to consolidate resilience…and hopefully securing the future of my daughters. I planted about a hundred different species of forest- and fruit trees. Currently, I am focusing on growing more vegetables, corn and manioc, for the kitchen.
With Permaculture as a guideline, I established barriers of Vetiver grass in contour lines on the slopes in order to stop run-off, planted many species of Nitrogen Fixing Trees to fertilize the soil, and I am applying Hydrological Design to collect rainwater in the landscape. I also recycle stubble from the harvest, leaf litter from the forest and kitchen waist into compost. In recent years, I introduced many different species of bamboo and palm trees, such as the Giant Bamboo and the Acai palm.
I am always glad to share my knowledge and experience with local farmers, visitors, apprentices and volunteers.
You are invited to learn about farm-work on a tropical forest farm, a kind of apprenticeship in rural frugal living. You learn about the people on their land, as well as the hardships and joys facing small farmers in Ecuador. You will learn practical skills such as planting trees, grafting on fruit trees, dig irrigation swales, how to swing the machete and harvest bamboo, bananas and mangos. Setting up compost piles and general garden maintenance will be part of your daily routine.
Volunteer commitment with Parque Bambú is minimal three months. Do not insist on a shorter period. I provide you with three meals / day and accommodation in exchange for your work, 5 hours / day. Both individuals and couples are welcome, also parents with their children.
Locals are friendly and open to visitors. The area offers great hikes in the hills with splendid panoramic views and remnants of rainforest. There are some small bathing holes in the river.
Check out the short documentary about the use of Vetiver Grass for soil conservation and erosion control:
Vetiver, el amigo del agricultor (6 minutes)
Help in the house
I am a certified Permaculture Designer and apply Hidrologic Design in the field. I will be glad to share my experience.
I spend most of the day in the field. Sometimes I leave the farm in order to run some bureaucratic errands in town (in Ibarra 62 km away)
Two people from the village are employed in the farm, occasionally some more, depending on the work to be done and the time of the year. The farm is located about 300 meters uphill from the village and locals are friendly and open to visitors.
Dutch, English, Spanish, French, German
A dormitory with room for 6 people. Shared bathroom. Hot water in the shower.
The area offers great hikes in the hills with splendid panoramic views and remnants of rainforest.
There are some small bathing holes in the river.
Important: I consider it a serious issue to diminish our ecological footprint on this globe. Therefore, it is not allowed to enter the property with: plastic throw-away-bottles and fast food wrapped in plastic and aluminium packages. There is boiled water available for visitors. We make our own biscuits and jams. And we have plenty of fruit in the trees. So, no need to arrive with consumer garbage.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
5 hours a day 5 days a week