Kick-off reforestation

Today it was the kick-off of the reforestation. Or should I say deforestation?

Oddly enough, the first step of making this a fertile land is to remove most of the trees, which are eucalyptus. They are a fire hazard, drinking all the water and preventing other trees from growing. It is hard and difficult to see the trees being shredded into pieces.

The good news is that all that biomass will stay on the ground, feeding the underground life and protecting the topsoil. The rains will hopefully wash away most of the allopathic effect and life can start growing again.

For now, it is time to mourn what was here, and embrace what is coming. Change, even for the better, can sometimes be difficult to process and accept. Yes, it was just eucalyptus that kept being cut down and taken away to the paper industry. Still, they were trees, and there were blackberries and gorse and other plants that will get smashed in the process. Death to create life. Destroying to build again. It hurts. Today was very emotional, for the whole family.

The machine itself - a corta-mato - left us all impressed with its power. It breaks away all the leaves, branches and most of the trunks into small little pieces that are thrown around on the ground. It is an immediate mulch of sorts.

This will continue for a few days, and then we can start creating the swales and lakes. A long road ahead. Today, we cry and celebrate.