18 Mar Del Maguey Reforestation Progress 2020-21
Reforestation Sta. Maria Albarradas:
Despite the fact that the pandemic shut down access to some of the villages we work in for most of 2020, towards the end of the year, and with much precaution, we were able to progress our reforestation efforts in the Albarradas region of Oaxaca.
As the first mezcal brand to work with the Alfred Harp Helu Foundation in agave reforestation, Del Maguey transplanted over 23,000 Tobala and 1,000 Tepextate plants to nursery beds in Sta Maria Albarradas.
In this nursery, the family of maestro mezcalero Rogelio Martinez Cruz is caring for the magueyitos. Since being transplanted, there has been minimal loss rate and the plants have grown significantly.
When the rainy season arrives in 2021, 50% of the plants will be donated directly to the community where they will be planted on communal land and left to mature without any further human intervention. The other 50% will go to the family where the plants will also be transplanted into their natural habitat and left to grow and mature on their own.
We are not simply cultivating wild agave species for mezcal production. Rather this is a long term project to replant species in the wild.
We are excited to be involved in this pilot, as it actively involves the greater community, helps out the family significantly, and gives wild agave in their natural habitat a better chance at reaching maturity and flowering.
Each year, we will replicate this process with agave that is endemic to the region. This spring, we have already planted the seeds that will grow into small bulbs over the next several months.
Reforestation Sto. Domingo Albarradas
Each year, the Alfred Harp Helu Foundation, grows and donates millions of tree saplings across Oaxaca. In 2020, while the rainy season was still in full effect, and pandemic precautions allowed select visits into the communities, Del Maguey and the producing family of Espiridion Morales Luis requested 5000 trees in Sto. Domingo Albarradas. The Harp Foundation approved the request and donated varieties of Huaje Rojo, Huamuchil, White Cedar, Jacaranda, and Pochote trees.
The family was willing to put the work in to plant the trees as it helped them receive benefits from the the federal Sembrando Vidas program.
Each year we plan to identify additional families and communities who can participate with their labor and land. In doing so, the families and communities will benefit from reforestation and avoiding long term drought scenarios. As this project continues to grow, over the next 5-10 years, these trees can be used in mezcal production.