We want to show that even under difficult conditions it is possible to run a fair, ecologically and economically healthy business.
IDEA AND MOTIVATION
In 2018, four people no longer felt like listening to the same bad news. Instead, we wanted to act within our means and set an example. Or, to put it as emotionally as it is banal: to do something to preserve the world for our children and grandchildren.
So we want to do something and build something in many ways: we want to turn brownfield into a living agroforest, dead soil into living earth. The project is also intended as an exemplary measure against rural drift in southern Senegal, streams of refugees, environmental destruction through conventional agriculture and as an alternative to the prevailing fast money rush.
We want to contribute to safe food supply, education, awareness, respect for people, animals and the environment. We also hope to point out perspectives for the locals.
HOW IT STARTED
We purchased the first two hectares of land in mid-2018 (located here), fenced and equipped with an access gate. Before the rainy season of 2019, the first half hectare was converted into flower beds and a borehole was drilled by hand. With the beginning of the rainy season the first plantations were made and the irrigation system was installed. In addition, the first house for security staff, employees and material has been built.
In 2020 the plantation continued and the first harvest of bananas and papayas was brought in. A workshop was held and a "Tolou Keur" reference garden installed.
Currently, we are in negotiations to purchase more land in the neighbourhood.
Please keep yourself updated in our "news section".
The initiators of the project have successfully implemented several projects in West Africa over the past 15 years. We have become acquainted with the country and its people and thus also with the problems there. We are driven by the realization of our own responsibility in the global whole, a deep ecological awareness and the unconditional will for change.
Miguel has lived in Senegal for many years and is in charge of several permaculture projects. He supervises the agricultural activities and trains our employees.
Andreas has also lived in Senegal for many years and has a broad network of contacts in technical cooperation and agriculture. Among other, he is responsible for technical and legal aspects of the project.
Everywhere in the world, Jens feels at home. He's our "North-South link", promoting cooperations with similar projects in Berlin and Senegal. He is also trainer and permaculture-designer, and helps organizing import and distribution.
Heading the Berlin office, Markus coordinates the project activities together with Jens and organizes distribution. He is also responsible for finances and public relations of the project.
AT THE SITE
Partners and Cooperation
The "Tolou Keur" programme is initiated and supported by various institutions of the Senegalese government and several local partners. The idea is to establish a large number of mixed (forest) gardens (at least one per village) in order to strengthen food sovereignty and security for the rural population, adapted to local cultural conditions. Thus, healthy food grows in sustainable agriculture, new jobs are created and the village community is strengthened.
At the end of 2020, one of the first "Tolou Keur" in Senegal was created on our PermaFoodForest site as part of a large workshop. Meanwhile, Miguel and Frieda are trained coaches for the programme. We are proud to be part of this ambitious programme, which is very much in line with our focus and goals.
Each new garden is implemented for 10 days with a larger group of trainers and learners and is accompanied intensively. In the course of the programme, a versatile garden for fruit, vegetables and medicinal plants is created, including a small chicken farm. After completing their own training, 10 people each organise a further training for others and plant a new garden - in this way, a large number of new gardens are created in a relatively short time. So the project has enormous potential and great momentum.
Three people from the workshop held at our farm have found permanent work with us. They look after our "Tolou Keur" and the rest of the cultivated area, receive further training and already generate their income by selling the harvest. You can find out more about the program here.
Sarsarale e.V. is a NGO which is active in the Casamancen since more than 10 years. It runs a project garden in Kafuountine dedicated to helth, education and sustainability. Sarsarale will support our PermaFoodForest by giving workshop and trainings.
The Waldgartenprojekt is a partner project in Germany. Close to Berlin, an agroforest is growing and will give an example for regenerative agriculture and community supported agriculture. We will share our experiences and results with each other.