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Clementinas, Casco Viejo, Panama

November 27, 2008

Here are a few shots of a previously vacant lot in Casco Viejo. Formerly colonized by trash and miscellaneous urban detritus not worthy of mention . Steadily, I have been vegetating the area.

Initially, after disposing of what trash i could, I cover cropped the entire lot with a number of suitable species (such as beans, jicama, celosia, clitoria, castor bean, marigold, cosmos, and such) mostly all of which contribute a specific function to the process. As that all grew in I began to add larger trees, shrubs, and so forth, edible or medicinal, for the most part.

Presently we are nearing the end of the rainy season, plantain, banana and papaya trees are massive, (except for the dwarf varieties) dominating the sunlight. Four or five varieties of papaya are producing. I have heavily pruned guandu, chaya, katuk, bele, celosia and yucca, numerous times for mulch, food and propagation material.

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. I’ll sacrifice minor species to make room for the larger trees.  There are already a number of smaller bushfruits, and a jackfruit, and mangosteen. Numerous different vines will eventually grow along the wrought iron perimeter gating. The cement walls will be covered with ficus pumula and 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 slows in health and productivity. At the moment the space is growing an impressive diversity of plants.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. vivian permalink
    November 27, 2008 10:08:58 am

    wow. that is an astounding amount of growth. are other people finding these sites useful for food/mulch/medicine or are they wary of harvesting from the plants?

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