Now, a few months after the launch of our campaign, we have closed the last link in the chain and the construction of our solar system is complete. With that being done, our first system is finished as planned. 50 feddan of former egyptian desert are now irrigated using solar energy! On this occasion we want to take you on a small journey and show you how it all actually looks like on site and how our system works.
In the meantime, we have already started the construction work on our second pivot. From October onwards, we will be able to take up our work on the second 50 feddan of desert land, where, in a short while, soothing chamomile will start blooming.
But our agricultural project is only part of the whole. The core of our project is about sustainable community development and individual potential unfolding. Meanwhile, our core program has started on our farm in Wahat. SEKEM’s art educators visit our farm repeatedly and offer painting classes, eurythmy as well as several other art courses and educational activities for our employees. At the same time, we are creating new living space on our farm – so that even more enthusiastic people are able to join our community project.
Become part of the project and green the desert with us!
Two and a half months after the start of our cultivation, we started haarvesting our new peppermint fields for the first time. The result was 6 tons of fresh peppermint from the 20 acres that we planted in May. After a few days of drying, the 6 tons will shrink down to 1 ton of dry peppermint and can be poured as delicious tea. Eventhough we are happy about our first harvest, the yield itself was not the main reason for harvesting. Rather, trimming the plants in this early stage, stimulates root growth which will increase their resilience and leads to a highter cultivation density and thereby to higher yields in the future.
We expect the first big peppermint harvest for the begining of september and a total yield of more than 2 tons per acre in the first year. The other half of the pivot, which is planted with peanuts will be harvested in October.
We want to thank all of our contributors again for making this happen!
Next week we will show you how our finished system, including our new solar-system looks like.
Furthermore we are currently digging our new well for the second Pivot. We will begin with opperating the second Pivot in September on which we start our cultivation with camomile.
Art and culture in the desert
In addition to the first successful harvest on former desert soil, we have already made some efforts to promote the community building and development of employees in the rough area. The about 50 co-workers of the SEKEM Farm in Wahat El-Bahareya have recently had frequent visits from art educators from Heliopolis University. Together, they painted, did eurythmy and even juggled. In the months before, there were already music workshops and information courses on the subject of plastic. Starting in September, these courses will be held even more regular and become an integral part of the life of the staff at SEKEM Farm in Wahat el-Bahareyya.
It’s Getting Greener and Greener – Update on the “Greening the Desert Campaign”
All the efforts that have been put in our project to green 63 hectares of desert land show first results. A few weeks after we started planting the first seeds we now look over our land that is now getting green. A scent of mint is filling the air, which makes us realise how much the landscape around
us changed within a short time. We want to thank everybody who helped us coming this far after such a short time!
We could already raise more than 204 000 €, bought and build up the first pivot irrigation system, planted the first seeds and now see the very first peppermint plants growing.
The solar-panels arrived a few weeks after planned, but now that they are there, we will be able to finish the installation of the solar-system.
We are starting to plant not only 10.000 trees as promised, but 12.000 trees around the cultivated area.
Join our campaign and help us to reclaim more parts of the Egyptian desert!
In this update we have two reasons to celebrate. We achieved 50 % of our initial goal of raising 400.000 Euros and the cultivation started.
50 % done – 50 % to go
We are happy to announce that the first Pivot is running and the cultivation of the first 21 hectares started.
Thanks to our numerous supporters we were able to raise already 200.000 Euro in the past few weeks. We are very grateful that so many people were delighted by our project and decided to join our campaign. You want to support our campaign as well!
In order to do that we brought more than 1000 tons of compost to our farm in Bahariyya and started to plant spearmint on the first half of the pivot. In the coming days we will finish the first cultivation of the newly reclaimed land by planting peanuts on the remaining 10 hectares.
What happens next?
Our next big step is to install the solar-panels for the first pivot. Currently we are preparing the sight by building the foundation for the solar panels and by the end of the month we will start to install the solar system.
Schon wenige Wochen nach dem Start kann sich SEKEM mit guten Nachrichten zurückmelden! Dank der zahlreichen Menschen die das Projekt bereits unterstützen konnten schon mehr als 170.000 Euro eingesammelt werden. Das bedeutet 43 % des Gesamtziels sind bereits erreicht und der Aufbau des ersten Bewässerungssystems kann beginnen. SEKEM spricht allen Unterstützern größten Dank aus!
In unserem nächsten Update melden wir uns von unserer Farm, wo der Startschuss bereits ertönt ist und die ersten Arbeiten zum Aufbau begonnen haben.