The just-completed inspection of the TropicRiverWoods, S.A. property last month by Brad, Filiberto, Rafael, and me has revealed a rather impressive botanically significant beginning in the transformation from farm to forest.  The black laurels (Cordia alliodora), that Filiberto had planted in November & December, which were on average 18 inches tall, are now between 5 and 8 feet tall!  These fast-growing laurel trees will stabilise the hillside with its inherently extensive subterranean root network and very importantly, serve to shade some of the more tender seedlings that Filiberto is nurturing at his off-site nursery.  Many tropical fruit and nut trees MUST have shade for the few years of their lives, as the foliage will quickly desiccate, wither, and fall.  The denuded seedlings will then die, under the unrelenting tropical sun.  Filiberto's effort has assured success with our extensive planting endeavours.  Truly, without his knowledge of local growing conditions and tree husbandry in Bocas Province, our collective project would have had many set backs and certainly would not look like it does now: a farm on the verge of rainforest splendour; an ecosystem that is about to become healthy once again!  What follows, is a photographic record of our TropicRiverWoods project findings.


Filiberto & Paul survey TRW progress...Much HAS been made.  Thanks to Filiberto's watchful eyes AND his ingenuity!

A beautiful and rare Griffith's Cycad emerges from TRW soil!  This beauty will mature at 20 feet, in about 8 years!

A =nother grouping (nneds to be thinned out), of Royal Poincianas gets growing at TRW!  This is our third poinciana patch to emerge!

The first Giant Fistail Palm emerges!  The Caryota no is a wonderfully impressive palm that readily produces seed, so a future grove will be a distinct possibility!

Filiberto kept cutting these heliconias down!  We decided to let them grow naturally now!

Two-thirds of the finca are "loaded" with heliconias.  One such area is in the background of this photo.

The inflorescences of TRW's heliconias are salmon pink and green.  They're just simply gorgeous!

Filiberto's ingenious plant "staging" area!  Many fruiting, nut, and hardwood trees from here will go into the TRW soil at the correct time, for optimal growth!

One of our papayas is already huge!  They don't grow like this back home in Florida, that's for sure!

Filiberto planted numerous Black laurels (Cordia species) for quick shade and erosion control.  They're progressing phenomenally on this hilly planting site!

Our very first grouping of Royal poincianas (Delonix regia), planted last Fall,  is waist-high already

One of TRW's numerous bearing-aged Theobroma cacao trees is full of fruit!

the trans-isthmus highway leads one right to TropicRiverWoods!

View of banana plantations about ten miles distant, below TropicRiverWoods.  It is quite hot down there, but nice and comfortable up at TropicRiverWoods property...almost eternal Springtime!

Our intrepid land-clearing crew takes a welcome break!  "Thank you, guys", for ALL your efforts!

Acres upon acres of red alpinia gingers flourish naturally at Loma Finca Cuatro: TropicRiverWoods!


The next regularly scheduled Loma Finca Cuatro TropicRiverWoods, S.A. update will be in mid June, 2004, when our next "wave" of planting, and current in-ground growth progress will be photographically documented.

Paul and Brad, Your Hosts!


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