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Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre

by Whispering Seed
Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre
Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre
Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre
Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre
Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre
Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre
Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre
Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre
Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre
Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre
Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre
Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre
Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre
Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre
Long road coming into farm needs more work
Long road coming into farm needs more work

5thReport for Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre

Dear Friends and Family, 

We hope this finds you all well. We have been so busy here in Kalaw with the move of our home and Sprouting Seeds Training Centre, Café, Bakery and Eco Shop. As you may know, sold the house we lived and run the project out of. Unfortunately, it took a very, very long time with lots of challenges to find a new place. We have spent the last few months making the transition and fixing the new building and property. 

Due to this our forced move from our home and training centre in town, all of our energy has gone into this. Our work on the development of Whispering Earth Training Centre out in the village has still continued but we have not been able to move forward as quickly as we had hoped. 

Forest Fire Burns the Farm
A few weeks back, we had a call that there were many forest fires in the local area around the farm. This year in Kalaw and surrounding areas have been the hottest and driest ever! This combined with the local practice of burning underbrush in the middle of dry season causes horrible forest fires. The nights are filled with glowing fires in the surrounding mountains. 

Unfortunately, the neighbors were burning their fields while strong winds and the fire spread into our farm. The fire burned the majority of the land, but the villagers were able to help and stop the fire from burning the top half of the land and the main bamboo house. 

This has been a huge setback for us. Along with all of the energy spent on the move to the new café space and continued work on making it look nice, now we also have so much work at the farm. 

The majority of large trees were not burned and some of the young trees that were just getting established also survived. However, many of the trees we planted during last rainy season were destroyed. 

 It has been a lot to deal with and now we work to set up the water system and continue to clean the property in order to prevent any further burning. We also continue to work on the nursery so  we are ready to plant as soon as the first rains start to fall in the next month. 

We are just so happy that no one was injured during the fires and we are working hard to re-green the space as soon as possible. 

Nursery & Living Fence
We continue work on the development of the nursery here in town at the café project. Once the rains begin we will transport all the young trees out to the farm. We also have been working on the living fence at the farm.  We  have planting several species of plants along the border of the property in order to create a barrier to help keep out neighboring water buffalo. 

The plants started almost a year ago are already taking root and with the coming rainy season we are hoping for them to really take off and cover some of the exposed areas around the border of the property. 

Continued Road Work
We have continued road work on the at the farm to allow easier access into the farm during rainy season. With a little more work and a truck load of gravel we should be able to enter into the farm much easier over the next 8 months of monsoon season. 

We are so thankful for all of your support for our work in the development of the new farm and Whispering Earth Sustainability Training Centre.  We are excited to share the news as we progress into the rainy season over the next few months!

Warmly, 

Whispering Earth Team 

Young nursery trees waiting for transplant in rain
Young nursery trees waiting for transplant in rain
Forest fire burns a large area of farm
Forest fire burns a large area of farm
Dry season forest fires burn parts of farm
Dry season forest fires burn parts of farm
Young edible borage flower plants getting ready
Young edible borage flower plants getting ready
Road work continues in prep for rainy season
Road work continues in prep for rainy season
Site of the first welcome lodge at the farm
Site of the first welcome lodge at the farm

4thReport for Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre

 Dear Friends and Family, 

The cold season has arrived here in Kalaw and even colder out at the new training centre in Sha Bin village 1,500 metres!! We made it through our first rainy season and now trying to keep stay warm as we wait for the hot season over the next few months. 

As some of you may know, our main project in Kalaw, Sprouting Seeds Café, Bakery and Eco Shop Training Center has to move to a new location. The building which housed the project and also our family has sold and we have been given 2 months to move out. This is our biggest priority at the moment as it is directly linked to the farm and all of our work with Whispering Earth. 

Although we are focusing our energy for the next month and half on the move of the café and home, we are still very excited about the progress we are making out at the farm. 

We are working with local villagers and have the 4-5 months of dry season to really work on parts of the project while the weather is nice. 

Vehicle for projects
We have spent the last week with one of our Board of Directors making lots of for all of the projects for the upcoming year. We are so excited for all the plans we have ahead of us. We have identified the importance of having a vehicle that we can use for all of the projects. It is crucial at this stage to have a vehicle in order to safely get ourselves, materials and volunteers from town out to the farm and for uses with the other projects. 

Adobe Brick Making
Within the next week we will organize a team of local villagers and start our workshop on adobe brick making. We have arranged a large truck of rice husk and rice straw for the bricks and to start the first building. This will be a unique opportunity for the first time for villagers in our this area to learn how to make adobe bricks. 

Green House and Shading for trees
As you all may know, we have planted many trees over the last few months of rainy season. Now with the cold weather and dry season ahead of us, we are focusing our energy on protecting the trees with natural mulch and shade cloth. We are also starting a small greenhouse space to prepare seedlings and young trees and veggies to get them ready for planting in this coming rainy season. 

Road Repairs
Because the road going into the farm is new and we had some erosion in the rainy season, we are starting road repairs over the next week. We will have several workers maintaining parts of the road and some trucks of gravel will be dropped to make it easier for travel in during the heavy rainy season. 

Water System
We are ready to set up the first large water catchment tank on the farm. Once this is in place we can begin to set up smaller tanks to use gravity to drain down in order to water all the young trees and allow us to be able to make the adobe bricks.  We are very excited to have a basic water system set up soon on the farm! 

We are excited to share more photos with you as we make progress on the farm over the next few weeks!!! 

Thank you for all of your support!!!! 

Whispering Earth Team 

Bamboo welcome entrance to be built this month
Bamboo welcome entrance to be built this month
Road in need of repair after first rainy season
Road in need of repair after first rainy season
The only way to get materials out to the farm
The only way to get materials out to the farm
Ohhh....the muddy, muddy roads!
Ohhh....the muddy, muddy roads!

Links:

Water buffalo are the main neighbors at our farm
Water buffalo are the main neighbors at our farm

Dear Friends and Family, 

We are happy to share our latest news with you from the new Whispering Earth Centre! We have almost made it through the first rainy season out on the land. However, we still need to finish paying off the land as soon as we can.  

Road Repairs and Surki Water Tanks
With a very limited budget we have been able to start the Surki water tanks as tests for the upcoming dry season. The access road that was completed into the farm has held up for us through the muddy rains, but we desperately need some minor repairs on the road to make it more safe for us to travel in and out of the farm onto the main dirt track going to and from the village. With almost a month still left of heavy rains we need to the minor repairs as soon as possible. 

Continued Intensive Permaculture Design & Planting
We have continued working on the Permaculture design and planning for the entire property. We have already planted several hundred trees on the land including the following exciting varieties;  macadamia, avocado, mango, several species of banana, two variety of grapes, ornamental and decorative trees, edible wild flowers, mulberry, lemon, orange, plums, pears, blackberries and several kinds of hard woods for long term sustainability and much, much more!!!

Preparations for First Adobe Buildings
We have continued to work on the basic design for the first buildings which we hope to start sometime after the rains stop in November. As we have already mentioned, we have completed the first bamboo house which has given us a space to seek shelter from the driving rains the past few months. 

Once the rains stop we will start on the adobe brick making workshops to begin teaching the local villagers the new techniques and which will be used on the first building. Our priorities for the next few months are to start to make bricks and begin the building of the main lodge or welcome centre and to start on the kitchen and dining hall.  

Volunteers
We are also ready to start taking volunteers to come and stay with us at the new farm! Please let us know if you are interested in coming out to Myanmar and joining is this incredible new project!

As always we thank you for your ongoing support and are excited to share the next news with you!

Warmly, 

Whispering Earth Team

Some of the views into local forests from land
Some of the views into local forests from land
We have already started planting natural fencing
We have already started planting natural fencing
The road coming into farm from main village area
The road coming into farm from main village area
Open fields already planted with fruit trees
Open fields already planted with fruit trees
One of the special bodhi tree nooks on the land
One of the special bodhi tree nooks on the land
Our farm situation in valley with 14 ethnic villag
Our farm situation in valley with 14 ethnic villag

2nd Report for Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre (Whispering Earth Sustainability Training Centre)

Dear Friends and Family, 

We are happy to share some very exciting news with you once again about our new Whispering Earth Sustainability Training Centre! We have been able to put a small deposit down on the land for the new training centre located just 12 km outside of Kalaw which has allowed us to begin designing and planting the property.  We need to raise the rest of the funds as soon as possible to pay off all of the farm. In the meantime, we have already started the development of the property!

Access Road into farm complete
Already an access road has been built going into the farm and we have started digging our first water source to help us through the dry season. The monsoon season has started and its time for planting! So we are back and forth to the farm every day bringing trees and getting beds ready for sowing. 

Surkhi Rain Water Catchment Tank
Albert has started our first rainwater catchment system using a new earthen building technique from India called Surkhi. So far we are very pleased with the outcome, which will allow us to teach the local villagers how to build their own rainwater harvesting tanks using mud, straw and rice husk, with a lime and brick dust water proof plaster. This technique will also be able to be used on the buildings in the near future! The outcome of the tank so far has been spectacular!

Our first bamboo house
With the help of the local Danu villagers, we have built our first small bamboo shelter which allows us a place to take shelter from the driving rains which have already begun and a place to sleep at night when we have long working and planting days. 

Sustainable Design and Planting trees and crops
Permaculture design of the entire property has already started and we have marked out the spaces for the first buildings which will be started after the rains in November, including the training hall, kitchen and welcome lodge. 

Over the next weeks we will continue planting and doing intensive design work on the land. So far we have planted several species of mulberry, avocadoes, Asian pears, plums, lots jasmine, gardenias and frangipani, cover crops of beans, corn, lentils, some pumpkins, squash, beets and a variety of forest trees. We are now getting ready to plant 6 different species of bananas, more fruit trees and continuing the natural edible fencing around the land to stop the water buffalo from eating all of our hard work! 

We look forward to sharing more news over the next months!!!!

Warmly, 

Whispering Earth Team!

Our first load of mulberry trees ready to plant
Our first load of mulberry trees ready to plant
The first surkhi water catchment tank
The first surkhi water catchment tank
Location of farm in Danu village 1,500 meters
Location of farm in Danu village 1,500 meters
First bamboo house planted with beans,corn,lentil
First bamboo house planted with beans,corn,lentil
View into valley from Sha Bin mountain in village
View into valley from Sha Bin mountain in village

Links:

The valley with 14 ethnic villages networking with
The valley with 14 ethnic villages networking with

1st Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre Report

Dear Friends and Family

We are so excited to share the latest news about our newest project, Whispering Earth Sustainability Training Centre (Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre).

For the last few months we have been actively exploring the surrounding villages around Kalaw in search of the perfect piece of land to start the new training centre. The aim of the training centre is to have a hands on living and learning centre where people can come and experience in a hands on way about natural building, Permaculture and appropriate technology. The new centre will act also as a demonstration farm and will be a space used to host a variety of trainings.

We have found the most scenic and pristine valley starting just 10km outside of Kalaw. The valley has roughly 14 different villages and diverse range of ethnic groups including Danu, Pa-O, Palaung, Thaunyo, Shan and more. It is the perfect location to start the new training centre!

After much efforts, we have also now located a 7 acre plot just outside of the highest village in the region, Sha Bin. We have explained our plans and aims for the land and the villagers are happy to sell this piece of land to us to start the training centre.

Our goal is now to raise the necessary funds to pay for the farm, and all the necessary documents and permits to legally build on the land. As part of the deal, the former owner will build a basic road for easier access for us.

Once the land is paid for, we will be able to start designing, planning, as well as planting the land and getting the first adobe bricks ready before the monsoon season comes.

We have very limited time before the rains come and need to secure the land immediately. Once the land is secured we can begin the next phases of the project.

We thank you for all your support and look forward to your kind contribute to help in these early stages of development of this new training centre!!!

Warmly,

Albert, Aye Aung, Jim and the rest of the team!

The view from new road headed into land
The view from new road headed into land
Home for the water buffalo on the land
Home for the water buffalo on the land
Water source
Water source
Some big trees for sitting under
Some big trees for sitting under
Another amazing tree hidden gem
Another amazing tree hidden gem

Links:

 

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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
$2,820 raised of $50,000 goal
 
30 donations
$47,180 to go
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