On our desert farm in Wahat El-Bahareyya, we are currently reclaiming several hundreds of hectares of desert land through sustainable agriculture and supported by a crowdfunding campaign. Here is the latest update.
There is quite some construction going on in the desert in Wahat! After the so-called “mountain house” was completely finished and furnished at the end of last year, various construction works are currently underway to create more space for living and working on the Wahat Farm. Three small houses, located next to pivots have been upgraded with more space as well as water and electricity for living. The new cafeteria, also built of rammed earth, is already in place and the morning circle now takes place in front of it every day. Many of the staff must have been very cold during the ceremony this winter, because the cold season was and is particularly hard this time: Hoarfrost, hail and lots of rain were recorded in the western desert.
In the meantime, also the drying area for herbs offers more space now; its size has been doubled from approx. 8,000 square metres to approx. 16,000 square metres. In addition, a wall was built to protect the drying area from road dust. Among other things, hibiscus flowers are dried there – the last harvest on the former desert land was very good. Hibiscus tea hot or cold, called Karkadé in Egypt, is a very famous drink. In addition to hibiscus, chamomile, peppermint, thyme, marjoram, and lemongrass are also handled in the drying houses.
Growth did also take place in the solar power plants and among the trees: six new photovoltaic plants have been put into operation and the “Western Forest” did increase by 40,000 new trees. Besides, the composting site was put into operation last August and has already produced 4000 tons of compost, which is used for winter cultivation. Another 3000 tons are currently in the making.
A special valuable new feature for the people is a recreation area, where they can rest, relax and exchange ideas or even watch a film on the screen. Cinema feeling in the middle of the desert! And another highlight for the Wahat community was the installation of an oven on the farm – now they can bake their own bread!
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