The experiment is being carried out on the Shaddai hill, a mount very sacred to the Nova Terra Light Community, an affiliate of the Fraternity – International Humanitarian Federation (FIHF), where meditation, prayers and contemplation are done, meaning that planting Baobab there is very special, very significant.
The Baobab is a tree with the thickest trunk in the world. Its hollow trunk can measure more than 20 metres in diameter and store up to 120,000 litres of water. Its size is so remarkable that some Baobab are used as houses, silos or animal refuges, but unfortunately, the species is in danger of extinction.
Some biologists consider that Baobabs are the most ancient trees on Earth. It is estimated they can live up to two thousand years, calculated by their diameter. The scientific name is Adansonia Digitata, but it is also known as Senegal gourd or monkey-bread tree.
The tree is truly powerful: it provides a home for hundreds of animals, birds and insects in its enormous trunks. Its flowers can measure up to 20 cm and blossom overnight. It’s not by chance that in Africa, Baobabs represent life: they are symbols of fertility, abundance and healing.
The fruit of the Baobab, -from which mucua liquid is made-, is considered to be a superfruit because of being a rich and complete food. It is a dry pod (with no liquid) and is used as food. The leaves are used in food, fresh or cooked, since they are very nutritious.
The seeds are consumed toasted or made into flour. With dried and ground seeds a drink called ‘mucua’ is made which is reminiscent of coffee.
The young people of the Nova Terra Light-Community are making a great effort to provide the most favorable conditions for its development. One of them tells us: “We’re planting a Baobab tree, originating in Africa, and are doing this as an offering and alliance between the Nova Terra Light-Community and the Santa Isabel House, from Angola, Africa. And well, we hope this offering can be received by all the Kingdoms of Nature.
We’re making an effort to plant it here on the hill, bringing manure, compost, everything the tree will need to grow healthy, bear fruit and grow a lot”, they point out.
“ It has to be very large so the whole world says: Hello, do you know who planted this great tree? That young girl”, Ananda, says joking.
“First we dug a hole to be able to plant, making a crescent; then we put horse and cow manure and mixed it with soil, phosphate and lime. After this mixture, we dug the little hole for the plant, we took it out of the bag of seedlings and planted it. We mixed the soil and firmly tamped it down so no air would remain around it. Then we removed the weeds from around it and covered it with straw… (making a crown), and this holds the humidity as well as the nutrients for later; so this organic matter will create micro-organisms, which are food for the plant”, they explain.
“And something else we did was to plant green manure, which is super-important, since we’ve seen what it adds. Pig bean, pigeon pea bean and crotalaria seeds…This green manure and its roots will help open channels so the micro-organisms and earth fungus can move and open channels for the root of the tree we’re planting”, they conclude.
There are various African legends about the origin of the Baobab, but there are two which are best known. It is said that at the moment of creation, God gave the seeds of a tree to all animals. The baboon, a monkey known for its laziness, received the seeds of the Baobab, and instead of planting them, just threw them on the ground. The seeds would have sprouted upside-down, leaving the tree roots exposed and its crown underground. Some African tribes attribute the appearance of the tree to this incredible legend.
The second legend says that the tree reigned over all of Africa, but the Baobab was so arrogant that the gods were enraged and put them head-down as a punishment. The legend also says that whoever eats of the fruit will be cursed until killed and eaten by a lion.