The Treasure of Organic Farming
Organic Farming is rare to find in Egypt, but more rare to find in the desert. Mountains meet the sea and the desert finally meets green up in Sinai. Habiba Organic Farm (HOF) is one cozy agriculture desert land that measures 3,000m² of fertile ground for sustainability, in which it encourages the Bedouin community for development socially and agriculturally in the district of Nuweiba.
Wwoofing in Egypt
Habiba Organic Farm is listed among Wwoof Independents in the world of sustainable volunteer tourism and is the only one in Egypt that many tourists and travelers have actually passed by to stay there for a minimum of two weeks to give their best on the field of organice desert agriculture. Moreover, HOF is a member of The Center of Organic Agriculture (COAE) in Egypt.
Despite the desert-like nature of the location, there’s so much to learn and harvest as avoluntourist, learning Bedouin lifestyles, new desert agriculture techniques, giving back to the community, and exchanging cultural experiences. Volunteering on the farm sure has a number of rewards.
Good Fresh Yummy Stuff!
Springs of water quench HOF soils for quite a harvest! By products of the farm include both vegetables and fruits such as eggplant, corn, tomatoes, oranges, lime, olives, herbs and many other fresh stuff.
The HOF is owned by Maged El Said, an outstanding man whom I’ve never seen anyone as passionate as he is toward the beauty of desert in Nuweiba. He stands for Eco-lodge concepts, sustainable living, and extending agriculture in the desert. Also Founder of Habiba Camp for tourists, he has lived in Sinai for decades within the Bedouin community and been in love with the Red Sea mountains and never stops talking about its radiant energy.
Currently, Habiba Plantation hosts a community based project that is called Sinai Palm Foundation to engage landlords and investors to take part in improving the environment and increasing date plantations via Sharecropping. It is an opportunity for everyone who is interested to share a successful ROI and social enhancement through international cooperation and collaboration.
Voluntourism On HOF
Volunteering is a valuable travel perspective, which is a wonderful tourism opportunity that most travelers and backpackers take passionately around the world; but if you happen to volunteer on HOF, will you choose to give a travel gift back to our planet Earth on Egypt?!
Type of Work
- Primary work for short term volunteers usually are restricted to farming work that include pruning, making organic compost, preparing the soil, irrigation, mulching, spreading organic pesticide via orange peel, garlic, chili, and eucalyptus leaves.
- Internet communication and marketing for Sinai Palm Foundation
- For the long term volunteers, they extend their work to cultural outreach to the locals and the Bedouin community
- Educational instructions for agricultural workshops
The typical daily routine for volunteers begin at 8am in Winter while 7am in Summer early morning, start work on the farm which lasts till 6 hours with as many breaks as needed in the middle and the rest of the day is free for volunteers to have a swim in the afternoon in the Red Sea before Lunch at Habiba Camp, where the volunteers’ housing is. Meals are usually traditional Egyptian fresh dishes as fish. After lunch time, it is often siesta time to recover and avoid the afternoon heat.
Habiba Camp hosts many visitors in the evening, including tourists and locals, who are often eager to engage with other volunteers and share experiences of cultural exchange. The surrounding area has many other camps as well, primarily operated by Bedouins, who welcome other volunteers to also engage in cultural activities and drinking lots of bedouin tea. Nearby excursions and snorkeling trips are available also all week long.
Volunteers help represent HOF to the community at Sheikh Salim Market in Dahab on Fridays, popular among local entrepreneurs and potential partners. HOF is in the process of securing Demeter Organic Certification, which should be fully ready in December 2012.