Can I Give Pineapple To My 1 Year Old Baby Life and Livelihood Among Rubber Trees

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Life and Livelihood Among Rubber Trees

In Kerala, in the tropical south of India, most rubber tree farms are very small – a typical farm is less than 20 acres. These are not rubber plantations with thousands of acres of land. Kerala-based Cocolatex supplies natural Dunlop to organic mattress retailers in the US

The rubber tree, or hevea brasiliensis, grows at higher elevations with good drainage and does not lend itself to mass cultivation. Farmers take great care in planting the trees to ensure their health. In more open areas, pineapples are planted between the rubber trees. In hilly areas, companion shrubs are added to shade the ground and maximize the water available to tree roots.

Rubber trees have three somewhat delicate “skins”. When tapping a tree by hand, it’s easy to cut too deep. The idea, which takes a lot of practice and skill, is to create a long, angled opening in the bark at a right angle. Although the farmers are kind to visitors and may even allow one to try the knife, one can feel their collective sigh when a hobbyist injures the bark. Fortunately, an experienced grower will quickly reshape the cut so the serum works properly. Cuts heal in about an hour.

Farmers start their day around 5 a.m. because the rubber sap flows more freely early in the morning. Walking from tree to tree in the shade, they finish the daily collection around noon. At its peak, each tree only produces one to two cups of serum per day. Older trees produce less and the latex flows more slowly towards the end of the tree’s annual cycle. Years ago and in some places still, farmers used halved coconut shells to collect serum. They combine the production of many trees one at a time in steel buckets, then pour the contents into sealed drums before being transported to the factory.

Farmers regularly replant their farms, setting up new seedlings. They treat the trees with great respect and care. During its first seven years, the saplings are left to grow strong and remain untapped. A tree can produce usable latex for up to 20 years, then it is cut down and sent to a mill to be turned into furniture. Rubberwood is one of the most durable woods and is growing in popularity in the United States. It is also widely used in local economies, such as in the manufacture of desks for Cocolatex.

The Cocolatex facility employs 80 skilled workers in various roles whose livelihoods depend on the remarkable utility of the rubber tree. They produce foam rubber daily by emptying drums into giant mixers or centrifuges, testing and correcting the liquid mixture, filling molds, steaming and washing finished layers, and inspecting final quality. leaves when dry. Finished sheets are double wrapped in plastic and puncture-proof material.

Just as the renewable serum produced by tapping a tree is made into many important types of products, the rubber industry itself provides livelihoods and comfort to many people and their families.

While the deep interdependence of humans and trees often goes unnoticed, the majestic rubber tree is one of the most sustainable, renewable and reliable resources for human manufacturing.

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