Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre

by Whispering Seed
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Our new training centre, ready for restoration!
Our new training centre, ready for restoration!

Dear Friends and Family, 

 

We trust you are all doing well and staying safe and healthy as we head into cold weather in many places around the world. 

 

As you may have read in our last report, it continues to be a challenging time here in Myanmar with the covid situation slowly easing up at the moment, but a political situation that does not provide much positive hope for the future. 

 

You also may remember that we are being forced out of the café where we have been for the last 3 years. We are very sad to be leaving this place. 

We fortunately have found a new place which, as usual needs a great deal of tender loving care! We have just been able to start cleaning the outside of the property. With a large garden space, several old fruit trees including guava, avocado, mango and pears we are excited to start to do our design work!

The inside of the building will also need much care, as the building has not been cared for or lived in for many, many years. Scrubbing, cleaning, painting and lots of design work, we hope to transform this old building into our new training centre in the next month! 

 

As the rains are slowing down and the cold winter weather approaches, we hope to be able to move into the building as soon as possible and start our project once again. With our aim to open around the new year, we are looking at all new programs and products to fit with the changing times here in Myanmar. 

 

We want to thank you all for your support, especially during these extremely challenging times we all face here in Myanmar. We look forward to a safer and healthier time when we may all meet each other face to face. We hope this time is not far off! 

 

Wishing you all a safe and healthy time!

Overgrown after many years of neglect.
Overgrown after many years of neglect.
After just a few days work, looking better.
After just a few days work, looking better.
A lovely garden and views into downtown Kalaw
A lovely garden and views into downtown Kalaw
Lot of space for designing the new training centre
Lot of space for designing the new training centre
Huge garden with potential for lots of design work
Huge garden with potential for lots of design work
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Sad to say goodbye and move to a new location
Sad to say goodbye and move to a new location

Dear Friends and Family,

We hope this finds you doing well and staying safe wherever you may be.

As many of you may know, the situation in Myanmar grows increasingly challenging with each month. Currently the entire country is being hit with a devastating 3rd wave of Covid 19. With shortages of oxygen and no vaccinations available it is spreading rapidly throughout all corners of the country.

Due to this current devastating situation along with the political instability for the last 6 months our trainings and projects here at Sprouting Seeds have been put on hold temporarily.

We have continued to work on the grounds around the café and also develop our future programs, but day to day operations and trainings have been forced to come to a halt. We are unsure as to when we will be able to restart the projects and programs through our training centre here in downtown Kalaw.

Sprouting Seeds Moving Locations Again
As many of you know, we had to move our location 2 and half years to our new location. As sad and difficult as it is, we have just been informed by the owner of our current buildings that he wants us to move out, they no longer want to rent the building for us to use as café, bakery and training centre.

After all of the work and energy we put into this new place just over 2 years ago, we now have to find a new place. To make matters even worse, we are having to move admist a major Covid 19 pandemic and in the middle of a huge political instability within the country.

We have roughly 4-5 months to find a new place and move our training centre which works as our café, bakery, eco-shop, yoga studio and organic gardens. We are deeply saddened with this news as we put so much energy into this new place expecting to be here for the long term. We will keep you posted on our progress of moving to the new training centre.

Herb Spiral
As with many things that we created here at our new location, we only will be able to enjoy the a little longer. We shared that during the 2nd Covid lockdown a few months ago, we made huge progress in the gardens here at Sprouting Seeds with a beautiful Her Spiral. 

The good news is that we turned one of the most neglected areas of the garden into a beautiful centre piece of the garden. We have been able to enjoy so many herbs, spices and veggies and wanted to share the images of it in full bloom.

As we begin our search for a new location for the training centre and start our packing of things once again, we also our spending our time and energy in village when permitted. 

As we continue stay under strict curfews and stay at home orders, we continue to put our energy and time into Whispering Earth Learning Centre, (Myanmar Youth Training Centre). We are still able to travel to the rural training site located outside of Kalaw to continue on developments of the project there. Although this is also extremely limited, we are still able to do some planning and development of the buildings, land and grounds of the 14 acre training centre. 

We hope for some political stability in the country soon as well as the easing of the spreading of Covid 19.  In the meantime we search for a new and better place to re-open our training centre, continue our work on the development of Whispering Earth and all of our programs serving the local communities. 

Wishing you warmest regards, 

Sprouting Seeds Family

The barren ground where we started our Herb Spiral
The barren ground where we started our Herb Spiral
Herb Spiral loaded with herbs and veggies
Herb Spiral loaded with herbs and veggies
Early monsoon flooding in the veggie gardens
Early monsoon flooding in the veggie gardens
Several basil varieties ready for pesto treats!
Several basil varieties ready for pesto treats!
Basil, lettuce, sage, oregano, thyme and more!
Basil, lettuce, sage, oregano, thyme and more!
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Beginning the herb spiral
Beginning the herb spiral

Dear Friends and Family,

We trust this message finds you doing well and in good health where ever you may be.

After one year of Covid 19 and all the restrictions it has brought with it, we now face new challenges here in Myanmar. As many of you know, the military has taken over the country over 1 and half months ago resulting in a very unstable situation and civil unrest. If you are unaware of the situation please check your international news in order to see the current political condition of the country. We pray for those brave youth that have lost their lives over the past month working to restore democracy to the country. We keep them and their families in our hearts.

Due to this situation, Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre, which was just ready to open has once again been forced to close. We continue to improve the grounds of the learning centre and café project but have chosen to focus our energy for the time being on our 2nd training centre located in the rural village 12 km outside of Kalaw, Whispering Earth Learning Centre (Myanmar Youth Training Centre).

As we continue to work on the physical space here at Sprouting Seeds we just completed our third Herb Spiral! A small garden bed using Permaculture principles to show better use of space and edges for urban agriculture. The area we focused on was a waste pile, typical in Asia, of old debris of rocks, broken bricks, wood and weeds. You can see the progression to our now sprouting Herb Spiral!

We planted the beds with a variety of basil and lettuce, coriander, spinach, passion fruit, papaya and kale. The coming months will bring an abundance of diversity to our new little garden area.

As mentioned above, we have chosen to spend most of our time outside of town, at Whispering Earth, as it is currently a safe location for us to stay and be during the days. We have completed our first treated bamboo house and are currently working on our first mud house and a new water system. Please see the next report for Whispering Earth Sustainability Training Centre.

We look forward to things settling down politically in the country in the near future. And with that, the containing of the spread of Covid so that we can carry on our programs for the youth here at Sprouting Seeds. In the meantime, we continue our work in supporting the people of Myanmar as best we can given the current situation.

Warmest regards from our family at Sprouting Seeds!

Cleaning up the mess!
Cleaning up the mess!
Finished herb spiral with seedlings coming up
Finished herb spiral with seedlings coming up
Waiting for it to turn green and lush!
Waiting for it to turn green and lush!
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Organic gardens are more colourful and growing!
Organic gardens are more colourful and growing!

Dear Friends and Family, 

We hope you are all doing well during these extremely challenging times. 

Closing Training Program and Café due to 2nd wave of Covid
As many of you know, we closed the café and the internship program back in the end of March due to the first round of COVID sweeping through Myanmar. We opened again in June and July, but only with very limited abilities, as international borders were still closed and domestic travel within Myanmar was still extremely limited. 

We took on 2 new local young girls into the training program at the café. During the 2 months that we were able to open we changed the way in which we were serving the local community. More take always and only working with bookings. 

Unfortunately, Myanmar has been hit extremely hard with the second wave of COVID and as a result the entire country is currently in lock down again. This means the café is closed and also means that the young girls that we work with through our internship program who come from remote villages are unable to come. This along with Myanmar elections to occur in November, there is a standstill here again and we are unsure how long it will last. 

New Ice Cream Parlor
We are excited to share that one of our new aims as result of the lock down in the country is to focus on our amazing ice creams as a new source of income generation. 

Slowly we are turning our bakery room into a bakery and ice cream parlor! We have created new ice cream flavors and are now offering banana split, ice cream sundaes and much more rich creamy desserts! 

Some of the flavors now include; Red Raspberry Swirl with Dark Chocolate, Chai Masala, Dark Chocolate Mousse, Coconut, Fresh Passion Fruit, Mango, Strawberry, Mint Chocolate Chip, Pink Dragon Fruit. Thai Tea, Lemon Yogurt and our famous Salted Caramel with Dark Chocolate Chips. All the ice creams are homemade here by the girls and made using local ingredients. 

With this second lockdown we continue to have time to work on the design and shaping of the new ice cream parlor as well as repairs and improvements throughout the entire project. 

Yoga Program
During the time we could open, we were excited to host 2 yoga retreats. We were able to open the café and the yoga studio to two large groups. It was so nice to have the café buzzing again with people, flowers, good food and the smell of fresh breads and sweets and of course many of our new ice cream flavors being tested! 

We are also excited to share that during that time, we met local Myanmar lady who has trained as a yoga instructor. Once things in the country begin to normalize again, we look forward to working with her and starting classes again. 

Organic Gardens
As we have been in lockdown for several months here in Kalaw, we spend our time working outdoors on the organic gardens at the café. We are pleased with the way things are progressing and hope when restaurants reopen, we will be able to sell some of our fresh herbs, edible flowers and salad greens to help support our work. 

We also have been trying our hand at making sun dried tomatoes in our handmade solar food dryer. We have had a huge success and have been able to add our own oregano, thyme, rosemary and basil which we have grown in the garden. 

GlobalGiving Project of the Month
We are excited to share that our other project on GlobalGiving was fortunate enough to win a place in the Project of the Month Club. Our Whispering Earth Training Centre was featured during the month of August as the project of the month. Along with this, we were allotted a set amount of funding coming through the program. We are able to share part of this funding also with Sprouting Seeds! What exciting news this has been!

We continue to search new ways of serving our local communities as we continue to grow and change with the new ways of living which we all have been forced into. We hope things will be able to open here in Myanmar in the near future and that we will be able to take another set of interns for the winter season with several holidays coming up! 

We wish safe wishes for everyone, stay healthy and safe!

Sprouting Seeds Family

Our new approach with family style menu
Our new approach with family style menu
Sun dried tomatoes, homegrown oregano thyme basil
Sun dried tomatoes, homegrown oregano thyme basil
Yummy banana splits and ice cream sundaes
Yummy banana splits and ice cream sundaes
New exciting ice cream flavours!
New exciting ice cream flavours!
A little color to brighten monsoon season
A little color to brighten monsoon season
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A trip out to viewpoint in the outskirts of Kalaw
A trip out to viewpoint in the outskirts of Kalaw

Dear Friends and Family, 

 

We hope that you all are doing well during this challenging time. Towards the middle of March it became clear that we needed to close the café and the training centre due to the Covid situation. We quickly sent all the girls living with us back to their villages in different parts of the country for their safety and prepared for stay at home. 

 

We have been in lock down mode here at the café for the last 3 months. The situation in Myanmar is still a bit confusing to know what is really happening, but it seems that things have settled down and are now somewhat under control.

 

Throughout the country, it seems everything is quickly opening again. We are still a bit concerned about the situation here, so are being a little more cautious. We continue to work on desiging our training program and working to shift some of our products to adjust to a quickly changing world!!

 

Here is a brief update from the last three months. 

 

A growing internship program

Prior to the covid outbreak, our training program was really beginning to pick up momentum. We already has 3 groups of young girls from monastic schools all over the country complete 3 months training. We had such a wonderful experience with the girls here living with us at the café and they were able to learn a great deal and bring the knowledge back to their communities.  

 

We are so thankful for our connection with the monastic schools network across the country and are so fortunate to be able to work with all the teachers. Each group brings so much knowledge and fun which they also share with us. It has been an incredible learning experience for all. 

 

We look forward to our next group of girls to start in the near future. 

 

Growing Organic Gardens

Over the last 3 months we found ourselves very fortunate to be locked down within the compound of the training centre. We had a lot of time for testing out new recipes and also have put a lot of time and energy into the garden. 

We are now growing many new veggies and just starting to harvest them. Some of our local grown organic goodies include; basil, tomatoes, rocket lettuce, red leaf and green leaf lettuce, spinach, oregano, thyme, rosemary, lemon balm, pineapple sage, red Russian kale, purple and red corn, butterfly peas flowers, winged beans!!!! We are so happy with how things are coming along here in the garden and hoping in the future we will also be able to sell some of the produce to local markets in the area. 

 

Additions to the family

We also had the fortunate pleasure of enjoying stay at home with 5 new puppies!! One of dogs, Lakota, gave birth to 5 squishy little monsters. We have found homes for all of them and 2 have decided to stay with us…Sweet Pea and Baloo!!!! They have also kept us busy during this challenging time and continue to make us laugh and smile each day! 

 

New Products

We are working on several new products to serve here at the café and new ways of engaging with the public. We are looking forward to the next few months and see how we grow!!

Thank you as always for your support and we look forward to sharing our news with you in the next few months!

Sprouting Seeds Family

Interns having a fun time in the kitchen
Interns having a fun time in the kitchen
Celebrating the ethnic diversity of the girls
Celebrating the ethnic diversity of the girls
Garden space is growing!
Garden space is growing!
Spinach and rocket leaf lettuce
Spinach and rocket leaf lettuce
Sweet Pea and Baloo sharing the love!
Sweet Pea and Baloo sharing the love!
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Organization Information

Whispering Seed

Location: Penn Valley, PA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
James Connor
Penn Valley, PA United States
$29,417 raised of $45,000 goal
 
646 donations
$15,583 to go
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