MyFarm Weekly 26/11/2021

MyFarm school trip

Welcome to MyFarm weekly. This is the place you will find anything and everything we have been up to here at the farm.


This week MyFarm was full of excitement, learning, and happiness. Just the way we like it! After almost a year and a half without normal operations, the farm is beginning to get back to normal.

School trip season is the favourite time of the year for the staff. They love it! Why? They feed off educational energy, and love sharing the skills and knowledge they have with as many young Gambians as they can. Last week we had 3 schools visit the farm, and over 300 students wandering around the farm.

All the schools engaged in activities around the farm…soap production, transplanting, animal care and observations, solar cake baking, and of course time in the Learning Labs were all on the agenda. Everyone who comes to MyFarm should learn something, and that is exactly what happened.

The Learning Labs at MyFarm have been full of students all week, some coning for the first time, and others who have been learning in them for years. No matter what a student’s level, the Learning Labs will help them learn at their own pace by them exploring and playing. Learning Labs are now all around the world and we test, trial, and improve the concept right here at MyFarm. That means that our Learning Labs should be an example for the world! So… the education team rolled up their sleeves, took responsibility for the labs, and decided to replenish them. After a thorough clean, a good lick of paint, and some fresh new materials the labs are looking brand new again. Well done education team 🙂

We believe Learning Labs have cracked a code within education, and we will help develop these for years to come. The benefit they can have to people’s lives is huge, all you need to see is the children at MyFarm and you will understand! Helping Learning Labs spread further around the world is key to their success, so last week we held a specialised training program in Niger to get them ready to set up even more labs in the country.


New Residents At MyFarm


Last week we welcomed two new residents to the farm…Kotu and Penny the tortoises. And our new employee of the month, Alieu, carried on his great work and built Kotu the perfect new home. Come and visit to see this little cutie.

The growing season has officially begun. The garden team has been super busy planting nurseries around the farm, and we now have little seedlings everywhere, already it is the most diverse range of crops we have ever attempted!


Special Training At MyFarm

This week the garden team were treated to a special training by one of Gambia’s best and most knowledgable herbalists. This training is an ongoing project to help improve the knoewldge of our team at the farm,,, and they loved it! The training focused on learning all the uses and finding herbs and plants already at the farm that we are not currently utilizing. The team now have a much greater understanding of everything at the farm, and have also been taught shedulling skills, and are now working on their own special project to share that knowledge to everyone who comes to MyFarm


Well done to the whole MyFarm team. It is so great to have the place looking and feeling so amazing again 🙂


MyFarm Weekly 24/10/2021

Environmental cooperation is key

Welcome to MyFarm weekly. This is the place you will find anything and everything we have been up to here at the farm.


Wow…what a week we have had at the farm.

The Learning Labs have been jam-packed all week with children exploring, playing, and learning. We have rekindled the relationship with the local school and now use of the Learning Labs is in their timetable… Fantastic news for us, and more importantly the children. We are now seeing feedback from all over the world that children who attend Learning Labs on a regular basis have far better grades than those who don’t. Now the children at Nema Kunku school can build the foundations for learning right here at MyFarm.

We are now working closely with the ministry of education in The Gambia to try and make sure that the 30 Learning Labs across the country are operating at the same standard as ours at the farm. We are busy planning trips around Gambia and coordinating with facilitators to give them the training they need to make the labs the educational wonder that they are.

The new volunteers have settled in nicely and are already part of our family! They have been challenged to organize educational activities outside of the labs during the children’s break time. This has combined our innovative Learning Labs with the other departments at MyFarm perfectly, something we have always wanted. This week the children engaged in eco bricking, biodegradable wast timeline, and helping the garden team create the nurseries for the growing season. It’s all just falling into place 🙂


Environmental Cooperation Is Key


This week has also been a week of environmental cooperation and sharing of skills and knowledge. MyFarm has worked closely with Growing Green Communities to help them on their mission to connect, empower, and inspire environmentalists within the country. We helped them organize and run their 3rd eco event of the year. This month’s theme was ocean conservation and saw workshops and talks around the subject, in the beautiful beachside location Leybato Beach Hotel. It was a fantastic day for everyone who attended. Eco-friendly vendors, including a stall for us, were dotted around the palm trees facing the sea, the perfect setting to get people talking and thinking about improving the state of the marine ecosystem within the country.

Isatou, our head of processing had an extremely busy day. She was selling on the stall all day and did 2 incredible soap-making workshops that the guests absolutely loved. Gambia Ocean Hero’s and their team of volunteers crowded around Isatou, all desperate to learn her secrets to soap production… all were given a sea salt soap we had made in advance.


Thank you Growing Green Communities for inspiring change in Gambia. All the environmentalists left with a new energy to carry on their respected environmental fights.


In The Garden

Thanks to some very generous donations, this year we are planning our most diverse range of crops ever! The garden team has been super busy preparing nurseries around the farm, ready for transplanting in a few week’s time. The first seedlings are already starting to emerge for our tomatoes, cucumber, radishes, cabbage, and lettuce. Watching them grow will be almost as fulfilling as eating them in a few month’s time.

Now the rains have virtually stopped the garden team is back to watering. On such a big farm this can often be the main task for the day. So the boys are now developing systems to make this easier on the whole team.

The garden team had a little secret project last week, that they were so excited to show the team. They spent their breaks crafting an amazing new piece of furniture. Made entirely out of fallen palm branches, the chair they create is awesome, and the whole team will enjoy chilling on it very soon.


Fantastic week from everyone at MyFarm. Well done team.

The processing team has also had a very busy week this week. They were preparing all their stock for the Growing A Green Gambia event mentioned above. And their stall looked fantastic, the best at the event :). On the stall, we had a selection of everything, including the last of this year’s delicious Mango Jam, which sold out within the hour 🙂


MyFarm Weekly 18/10/2021

Welcome to MyFarm weekly. This is the place you will find anything and everything we have been up to here at the farm.


The women in Gambia are strong, powerful, resourceful, smart and capable, and deserve to be and feel empowered. We celebrated them in an inspiring and empowering event

This week we welcomed our very first in house volunteers since the beginning of the covid pandemic. Exciting times. We rely heavily on volunteers to be able to push some of our projects froward, and we are so happy that things are beginning, after nearly 2 years to start feeling more normal. The 2 volunteers are young, and extremely passionate about helping out at the farm, and both have such a willingness to learn 🙂

The volunteers are both young, strong, confident women, and before they cam out to Gambia, they suggested that they would love to create an event focused on women’s empowerment to celebrate the International Day Of The Girl Child (11th Oct). So thats exactly what we did.

On Friday we held the most empowering, the most inspiring, and the most thought provoking day MyFarm has every witnessed. The day was all about inspiring the next generation of women in The Gambia. At the end of the day we wanted them to dare to try, dare to fail, and most importantly, dare to dream. That’s exactly what we achieved, and we are proud of every single woman who came. Read the full story about the day here.


Education


In education this week, the whole team has really stood up, they are working so much better with the kids, and in turn the kids are so much more engaged. Attendance has been high, and the children are really working through the games, apps, and stations to learn as much as they can.

Did you know that in Gambia over 30 schools use the Learning Lab concept? It is now becoming obvious that those children who have been using the labs for some time have far better grades than those that don’t. It is now our responsibility to make sure that these labs are maintained, and operate to the same level as the labs at MyFarm. We have been hard at work training ourselves, and figuring out systems that can ensure every single lab works the same, no matter where it is. We believe that our Learning Labs are the educational solution the world needs, and we will work tirelessly to get them operational in as many parts of the world as possible…that all starts right here at MyFarm


In The Garden

The garden team have had a fantastic week. They have been busy all around the farm preparing our beds for sowing seeds this coming week. This year we are aiming for as much diversity in our veggies as possible, and have received kind donations from many sources to test new crops at MyFarm. Karamo and Saidou deserve a shout out here. They have built the volunteers there very own sitting area next to the volunteers house. The whole build was using only materials found at the farm too 🙂


Get Ready For Gambia’s Greenest Event


Next week we are helping Growing Green Communities in their mission to connect and empower the environmental organisations in The Gambia. We will be helping them to organise and run Gambia’s 3rd eco event, this months theme is ocean conservation and will be help at Leybato beach hotel. Isatou and the rest of the processing team have been doing ups with ocean themed beauty products to sell at the event, and we have been preparing some great ocean themed workshops too. We can’t wait for this event, so if you are in Gambia, make sure you come down and enjoy a day for the whole family.

Find out more at www.growing-green-communities.org



A Day To Inspire & Empower The Next Generation Of Gambian Women

Today (15th Oct) we celebrated International Day Of The Girl Child with a special program to inspire and empower some of the women of The Gambia.


All women are strong, all women are capable, and all women are beautiful, and we wanted to show that anything is possible, we want them to dare to try, dare to fail, and dare to follow their dreams. For the event the MyFarm girls have been thinking about what it means to be a women in The Gambia, and created empowering posters to decorate the farm with.

Isatou Ceesay, the queen of plastic recycling in The Gambia, and founder of the Women’s Initiative kicked off the program with her incredible story. She comes from a poor background in rural Gambia, overcoming community and parental pressures to start the Women’s Initiative. 20 years on, she has empowered and supported women across the whole country, teaching them the skills to recycle plastic, and providing them with financial support to ensure they will be financially independent for years to come.


Her story inspired all who were in attendance, the MyFarm children, the invited women and men, and the acting American ambassador Marissa Scott, whose speech would follow Isatou’s. In Isatou’s own words, “If I, coming from my background can do the things that I have done, then there is nothing that anyone here can not do”.

Marissa Scott then took to the stage, and the two queens, from very different backgrounds, shared the stage as if they had done many times before. Her speech was insightful and thought-provoking, she told her story of the challenges of being a woman in a high-powered position in the American government. Her passionate plea for women to work together taught the women in attendance the importance of cooperation, we believe they will now stand together because now they know “together they are stronger”.

Then we had the amazing Mariama and her band play some melodic traditional music for everyone to enjoy. Everyone was mesmerized by the first sound that came from her mouth, her voice was truly incredible. The whole of MyFarm then stopped what they were doing and gathered for her performance and every single girl and woman danced as one! An empowering moment that will forever be remembered at the farm.


A Day To Inspire


Jankie Jassey from the Fandema organization told us her amazing story of her day-to-day work during her pregnancy. Even at 7 months, she was up on roofs fixing solar panels in the scorching heat. Now that’s hard work. Fandema has been empowering women to become solar engineers and provides them with schooling and support throughout the process. We’re big fans.

Website: http://www.m-bolo.org/en/

A delicious lunch followed cooked by the MyFarm team. Sally, Suna, and Isatou Jallow made one of the best Benechin’s anyone has ever tasted :).

Fun and educational workshops closed out a fantastic day with body butter making by our very own Ramatoulie proving the most popular. The Women’s Initiative also showed off their skills in making jewellery from recycled plastic. The MyFarm team and students loved watching this…learning something new is in their DNA


A Day To Empower

Our aim for this day was to inspire and connect the next generation of young girls in The Gambia… in the end, this day was so much more. We will now be working closely with more women empowerment groups and organizations to bring more days like this, and inspire even more young women to follow their dreams.

Thank you to all who helped make this even happen, and thank you to all who came.



“Wonderful, I Feel like this was the BEST interaction I have ever had. Everyone learned something from one another, we have to use this momentum and make sure this happens again soon”, Isatou Ceesay, Women’s Initiative 👍🏾


“This day has just been amazing, I feel proud to be a Gambian woman”, Adama, Fandema Organisation 🥰


“Today inspired me to wake up and follow my dreams”, Ancha, MyFarm Trainee 😁


“I was inspired by the Womens initiative’s project, how they are making things out of recycled materials is great. The singer was amazing. Today has taught me to treat women equally, they are amazing!” Abdoulie MyFarm


“I have been training women how to make soap and start their businesses for years now, I just never truly believed I could do it…now I do” Ramatoulie, MyFarm


“I travelled all the way from Basse to come to this event. As soon as I heard the caused, i simply could not say no”, Mariama Cham, Singer


MyFarm Weekly 10/10/2021

Welcome to MyFarm weekly. This is the place you will find anything and everything we have been up to here at the farm.


The women in Gambia are strong, powerful, resourceful, smart and capable, and deserve to be and feel empowered. We are organising a day that will showcase empowered women throughout the Gambia and inspire the next generation to follow their dreams.

Inspiring people to be the best that they can be is what MyFarm is all about. Tomorrow (Monday 11th October) is International girls day. While it is unfeasible for everyone to gather together on Monday, we have arranged Friday to be a day full of workshops, activities and speeches, and even a documentary film all designed to showcase amazing things women in this country do. We have partnered with the Women’s Initiative Gambia to help us facilitate this inspiring day. Workshops on the day will include, soap production ran by the MyFarm processing team, recycled jewellery making and rubber tyre recycling ran by Isatou Ceesay from the Women’s Initiative, and several garden activities ran by the MyFarm garden team.


We want as many children as possible to come and learn at MyFarm, our Learning Lab concept is now being proven all over the world to be more effective than standard education…It is our mission to make sure the children of Gambia, and the world benefit from this. This week in education, this has been our focus. We have been holding meetings with the local schools and encouraging students to come and be a part of the learning process. Its worked!!! Attendance in our labs more than doubled throughout the week and we are aiming for even more in the coming weeks.

Did you know that in Gambia, over 30 schools have now adopted the Learning Labs as part of their curriculum. Schools who have are seeing much better grades than those who haven’t! We have started the process of planning visits to all of these schools to make sure they are using the Labs correctly, and to give our expert training and top up their facilitators skills.

Elsewhere in eduction, we have been working on integrating garden activities into our education. The aim here is to give children knowledge about their environment and show how things in Gambia relate to the wider world! The children this week were led by Ousman in a very wormy activity. They helped replenish our on site worm farm and learned all about the importance of these little invertebrates to our garden and agriculture in general. The children also enjoyed planting some avocado seeds throughout the farm. Each child was given a seed and it is their responsibility to help it grow…


In The Garden


We have had a truly fantastic week in the garden this week. Saidou, our resident local building expert has been all over the farm making things to improve the farm. As always we use only materials found at MyFarm. Saidou and the team turned the foundations of an old and knocked down building into a wonderful space for visitors and children alike. The concrete foundations now have a beautiful local archways over it and in time flowers will grow over the whole thing. We will use this space as a teaching area for the kids and a beautiful sitting area for visitors.

Our practice permaculture training continued this week and Alieu and Ousman taught the trainees how to make biochar, sustainable biochar by the way. We normally make biochar using specialised drums, to limit the oxygen supply to the burning wood. This time, to relate to the trainees that we will be training in the future we decided to try it the local way. This involved piling dried wood for burning and over the top of that covering it with fresh green garden waste, then covering the whole thing with dam soil from around the farm. This would burn for 3 whole days before it was ready, and came out the perfect biochar to use in the garden. The trainees loved this technique and we will be using it again for sure.


In Processing

Permaculture is everything you do in your system. This includes improving your soil, testing and trialling new techniques, and also (like some people forget) your yield, and yield is not limited to just what you grow, it is also what you produced. That means that our processing team have to get involved with the training too. Isatou delivered 2 amazing trainings for the participants. She led them in detail soap making, and body butter making. The trainees found this just fascinating and are looking forward to testing their own products in the future.


Every Week gets Better & Better


Every week seems to be getting better and better at the farm. We really are in the process of realising our mission which is to “improve livelihoods in Africa and around the world, through education in agricultural innovation, environmental protection, entrepreneurship, and new innovative learning methods for basic literacy, numeracy, logic and concepts.”



MyFarm Weekly 02/10/2021

Welcome to MyFarm weekly. This is the place you will find anything and everything we have been up to here at the farm.


Congratulations To Our Employee Of The Month…Karamo

The week started with a day full of fun and community engagement at the beach. It was international coastal clean up day, so we took some of our team and loads of the MyFarm students down to Bijilo to heWe will start off with probably the most popular employee of the month we will ever have. Karamo really is a star that shines his light over the whole team. His hard work. Dedication and all around positive spirit lifts everyone, everyday…well done Karamo.


A Huge Thank You To Books For Gambia

This week we had brilliant news in education. Books For Gambia has packaged and shipped over 1000 books to us, this will help the children who come to MyFarm for years to come. We plan on extending our library, and organising community book swaps for the surrounding area. Thank you so much to the team at Books For Gambia for their kind donation.

Elsewhere in education everything, and we mean everything is improving. The facilitators are really engaging the kids more, the children are working through their app books and are excited to be learning everyday.

This week we have been working with Leap Learning to help find a way to build Learning Labs all over the world. We are working on a competition that will give away labs to communities who need/deserve it. Want to help us build foundations for a better future all over the world? Then get in contact on www.leaplearning.com


In The Garden


The garden team have been super busy this week preparing for the imminent arrival of our volunteers and the fast approaching growing season. They worked so hard on Wednesday to clean up the entire volunteers area, even making a raised bed just for the volunteers to try and grow their own veg too :). Saidou, Alieu and Karamo have been especially busy with the prep…making the whole farm look beautiful with a few extra local archways and flower propagation all over the farm.

Abdoulie and Ousman have done a brilliant job this week. Their permaculture training turned a bunch of desk jockeys into gardeners. It was so cool to watch the passion and excitement coming from the trainees months about how much they now loved gardening. We focused on soil health this week and did skills on composting, raised bed making, keyhole gardening, propagation, food forests, and complimentary plants. This training will be amazing 🙂


In Processing

The processing team also had a nice day out this week. We visited loads of unique and wonderful shops across the country to see if any of them In processing, its been a hectic week getting large orders made and delivered to various shops around Gambia. The famous Timbooktu was the largest order, so if you are in Fajara, go on down to the best book shop in Gambia, grab a coffee and check out our amazing products, we have a bit of everything there now. Isatou has been doing some presentation training ready for her soap production test training next week. Isatou did fantastic and we cannot wait to see her new style.


We Are One Happy Family Right Now


Team spirit at the farm is sky high! Everyone is working as a unit, and we love that. This week we had to clean and clear the front of the farm before the dry season. And for the first time ever, it only took one day…Every single person helped out and we got the job done 🙂

We also had a staff and student football match. Drawing 1-1 with the local team. Well done everyone



Beach Cleaning Is Fun And Good For The Soul

We ended the week with a good old fashion beach clean. We work with Growing Green Communities every 2 weeks to help clean up the beaches of Gambia. The MyFarm children love coming and spending the morning cleaning up the beach. This week we had so many volunteers we almost filled up the whole skip 🙂

MyFarm Weekly 24/09/2021

Welcome to MyFarm weekly. This is the place you will find anything and everything we have been up to here at the farm.


Beach Cleaning Is Fun & Good For The Soul

The week started with a day full of fun and community engagement at the beach. It was international coastal clean up day, so we took some of our team and loads of the MyFarm students down to Bijilo to help out Gambia Ocean Hero’s and clean up the beach. We are proud to have been just one of thousands of teams around the world trying to be part of the solution…not the pollution.


A Education Trip To The Snake Farm

Snake’s and reptiles are often misrepresented in The Gambia, locals are usually scared of them and will often kill them on site. We don’t want this, we want our team to be in the know, and learn what to do if a snake is stumbled upon, which can happen at the farm. So we enlisted the help of the amazing team at the Snake & Reptile Farm in Kartong. They happily gave us a fantastic day of learning all about these beautiful creatures and now our team know exactly what to do.


In The Garden


The garden team are always busy, no matter what time of year it is. This week they have continued their weeding mission throughout the farm, and have been working to prepare the site for the fast approaching dry season. They’ve also renovated our worm farm, which will be act as a nursery for all those important little invertebrates.


Sales Practice With Processing team

And Ice Cream 🙂

The processing team also had a nice day out this week. We visited loads of unique and wonderful shops across the country to see if any of them wanted to stock our range of organic beauty products. It was a day of training too and Isatou & Mariama rose to the challenge :). Elsewhere in the team Saidou and Ramatoulie have been busy harvesting and drying loads of Lemongrass & Moringa ready for processing next week.


“An Educational Journey From Seed To Business…For EVERYONE”


MyFarm is supposed to be a learning experience for everyone who visits. So we have been super busy making bamboo sign boards all over the farm. These inform visitors all about the incredible things we do here, and the unique properties of the plants and behaviours of animals on site. All these were made with bamboo grown at the farm of course 🙂



Lastly,,,Happy Birthday To Yerro, our day security guard and one of the nicest members of the team 🙂

Quiet for MyFarm standards :):):)