Training center and educational trail under construction

Our Agroforestry Project in Brazil has achieved another of its goals: the conversion of an existing shed into a multipurpose workshop on the Agroforestry System (AFS) site at the “Sítio Orgânico Serra e Mar” organic farm in Arroio do Silva, southern Brazil. The new structure will be an educational space for courses, lectures and trainings focused on agroecology and environmental education. In the future, the workshop will host a tree nursery and seed bank that will fulfill the goal of the “guardian of seedlings” program of the Brazilian organic farmer network “EcoVida”. The goal of the latter is for its members to have access to organic seeds and to be able to buy or exchange seedlings from the tree nursery. Some of the materials used in the construction of the workshop came from the old existing structure, reusing everything that was still in good condition. The main material was eucalyptus tree trunks from industrial reforestation. The rest of the material used was purchased from local hardware stores. The master builder, Richard Pereira, was responsible for the construction. In addition, the trees in the agroforestry system test field have been marked with wooden stakes: Red are trees for timber production; blue will bear fruit in the future. With the completion of the workshop, the other goal of the project was also realized: the agroforestry nature trail. Six weather-resistant banners will support the planned educational activities, showing visitors how AFS work; what species have been planted; the interactions in nature; and other information. Images and text will be accompanied by QR codes that link to videos and websites with more information. After the completion of the graphic designs and a study of the positions of the banner structures, which will also be built from recycled material, the path was finalized. At the beginning of the second half of the year, the last activity of the project will take place: a practical workshop on AFS and digital marketing for farmers of the EcoVida network, in order to motivate more small-scale farmers to implement their own AFS. We were assisted in these important steps by the landowner Ubaldo Rosa and our two members of Technology Without Borders, João Barchik and Jonathan Damasceno, both students at the campus of the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC) in Araranguá.