Planta Madre is a group committed the conservation, cultivation, replanting of cactus and medicinal plants in the Bernal area of the state of Querétaro. The work in the protected area of the Peña de Bernal and have a large production greenhouse in San Antonio de la Cal. The group has been in existence for 6-7 years and is really doing great work. They fund themselves through plant sales. Sarah was introduced to the woman who started the group, and we were invited to visit this past weekend. We’re hoping to start collaborating with them  in whatever ways we can, most likely initially by building them a website and photographing all their cactus species for a catalog. I’m excited to work with them, and not just because of their proximity to the climbing at Bernal. Sarah and I took our climbing gear to the visit, but we didn’t even end up climbing after our visit because it has been just such a satisfying day. Nothing like taking the gear for a walk. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we have a website up and running for them, and I will certainly post the link when it is ready.

In addition to a tour of their greenhouse, we had a walking tour of the local area. It is amazing what you can learn to see with a good guide. Knowing what to look for is always the trick, and there was no exception even in the semi-desert environment. The variety of cacti and learning to spot the young cacti as they are barely above ground was eye-opening. The final thing that I can say is something that I try to adhere to but that was driven home on this hike: Stay On The Path! Don’t go trampling if you can help it. You are stepping on baby cacti.

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