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Saifana Organic Farm - A family project made with love

One of the main topics of Slow Food & Yoga Festival is sustainability. We have dreams, goals and projects for the future, that all focuses on a greener and plastic free world and a zero waste Gili Air. Our festival is a charity festival for Soraya Foundation - our local NGO on Gili Air, supporting social and environmental projects, and creating a place for education, development and guidance for the local kids of Gili Air. This is why we mainly choose to partner up with Eco Warriors and Sustainable brands - so we in collaboration can take steps on our journey towards a Zero Waste island.

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One of our partners is Saifana Organic Farm, located in Northern Lombok. We asked Amina Gindroz to tell us a bit more about her parents project: 

”Our project started in 2013. My parents wanted to build a place, where they could be reunited every year with all their 7 children. They started building wooden bungalows and came up with the name « Saifana » which is actually the first letter of each child.” 

”Today we welcome visitors from all around the world to spend a night at the farm and share with them our sustainable way of living. What makes our place unique, is that we are very close to our community. We are very grateful to have met amazing people with great projects and invite our guests to immerse themselves in their world. It can be natural dyeing and weaving in Bayan, an agroforestry coffee plantation in Sajang, or a coral restoration project.”

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Everything is made with our hands and hearts

The first time we met the team of Saifana Organic Farm was at the first edition of Slow Food & Yoga Festival in June 2019. At this time, dedicated and inspiring young people showed up to sell their lovely, homemade and organic products, and to show to the visitors of Slow Food & Yoga Festival, what they are doing at the farm, and what Saifana Organic Farm is all about. At the second edition in October 2019, the team of Saifana will be present again - this time at the Sunset Market.

”We plan to bring our homemade jams and peanut butter. Everything we sell, are made from scratch and we never use food additives. We don’t have fancy machines at the farm, everything is made with our hands (and hearts!). Cashew season has been amazing so far, so we will be able to sell our delicious homegrown roasted cashew nuts.”

”For the Sunset Market, we also want to sell eco-friendly/zero waste products such as bamboo straws, bamboo toothbrushes, and pouches made by the talented weavers of Bayan”.

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Organic Agriculture - No use of chemicals

Organic agriculture is one of the areas that Saifana Organic Farm wishes to highlight to the local community around them and to the world in general. Despite the fact that the soil around their area in Northern Lombok is very dry and rocky, the team behind Saifana is consistently growing food without the use of chemicals. This is why we love to have Saifana Organic Farm on board the second edition of Slow Food & Yoga Festival, as we wish to pass on the message to the world, that there is no need to use chemicals and food additives.

”Our area isn’t really known for agriculture, as it is very dry and the soil is extremely rocky. But we wanted to show that it is possible to grow food without using chemicals and encourage local farmers to adopt organic agriculture so that soil fertility can be preserved and quality food can be produced.”

”To be able to grow crops here, we are using permaculture techniques, which allow us to build new soil. We use what’s available around us (branches, old logs, leaves, manure…) and create a new structure for the soil. Our tips for new gardeners is to be patient and to put a lot of love in what you are doing."

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Supporting the local community

”To be honest, you could buy jams, peanut butter or cashew nuts in a supermarket (and probably for a cheaper price!). However, if you are purchasing our products, not only you will be guaranteed to eat real food (made by real people), but it also shows that you are willing to support a local community.”

And this is exactly what we wish to do with Slow Food & Yoga Festival. Our aim is to showcase the best of what Gili Air has to offer by sending visitors on a journey around Gili Air to magical venues and to taste delicious Indonesian food - and of course to join some awesome yoga classes in unique locations. We love Saifana’s focus of “buy local - stay local” - Because we have the same here in Gili Air. Our wish is to bring forward the local community and make the island rise together - by supporting each other and buying from each other.

”When you buy local, it stays local; more jobs will be created and more people will be encouraged to start their own small businesses when they see successful ones around them. Our products are also eco-friendly! We ditched single-use plastic and our packagings are all reusable.”

”We would love to start a seed exchange! We could bring seeds from our farm and swap them with seeds from Gili Air (or from other countries!). This could be an interesting exchange between people, no money involved, only a common passion for nature and gardening! We need to keep our biodiversity strong and protect native plants.”

Read more about Saifana Organic Farm on their webpage and follow them on social media here. And most important; Don’t forget to come visit Saifana Organic Farm at Gili Air Sunset Market, during Slow Food & Yoga Festival - October 17th-20th, 2019. 

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Gili Air Fest 2019 all rights reserved