Monthly Archive for November, 2012

Visit to Wied Incita, Attard Saturday 10 November 2012

The latest activity by the GTA took us to the production nursery at Wied Incita Attard.  This nursery is now run by the Environmental Landscape consortium (ELC) after the public private partnership set up for the landscaping and general maintenance of public areas and gardens in Malta. 29 persons turned up and the active participant was Mr Paul Foster the Nursery Manager.

A good number of teachers of geography attended the latest activity organised by the GTA to Wied Incita nursery. Mr. P Forster, the Nursery manager was the active participant for the day.

We all have seen the great number of plants decorating the Maltese roundabouts.  These are cultivated at this nursery where emphasis is being made on the selection of those species which are most adapted to our environment and which can be grown sustainably.  Propagation is carried out in greenhouses in weed free soil. Processes include research into rapid propagation techniques and compost materials.  In fact pumice is being used to increase drainage and porosity. Most of the work is done manually though we did see a machine filling the pots with soil and one of workers patiently transplanting the small plants one by one.  95% of the seasonal flowers currently being planted on roundabouts, central strips are being produced in their entirety in Malta using local labour.

Thousands of plants well adapted to our environment are propogated in greenhouses in weed free soil.

In the waste zone area great piles of posedonia were being left in the sun and rain so that the salts would be removed.  This natural resource can then be used to add important nutrients to the soil. 

In the tree growing section we could see the rows of olives and red palm trees weaver free.  The latter can be moved after two years and will help to enhance various sites in Malta.

Whilst we were impressed by the great number of plants and trees nurtured from just seeds going into thousands it is a pity there is still the use of pesticides. Hopefully in the future more natural ways of protecting the plants can be adopted instead of or at least in combination with these pesticides.  Visits for students are welcome. Horticulture today is growing into an important trade so students can learn about this interesting field of study.

Rita DeBattista

Superstorm Sandy October 2012

Sandy devastated parts of the Caribbean, Northeastern USA and Eastern Canada during the last week of October. It was the largest Atlantic hurricane on record as measured by diameter with winds spanning 1,800km. It is also the second costliest Atlantic hurricane in history behind Hurricane Katrina.

Satellite Image of Hurricane Sandy - the largest Atlantic hurricane on record

Islands in the Caribbean that were severely hit include Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, The Bahamas and Puerto Rico. Residents were left without electricity, buildings destroyed, fields flooded causing food shortages and thousands were left homeless.

Streets in Cuba, littred with debris after Hurricane Sandy hit Santiago de Cuba, on October 26, 2012.

In the US, Sandy affected 24 states particularly New Jersey and New York. The storm sturge that hit New York City on October 29, flooded streets and the underground and thousands were left homeless. Sandy is responsible for more than 80 people to date.

Manhattan Bridge - Streets are flooded in Brooklyn, New York causing shutdown of mass transit and schools.

Rising water by Hurricane Sandy, rushes into an underground parking garage.

 

Homes devastated by the effects of Hurricane Sandy

 

A boat rests on the tracks of a railway line in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in New York