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Urban Forest – Panama

November 27, 2008

Here are a few shots of a previously vacant lot in Casco Viejo that had been formerly colonized by trash and miscellaneous urban detritus not worthy of mention . I have been vegetating the area through the rainy season.

Initially, after disposing of what trash i could I cover cropped the entire lot with a number of suitable species, mostly edible. As that grew in I began to add larger trees, shrubs, and so forth.

Now, entering into the dry season, the plantain, banana and papaya trees bearing fruit. Four or five varieties of papaya are producing. I have harvest chaya, katuk, bele, and yucca, regularly. Early on I was laying down heavy mulch layers, all biomass provided by municipal crews who trim, sweep, collect and throw away leaves. When intercepted before proceeding to the landfill, they are usually happy to donate their truckload of leaves.

Now I need to bring in some of the larger trees I’ve been growing in nurseries. A large jaboticaba, acai palm, champaka, and perhaps a few smaller grafted trees. There are already a number of smaller bushfruits, and a jackfruit, mangosteen. Numerous different vines will eventually grow along the wrought iron perimeter gating. The cement walls will be covered an array of native philodendron species.

Although i am expecting to have to extract and relocate some of the trees in the future, I am curious about how much density can be achieved before the space ceases to be healthy and productive.  At the moment the space is growing a fair diversity of plants. I’ll sacrifice minor species to make room for the larger trees.

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