Donkeys have returned to ForestA… on the way to a school of nature

Hotel du Nord shares with you the account of the Group of inhabitants who are involved in the side of Benedikte and its 14 donkeys on the grounds of ForestA. A story to discover this adventure in construction but also to invite to join it, it is collective and open to all!

To maintain the crazy herbs of the 16 hectares of the territory of ForestA, the 14 donkeys of Benedikte of the Association Mont'asses are again marseillais…, to take care of the places and also for the enjoyment of the children and inhabitants of the Northern neighborhoods.

Donkeys to ForestA why?

  • For the ecological mowing of the place
  • As part of the gradual setting up of the school of nature with to begin (Wednesdays of the little shepherds from 2pm to 5.30 pm, free on inscription Nathalie 06 99 01 23 10)

Because donkeys are also a magical medium to the exchanges between human beings!

Sea view with donkeys

They arrived on the 24th of March on the occasion of the Spring Festival of ForestA, on the legs of the Park of Pichauris (Allauch) by the massif of the Etoile, then by truck of Château Gombert to be on time at the party!

As soon as they are on the spot the children of the neighborhood feel it and are magneted by these gentle animals in the long hair. Relationships are forged with those who take care of them: Benedikte, Jonathan, Agnès, Nathalie, Vincent (responsible for the shared gardens of the neighbouring Belvedere).

On 10 April, the children of the ITEP of St Louis and those of the district courageously embark on a great cleansing of the future donkey Park (at the BD of Hanoi), so that they do not get hurt. 

Shepherds on the sea

Benedikte tells them about the donkeys and their mission on ForestA.

Then we go to action!

Garbage disposal for donkeys in front of the gazebo garden

A lot of waste is found: glass, leftover snacks and parties, plastics, packaging, and some very dangerous items for donkey's feet.

Small archaeology of waste
many wastes…
but an iron will

There you go! The place is clean. The children understood that throwing rubbish anywhere was not without consequence!

Hopefully this awareness gained from this young audience will find its echo with other visitors…

We're done for today.
Benedikte and the little shepherds

The buckle's locked!

We heal, we brush, we learn the language of animals

Benedikte explains how to brush donkeys to rid them of their winter coat.

A lot of attention and exchanges

Agnes explains the morphology of the donkey's hooves, and how to maintain them.

Everybody's thrilled! Children and adults! We worked well, we had fun, we learned a lot!

The Association Yes we camp allows us to gather and Exchange joyfully on this beautiful day, around a good tasting!

The next day, April 11th, we receive residents of St. Louis via the social Center, as well as two new recruits with long ears, Bichette and pomponette who meet their mates.

Many moms and grandmothers accompanied the children. They seem as happy and interested as they are!

Then the long awaited moment by the little shepherds arrives! We're going for a walk. In turn well supervised by the people of the team and the Moms, the children (less than 40 kg) straddle the donkeys!

We travel…
Well deserved walk

Already our neighbors of the neighborhood testify of their interest in relation to the presence of donkeys next to their home. We hope that the well-being of our friends with long ears is also based on the benevolent attention of neighbours and visitors.

Wednesday snacks
To talk with donkeys

This project is under construction.

Any participation, idea, suggestion are welcome. We are very keen that our actions respond to the desire of the inhabitants. Activities can also be exported from forestA (animation in social Center, school, neighborhood, market, hospital…). 

Feel free to contact Benedikte: 06 83 52 92 97, Nathalie: 06 99 01 23 10 or Agnès: 06 08 36 70 93.

ForestA botanical exploration-story #2 the euphorbias

From the BD of Hanoi, the rendezvous point of each botanical exploration, we descend through the staircase of the trail of the Teucrium pseudochamaepitys, and notice a very early flowering of the famous plant protected nationally, next to a Euphorbia ” morning alarm clock “(Euphorbia helioscopia). This will be the theme of a future exploration because on that day, we were more particularly interested in euphorbic.

For the second botanical exploration of the year on 2 March, it was very beautiful, we went to herborize in a place where nobody goes, hardly accessible, below the big letters and above the Timonnerie.

the slope to explore

The descent of the slopes, between the euphorbs. It’s gone for the identification of plants here present… not easy!

The euphorbic (EuphorbiaL.), feminine name, possess special inflorescences named cyathes, peculiarity that they share only with some neighboring genera. These are poisonous plants, which possess a white LaTeX sometimes very irritating.

In temperate species, the appearance of flowering plants varies greatly over the course of days: leaves tend to disappear as the umbelle develops, the stem blushes, while the fruit, a three-celled gloomous capsule, emerges very quickly from the inflorescence.

The word Euphorbia would come from euphorbium, the name given by King Juba of Mauretania, in honor of his Greek doctor Euphorbus, to the medicinal drug made from the LaTeX of the species today named Euphorbia resinifera.

Euphorbia in bloom
Safi’s botanize box
the determination sheet per plant

Check the details

Flora (book)

The euphorbs are generally recognized with their yellowish-green inflorescences, or cyathes, arranged in ombelles, having neither sepals nor petals. Each inflorescence contains a three-style female flower surrounded by male flowers, all in a cut formed by two bracts bearing four or five often-corbare glands. The fruit, pedicellated, is a capsule usually very rounded, smooth or grainy.

observe the details to identify the specific species

We searched the floras (books) to determine the exact name of the most present Euphorbia in this place. It is called Euphorbia graminifolia, a fine-leaved Spurge, with a red stem at flowering and almost more leaves. The most common in the gardens is also there, Euphorbia helioscopia or euphoria awakening-morning.

rigorous observation

The Euphorbia is part of the same family as the rubberized rubber latex, which grows mainly in the Amazon.

In 1935 in Minnesota, Carl Pfaender a farm worker is enthusiastic about the laticiferous potential of spurge esula, which produces a rubber of as good quality as those imported. Euphorbia is, at that time, considered in the United States as a poisonous and invasive plant to eradicate. Carl Pfaender is still in the manufacture of rubber. In 1941, under pressure from his neighbours, he was obliged to pay pesticides himself on several hectares of plants which he took care of as a future LaTeX crop. This is the end of his Euphorbia rubber adventure.

In 1942, in order to contribute to the war effort, botanists explored the possibility of producing rubber on American soil. Ross A Gorter, head of the biochemistry Division at the University of Minnesota, suggests that weed becomes a permanent crop in marginal and regeneration lands in Northern Minnesota and North Dakota. Scientists predict a yield of 170 to 220 kilos of rubber per hectare, which is considered a good yield. 

Three days later, the Minneapolis morning Tribune mixes the data and announces a figure of 150 to 198 “tons”, instead of kilo per hectare. Hundreds of farmers are offering their land to work and transform the Euphorbia. When we discover the modest reality of performance, this whole affair is immediately an insurmountable embarrassment and signs the end of the rush to the rubber Euphorbia.

Extract of guayule and other rubber plants from yesterday’s saga to the industry of tomorrow, by Mark R. Finlay

a large graminean, Pipterium milliaceum

There was also the mauve, which is no longer present, the leek of the vines…

Plants identified on the parcel:

Allium ampeloprasum the wild leeks, Euphorbia graminifolia (tenuifolia), Euphorbia helioscopia euphoria alarm clock, malva sylvestris la mauve, mercurialis Annua la mercuriale, betta maritima la chard Sauvage, pipterium milliaceum a great grass, Phragmites australis common Reed, verbasmula sinuatum sinuous-leaved mullein, Scabiosa la scabieuse, Diplotaxis erucoides white rocket, sonchus oleraceus Le perennial sow thistle market

The botanical explorations are walks that invite to make together the inventory of the flora of ForestA, and make this data accessible to all on the site TELA Botanica. To participate in other botanical explorations it is here

Wild leeks

Photos of Shéryl Debourg (Yes we camp) and Isabelle Dor