Monsignor Gregorio of the San Lucas Catholic Mission partnered with Opal House to reforest our chemically damaged farm due to 10 years of fertilizer over usage and the inevitable erosion problems. They maintain two professional nurseries to improve the natural environment of rural Guatemala. As part of our Sustainable Forests Plan, every year since 2009 we have planted 2000 trees of various types (cypress, white pine, 12 types of fruit trees, coffee, avocado and berries).
This year is our 5th year and we will reach our 10,000 tree goal. We will not stop there-we have plans to continue to plant for the future to provide quality wood, produce and create a true nature reserve on the farm. Dr William Boegel personally is thankful the generous nursery and reforestation gifts from Father Greg and the San Lucas Mission, a true social justice program that will affect many generations to come. We celebrate our farm as our “Creation Farm” and it is really becoming a fruitful garden of Eden.
This workshop building is the engine that helps develop the farm. Cypress beam drying, furniture construction and all maintenance and irrigation projects work out of this building. We are obtaining enough variety of donated saws and machines that we have decided to begin planning a vocational construction program to teach local youth many manual carpentry and workshop skills. We also use our bodega as a paint center and storage space.
Hardwood building with Red Oak, Cypress, White Pine and Cedar
The farm and it’s forests are blessed with excellent hardwoods for construction. Our Peace chapel and Montessori school have 100% Opal House local hardwood construction inside. All open beams are of cypress, flooring and roofing is white pine, most windows are cypress and many of the doors are either our beautiful red oak or cedar. Much of our furniture is constructed from our red oak, cypress and white pine. Every tree we cut down for construction is offset by our reforestation program. One of our beautiful male cypress trees was recently cut and created large new front doors to the local church. Our favorite door construction style is Bible and Cross. Our workshop supports many type of saws and wood construction opportunities.
We are also experimenting with the Meringa tree, called the miracle tree because of it’s many edible parts. It’s leaves and bean pods are highly nutritious, even it’s branches and roots can be consumed. The Meringa tree readily grows in many types of soils, including poorly fertilized soil. We are growing many seedlings in our greenhouse and will transplant them into various micro-environments to find a suitable production environment.