La Manzana Podrida
The Project La Manzana Podrida got started in August 2014 by Tommy Hol Ellingsen.
2014: 600,000 MXP For buying land for protection and project space. + 50,000 MXP For the paper work for getting the papers legal.
2014 : 70,000 MXP Repairing the existing houses.
2016: 100,000 MXP Building a community house for workshops and a volunteer house.
2017: 750,000 MXP Buying one more peas of land expanding La Manzana Podrida to double the size. + 50,000 MXP For the paper work for getting the papers legal. + 80,000 MXP New car
FuckForForest now hope that the project La Manzana Podrida will be self sustainable for the future.
Rancho La Manzana Podrida
Sierra Madre Sur. Oaxaca – Mexico.
“All good grows from what is rotten. The finest flowers grow on decay.”
“La Manzana Podrida” is a project in decay, de-developing depending on the local peoples involvement and the people, ecologists and artists we can connect to the ideas, we will try to plant in this rotting - but fertile soil. The area consists of about 50 (or more) hectares of mixed pine, oak cloud forest and the full area is spitted in two separate projects:
95% is kept strictly as a deep ecology project, as an unspoiled sacred ground - to experience the divinity of nature. It is also containing and protecting unspoiled fresh water sources and virgin soil, because of the difficult terrain, untouched by humans.
5% is an old farm, with apples, avocados, plums, berries, pears, peach and a lot more + an extreme diversity of natural herbal medicine plants and spices. This old farm is rotting into a creative activist center (that also naturally is open for nudists and lovers alike) with focus on the artistic/spiritual expression of nature and the plants. Maybe like a temple/art museum of natural expressions, or a Garden of Eden replica? How will we grow?
Art is “tra” backwards - did you know that? What makes an artwork so valuable? Imagine Mona Lisa! Just some ugly chick, painted on fabric. And the value? Well, a lot more than that 1000 year old oak, that used to be one of the most sacred trees, the tree of life in some cultures’, chopped down to make some nice objects for dying humans that maybe reaches the age of 100. What is the mechanism of value? What created value? And is there something as corrupted values? La Manzana Podrida will be Museum of nature. The museum of natural art where you can see art grow from seeds, develop and die. It will be an integration of nature and the “modern” societies values that is falling and rotting to create new and hopefully better life. What would you do if someone burned and destroyed your most important artwork or destroyed your favorite art museum?
In many groups of organized religion, nature has been destroyed to build dead buildings. Here people search for “God”, bringing dead flowers as a gift to the dead, the saints, spirits or God. There is only ONE nature and we are part of it. So why not visit nature as a temple and pray to the living plants as they are a direct expression from the divine? La Manzana Podrida will be that Temple of Nature. Where you can go and share your thoughts with the living plants. And maybe even plant a seed? This is where we go where we die, back to the earth, back to the plants. And the plants are truly the language of the divine - of God. So we need to go into the Temple, humble, and open our heart, to the language of the
plants. Here you can pray and give your sacrifice to the soil. Plant a seed and see it grow. Give a sacrifice to life and fertilize the ground! And blessed are the people who protect the garden. The gardener is the protector, and nature is Gods true Temple. What would you do if someone would threaten or destroy your Temple or your Church?
What do we try to create in the community center on La Manzana Podrida ?
Work with the local community and the travelers to put focus on, give information about, and help the protection of - the mountains precious bio systems.
Collect, and keep safe for the future - the important knowledge about local peoples and the Zapotecas(the native tribe of this part of the mountains) connection to the nature “spirit”, Curanderos (native healers) and herbal medicine.
Find peaceful and creative solutions - to put focus on and change the development that can endanger nature, animals, and all the precious water sources of the mountains bio systems.
Keep the trees, water and natural resources – exclusive for the local community to use. Find ways to help the local community survive without touching nature and selling of water and resources to outsiders who do not live in or belong to the community.
Find ways to collect money to protect more parts of the valley where Manzana Pordida is the heart. We will try to protect the whole body. The whole valley is one ecosystem. It is filled with intact nature and unspoiled freshwater sources. Please get in touch with us if you can donate bigger sums for protection of this important and magical ecosystem.
Provide food and medicine for local people to help their animals to have a better living standard.
Make an community - art/creative activist house with music instrument for people to use and provide a space for the local people and travelers to find creative and artistic solutions for embracing the mountains and protect it together, through chairing - art, music, song, dance, love and true inspiration.
The community house is for people to keep comfortable at their stay at the rotten ranch. Part of this community house will also have arrangements, seminars, workshops and freak-outs, for the local people and for travelers alike.
Movie screenings of social and ecological activist movies and creative porn, political satire and other fucked up smut.
Seminars and workshops from locals and travelers on plants, sustainable life and even more sexy and challenging themes.
Rehearsal room, featuring many kinds of instruments for “Mountain Chicken Punk Rock”. And also a rehearsal studio for the black (or gray) metal band SatanaBanana (roomers say they started the band, because they were extremely angry about the fact that it does NOT grow bananas so high in the mountains), and other interesting upcoming mountain newcomers.
Dance and body movement.
We are open for ideas!
No more landlords. No more money spent on fake hipster “bio food” and on people who take stuff away. This is the final solution!
Some basic facts:
The Project La Manzana Podrida got started in August 2014 by Tommy Hol Ellingsen.
La Manzana Podrida is now organized by Tommy Hol Ellingsen
The Rancho La Manzana Podrida is about 27 hectares of mixed forest. It also has 3 small houses on the top of the mountain with a small fruit garden. Bought for 600 000 pesos donated from fuckforforest.com
600 000 pesos is around 34200 Euro or 46200 USD or 281400 NOK
So to some cold facts about the Sierra Madre:
Our world, filled with a diversity of life and ecosystems is perhaps undergoing a new mass extinction, produced and conducted by exploitation and expansion. Consequently, regions of the earth have been marked into hotspots, spanning regions of vast biological diversity, but under the threat of humans. One such hotspot is the Madrean Pine-Oak Woodlands in Mexico and Southern United States.
The Madrean Pine-Oak Woodlands hotspot includes Mexico’s main mountain chains, namely the Sierra Madre Occidental, the Sierra Madre Oriental, the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, the Sierra Madre del Sur, and the Sierra Norte de Oaxaca, as well as isolated mountaintop islands in Baja California (particularly around the Sierra de la Laguna).
The red represents the hotspot.
A quarter of all Mexico’s plant species are found here, many of them found nowhere else on Earth. The pine forests of Michoacán provide famous overwintering sites for the annual migration of millions of monarch butterflies. Unfortunately, the destruction of pine forests due to excessive logging is the leading cause of habitat loss in this region. The pine-oak woodlands are composed of stands of oak (Quercus), pine (Pinus), douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga) and fir (Abies). Pine and oak forests are the characteristic vegetation type in the hotspot, ranging from monospecific stands of either pines ( Pinus) or firs ( Abies) to almost pure stands of oak ( Quercus). In between these two extremes, different regions have varying combinations of species, with some more dominant than others. The pine-oak woodlands have an insular-type distribution by virtue of being surrounded by more extensive floristic provinces, generally tropical or arid. This feature is particularly noticeable in the northern Mexican Highlands and the Madrean Sky Island Archipelago. The World Wildlife Fund recognizes several distinct pine-oak woodlands ecoregions, based on geographic distribution and species mix.
The Madrean Pine-Oak Woodlands enjoy an astonishing richness of species. Conservative estimates put the number of flowering plants in the pine-oak forests at 5,300 while 2,000 species of native plants in the Madrean Sky Islands.
Around 525 bird species, 23 of which are strict endemics occur in this hotspot. Four of BirdLife International’s Endemic Bird Areas (EBAs) overlap with this hotspot. Species such as the thick-billed parrot, Sierra Madre sparrow, and the imperial woodpecker are attractions for any birdwatcher.
This hotspot is home to one of the most spectacular wildlife wonders in the world: the overwintering of monarch butterflies in the pine forests of Michoacan. Each fall, about 100-500 million monarchs migrate south from eastern North America to form giant clusters on the branches and trunks of trees in the oyamel fir ecosystem.
There are 328 species of mammals present in the hotspot. The iconic volcano rabbit or zacatuche is endemic to the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. One of the smallest and most unusual rabbits, it has small, round ears and utters high-pitched, penetrating vocalizations. The zacatuche relies on the zacaton bunchgrass for its survival. It constructs the entrance to its burrow at the base of a clump of bunchgrass and prunes the plants so they form a thick roof for protection. The zacatuche only lives in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt surrounding Mexico City. The rabbit is a foundation species, efforts to save it will benefit the entire habitat and the species that live within it. Others wildlife includes a high density of American Black Bear, a surprising diversity of fish unexpected in the high altitude character of the area, amphibians, reptiles, and birds.
Cave Creek Canyon in the Chiricahua Mountains of southeastern Arizona the elegant trogon attracts flocks of birders. This species range matches closely that of the Madrean Pine-Oak Woodlands Hotspot, including the sky islands of the northern extension. This area also harbors more species of hummingbirds than anywhere else in the United States. The sky islands are isolated mountain tops surrounded by radically different lowland environments. The unique biodiversity of animal and plant life on the sky islands make them a hotspot for ecotourism and an important consideration for conservation.
The Madrean Pine-Oak Woodlands Hotspot is also an important center of cultural and ethnic diversity. Among the ethnic groups in the region are the Chinantec, Cora, Cuicatec, Mazatec, Mixe, Mixtec, Nahuatl, Popoluca, P’urhepecha, Tarahumara, and Zapotec. In Mexico, the natural resources of over half the national lands are under the control and use of indigenous peoples. Indigenous communities also reside within the country’s natural protected areas. (Hotspots Revisited)
Pines and to a lesser extent, oaks, are very important in the Mexican logging industry. Legal and illegal logging is on the rise in many areas. Non-timber products such as lichen for Christmas ornaments and mushrooms for cooking are also unsustainably extracted.
Naturally occurring fires alter the habitat, but intentional burning has also increased to make room for livestock grazing and other agricultural purposes. In southern Arizona, fire has been suppressed for almost a century by federal and state agencies now leading to high levels of fuel on the ground. As a result, Arizona has experience some of the largest wildfires in recorded history in the last 10 years. The higher elevation forests have also changed from open ponderosa pine forests to dense stands of mixed conifers apparently due to fire exclusion.
Deforestation, wildlife poaching, plant collection, fire, clearance for agriculture, road and tourist development, overgrazing, and intensive urbanization threaten the rare and endemic biodiversity throughout this hotspot.
The unique “sky island” character of this hotspot also makes its biodiversity especially susceptible to climate change as species have limited habitat range and the inability to migrate once the upper altitude of their range is reached.
Only 6% of the hotspot is under some form of official protection. Among the more important protected areas in the hotspot are:
• Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Michoacan. It conserves different types of vegetation including pine, pine-oak, and juniper forests. • Sierra de Manantlan Biosphere Reserve in Jalisco with diverse pine-oak forests containing 33 species of oak. La Primavera Forest Reserve • National Parks: Nevado de Colima, Navado de Toluca, Iztaccihuatl-Popocatepetl, Cofre de Perote, Pico de Orizaba in Veracruz • The largest protected area in Mexico – Cumbres de Monterrey National Park Big Bend National Park in Texas, the largest protected area in the hotspot • The Madrean Sky Islands are afforded some protection in the U.S. by the Forest Service, private land holding of The Nature Conservancy, U.S. National Monuments and Wilderness Areas
A number of conservation NGOs are working in the region
• Fondo Mexicano para la Conservacion de la Naturaleza is working on fire prevention strategies in the butterfly sanctuary. • PRONATURA NORESTE conserves and promotes sustainable use of natural resources in northeast Mexico and runs reforestation programs in thick-billed parrot habitat and communities affected by forest fires • The Sierra Madre Alliance is a support network of Mexican and international groups working to preserve biodiversity and forest ecosystem functioning in pine-oak forests • The Sky Island Alliance, a U.S. organization, works with partners in Mexico to preserve the sky islands unique to this hotspot. It works with the Nature Conservancy, Audubon Society, U.S. Forest Service and private reserves for conservation goals.
Sources: Russell Mittermeier, et al. (2004). Hotspots Revisited. Cemex. Madrean Pine-Oak Woodlands, Wikipedia Madrean Pine-Oak Woodlands, Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
The threats to the Madrean Pine-Oak Woodlands area are greatly in direct relation to human involvement. Whether that is through logging which has increasingly become a major concern for conversationalists- through the massive deforestation to gather resources of oak and other forms of timber for further distribution both globally and locally. While forest fires are a natural ecological development throughout the Madrean Pine-Oak Woodlands, fires now are being seen to be more man made than of natural developments. This is with the goals to encourage new sprout growth throughout the forest for further logging, deforestation, vegetation collections for culinary means as well as various other forms of outsources and distribution. A main reason for intentional forest fires is also to feed the local livestock and a quick way to free-up the land for further economical and architectural development.