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A closer look at our tree nurseries.
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A closer look at our tree nurseries.

Happy Earth Day! 🌎🌱 Every spring we plant around 60,000 seedlings on 5 tree farms in northern & southern Nicaragua. This year we are donating half of our seedlings to help reforest local communities. We're excited to take you behind the scenes of our Nicaraguan forest nurseries to provide a deeper understanding of our green practices and our journey towards becoming fully sustainable.


Rooted in reforestation.

We started out as a reforestation project, therefore our origin story begins with the establishment of our first two nurseries in 2008. One of them, located in the southern Nicaraguan town of Rivas (near the Pacific), is still in operation today.  The other was set up in Rosita, located in the hurricane zone near the Atlantic coast. The trees cultivated in Rosita were donated to local communities affected by Hurricane Felix, showcasing our commitment to environmental and social responsibility. The nursery in Rivas continues to thrive, and our operations have expanded to include nurseries in Managua, as well.


Sustainable practices.

At our nurseries, sustainability is not just a goal; it's a way of life. We start by meticulously preparing the soil using sand, dirt, and organic materials to create the ideal environment for germination. Each species requires a different germination process, with Teak seeds undergoing a carefully monitored cycle of heat and moisture. After germination, the seedlings are nurtured for two months until they develop strong tap roots, ready to be planted.  


Our planting process is designed to be as “au natural” as possible, reflecting our commitment to preserving the natural ecosystem. We take advantage of the 6-7 month rainy season to provide the moisture our trees need to thrive and avoid artificial irrigation on our farms that can deplete groundwater and disrupt natural hydrological cycles. This timing allows our trees to establish deep root systems and develop resilience to drought conditions, ensuring their long-term survival.

 

We prioritize natural soil enrichment practices to maintain soil health and fertility. We avoid using harmful fertilizers and chemicals, opting instead for natural alternatives like mycorrhizal fungi and nitrogen-fixing plants to boost soil conditions when necessary. By nurturing the soil microbiome and fostering a healthy ecosystem, we create a sustainable environment where our trees can flourish without compromising the integrity of the land.


The first two months of the rainy season mark our planting season, during which we plant tens of thousands of trees across Nicaragua. While the bulk of the seedlings we cultivate are Teak (Tectona grandis), we also cultivate a variety of native species, including Nogal, Mateare, Cedro Real, African Mahogany, and Pochote. Each species has its own growth cycle, with Teak reaching maturity in 20 years and native species in 25-30 years.

Our dedication to sustainable practices extends beyond our nurseries and into every aspect of our operations. From seedling to sapling, we're committed to minimizing our environmental impact and maximizing our positive contributions to the planet. Through innovation, stewardship, and a deep respect for nature, we're paving the way towards a greener, more sustainable future for generations to come.




Expanding our impact. 

In recent years, we've expanded our reach beyond our own farms to other parts of Nicaragua, partnering with local organizations and communities to promote sustainable forestry practices. In addition to planting our 5 tree farms in northern and southern Nicaragua, we annually donate about half of our nursery yield to help reforest local communities. This year we will donate roughly 30 thousand of the 60 thousand seedlings we have cultivated to local communities around Nicaragua.  We work hand in hand with INAFOR, Nicaragua’s Forestry Ministry, as well as local Mayor’s offices in municipalities like Mateares, Chinadega, San Juan del Sur, and Rivas to donate trees for reforesting spent cattle fields in their communities. These partnerships allow us to allocate trees where they are most needed, revitalizing landscapes and restoring ecosystems.


We support to neighboring communities around Rivas and Managua, where we donate trees to encourage planting initiatives with local farmers. By fostering grassroots efforts and empowering communities to take ownership of their environment, we aim to create a ripple effect of positive change that extends far beyond our own operations.


Our commitment to reforestation goes beyond the boundaries of the farms we manage. We believe in the importance of placing trees in the ground wherever they are needed most. Whether it's revitalizing degraded landscapes, mitigating the effects of deforestation, or creating habitat for wildlife, our tree planting efforts are driven by a desire to make a tangible and lasting impact on the environment and communities we serve.




Local communities. 

Creating nurseries not only contributes to reforestation efforts but also serves as hubs for community engagement, empowerment, and education. Through employment opportunities and partnerships with local families, we've built strong connections and lasting relationships. In 2008, Felix Pastran was the first person we hired to work at our nurseries and he is now a lead carpenter at Masaya Homes having mastered the skill of carpentry along the way. Another notable relationship we’ve fostered is with Noel Lopez, our Forest Manager in Rivas.


Our relationship with Noel began 15 years ago when we rented Noel’s family’s cattle pastures to plant our Gavilana Farm, which he now manages with his family. Gavilana serves as an example of how local families and communities can economically benefit from using their land in a manner that benefits the environment. Instead of offering their land to an outmoded, environmentally harmful model of clear-cutting for cattle farming or big agriculture, Noel and his family have embraced sustainable forestry practices, nurturing a thriving ecosystem that supports both biodiversity and livelihoods.


Through our collaboration with Noel and his family, we've witnessed firsthand the transformative power of sustainable land management. Not only has Gavilana Farm flourished under Noel's stewardship, but it is a model for other local communities to follow, demonstrating how people can gain economically while embracing sustainable practices that protect their natural resources for future generations.  The positive impact sustainable initiatives can have on both the environment and local economies is crucial to how we deal with climate change. By fostering partnerships built on trust, respect, and shared values, we're not only reforesting landscapes but also rejuvenating economies with the goal of fostering a brighter, more sustainable future for all.




A bright, green future.

As we look towards the future, we remain committed to our mission of sustainability and environmental stewardship. We continue to innovate and explore new ways to minimize our ecological footprint while maximizing our positive impact on the planet and its inhabitants. From our tree nurseries and farms in Nicaragua to our furniture and architectural projects in North and Central America, sustainability remains at the heart of everything we do.


As we celebrate Earth Day and our journey towards sustainability, we invite you to join us in making a difference. Together, we can cultivate a greener, more sustainable future for generations to come.

 

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