Introduction To The Home Farm Project
Here in the rural areas of the Gambia, there are people who, every day of their lives, can enjoy breathing clean, unpolluted air, the river water is uncontaminated by industrial waste, and they can grow their food in naturally fertilised soil. Many of them have never smoked a cigarette and they do not drink alcohol. These people are surrounded by their families and friends and they have access to their own land as of right. They have peace and space and are surrounded by the beauty of nature. Their carbon footprint is practically non-existent. Traditional systems of family management, established methods of community management and discipline are in place and are respected. People still care for each other and know their responsibilities. They already have a natural association with nature and employ disciplines, which equip them to live in accordance with their beliefs.
As yet rural village people in the Gambia haven't received the benefits of accessibility by the west, but - because until now there has been a total lack of desirable resources and commodities - the west and it's unsustainable style of short sighted, get-rich-quick development has passed them by. Unsustainable development in the west has brought pollution by cars and industry emissions. The soil has been poisoned with chemicals and even the people themselves have been made sick, both physically and mentally due to the stresses of western ways of living and unnatural diet. Communities have been broken up and dispersed to the four corners of the earth in search of a satisfying lifestyle.
Many people in the west have now come to realise that personal fulfilment does not come from material wealth alone. Many other elements are also necessary to enjoy a good quality of life. And these have now been lost there beyond the point of recovery. Groups have been formed to try to establish more sustainable forms of living. These groups are known collectively as the "Environmental Movement". Some are even artificially creating communities, (so-called Eco-villages), where people can make a living whilst maintaining a sense of balance with nature and where health and sanity can be restored. Permaculture, (meaning Permanent Culture), is one such group within the Environmental Movement that is looking at ways of recreating healthy, fulfilling and sustainable systems of living for individuals and communities without killing the planet and its people in the process. The thinking has come full circle. When seen in the light of this thinking, the people of rural Gambia, rather than being some of the most underprivileged in the world, in some aspects become some of the most privileged. And some elements, which are having to be re-developed in the west, here are already highly developed.
Where unsustainable development has taken place - however much oil or money has been acquired - it cannot buy back what the present population of rural Gambia still has as its birthright. The aim of this project is to build upon that advantage.
This is not a "get rich quick" project. It is for people with the vision to see the overall picture of where life on this earth is going and to value the advantages they have here in the Gambia. It is not for everyone. Only those who can genuinely recognise, appreciate and desire the style of life possible in these small villages will be interested to join.
This is not going back. It is going forward. We don't have to "copy" the west. A lot of things in the west are beneficial and desirable - but during the process of development there have also been many mistakes causing many problems. The experience of hindsight has now taught us many things, which guide us in a different direction to give us solutions that are more sustainable and make more sense. History does not end in the past. It is ongoing. And it is not the purpose of this project to keep rural Gambia in the past but to develop and breath new life into the villages.
Just as some African nations are saying "No" to genetically modified food aid and the potential problems that that could bring to their people, so the Gambia should be very aware of the existing benefits of what they have here before throwing it all away to join the rat race to madness, insecurity and maybe even extinction. Gambia could develop itself into a Garden of Eden and be a flagship for survival. Living and working with nature and growing the most valuable crop on earth - a healthy population with sane minds as God intended with pure and loving intentions.