Nyongoro

Advent Calendar – December 20, 2019

Advent Calendar – December 20, 2019

December 20, 2019
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This is me.
My hands.
Planting a (ceremonial) tree at the Nyongoro plantation, with the help of one of the workers, an older gentleman in overalls.

It’s one of my favorite photos from the journey, one I have as the locked-screen-wallpaper on my iPhone, ever since I got back at the beginning of July. Whenever I grab a hold of my phone – which, truth be told, and likely to no surprise, is something I do quite often – I am reminded of how impactful my visit to Kenya was, and still is, for me. New perspectives, the reality of other people, bearing witness to everyday struggles that I have never encountered living in Sweden, and not least, a chance to meet the people behind the company whose vision I wholeheartedly support: To eradicate poverty and corruption in Africa.

One way to help eradicate poverty is to help farmers keep their soil viable. At 21 degrees Celcius, the soil is 100% viable. At 40 degrees C, only 15% of the soil functionality remains. At 60 degrees… it’s 100% dead. There is no life in the soil then, all microbes have died off. Unfortunately, 40-60 degrees of soil temperatures are far from uncommon in Africa.

Planting trees, not only helps protect the soil from erosion thanks to the root systems of the trees, but the canopy of them literally works like sun umbrellas, protecting the soil from heating to those lethal temperatures from the unrelenting sun. This is one reason why it’s such an improvement of farmers’ situations when they contract with Better Globe Forestry to become partner farmers and plant trees on the very same land that they already – and continuously – plant cash crops on. The lowered temperatures mean that soil of partial viability within a few years bounce back and thrive, giving higher returns on their cash crops. Smart huh?

Through the donation packages I purchase monthly, I ensure that partner farmers not only get to tend my trees which, as you understand from the reasoning above, is of benefit for them, they actually receive a tree for themselves for each tree of mine. If you want to start your own monthly contribution to this fantastic and life-changing work, start a monthly subscription. And if you need help, reach out!


Advent Calendar for 2019: sharing pictures and stories/reflections from my trip to Kenya in June. I went to visit “my trees” and get a hands-on experience of the social entrepreneurship of the Kenyan forestry company that I buy trees through.

Full disclosure: I am proud to say I am both a customer and an ambassador for the company. If you are curious to find out more, let me know and I’ll gladly get in touch with you! Here’s my sponsored link: https://betterglobe.com/27216 

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Advent Calendar – December 12, 2019

December 12, 2019
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At the Nyongoro-plantation the operation is mechanized compared to the way things are done in Kiambere. One reason is the fact that the area is sparsely populated, which means Better Globe Forestry has a hard time to find enough workers.

Still, it would be hard to mechanize operations such as land clearing, pitting (that is, drilling holes for the seedlings), weed control and watering if the lands were rocky and/or very muddy.  Luckily, it isn’t. The soil conditions are just right for mechanization!

This bulldozer is part of the fleet of heavy equipment at Nyongoro, consisting of three bulldozers and eight tractors. There is still a need for manual labor though, especially for planting, pruning, seedling production, and security. The trees at the plantation are planted with just the right distance so the bulldozer can manage weed control in an efficient way, and the tractors can supply the seedlings with water (only necessary for the first year, after that the young trees can manage on their own).

There is a story about this bulldozer, one I would love to share with you, but it’s better suited for verbal than written storytelling. If you wanna hear it, reach out and I’ll set up a Zoom-call with you, ok? Curious?



Advent Calendar for 2019: sharing pictures and stories/reflections from my trip to Kenya in June. I went to visit “my trees” and get a hands-on experience of the social entrepreneurship of the Kenyan forestry company that I buy trees through.

Full disclosure: I am proud to say I am both a customer and an ambassador for the company. If you are curious to find out more, let me know and I’ll gladly get in touch with you! Here’s my sponsored link: https://betterglobe.com/27216 

Read More

Advent Calendar – December 10, 2019

December 10, 2019
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It rained!
For half an hour during my nine days in Kenya, it rained just when we visited the trees on the plantation in Nyongoro.
We were on the clock at that, as the local chief who came along for the trip there to guaranteed our safety has us on a tight schedule. Driving through four police checks to reach the plantation, he wanted us to be out again past the first roadblock we drove through within three hours, so when we got to the trees, we were told to get off the bus, take whatever pictures we wanted, not stray out of sight, and be back on the bus whenever the chief called for us.

Nyongoro is south of Kiambere, but most importantly, it’s a lot closer to the coast, hence the climate is more humid. So the plantation here was more rainforest-like than that in Kiambere which was much drier with a lot of felled leaves during our visit (remember, June on the Southern hemisphere means winter-time!). The most apparent difference was in the baobab-trees which still had all their leaves here in Nyongoro.

The plantation lie in a sparsely populated area, and Better Globe Forestry is the biggest employer of the area, with 60-120 workers, depending on the season. These are two of the workers on the plantation, eager to come into work a few extra hours for our visit on a Sunday. Normally, they work 5,5 days a week, 7:30-16:30 or so Monday-Fridays and half days on Saturdays. Better Globe Forestry Ltd. aims at ensuring better working conditions for their workers than what is custom in the areas where they are operating. The Kenyan day workers of Better Globe Forestry are paid 400 KSH (around €4) a day, which is twice the minimum wage of Kenya. Interestingly, this is more than state employees receive – as they get approximately 250 KSH.

This is another reason why I put my savings into trees. As the Chinese proverb reads:

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

My monthly purchases of trees and donation packages ensure BGF can plant trees around the year (regardless of dry or rainy seasons) and provide much-needed job opportunities in poor areas. Your savings can do the same: what better time to buy a tree, than now?


Advent Calendar for 2019: sharing pictures and stories/reflections from my trip to Kenya in June. I went to visit “my trees” and get a hands-on experience of the social entrepreneurship of the Kenyan forestry company that I buy trees through.

Full disclosure: I am proud to say I am both a customer and an ambassador for the company. If you are curious to find out more, let me know and I’ll gladly get in touch with you! Here’s my sponsored link: https://betterglobe.com/27216 

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Advent Calendar – December 8, 2019

December 8, 2019
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Worker of Better Globe Forestry at the nursery in Nyongoro, which has a capacity of half a million mukau-seedlings a year.

During my visit to Kenya in June 2019, I got to visit two Better Globe Forestry plantations, in Kiambere and in Nyongoro. The latter one has not had a lot of visitors since 2015, on account of being a bit too close to the Somalian border to be deemed safe. A few months prior to our visit, Torgny, a Swedish customer of Better Globe, went there on his own and wrote a really interesting chronicle describing his experience. The Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs still advises against traveling there, but luckily the customer trip of 2019 had this visit planned, with necessary safety precautions taken. And I must say, I am very grateful I got to visit this plantation as well.

The staff at Nyongoro were more curious about us visitors than the staff at Kiambere, which makes perfect sense. The Kiambere plantation is closer to Nairobi, started earlier (in 2006 as compared to 2012 for Nyongoro) and hence is a good place to bring visitors. This worker reminded me of the Aracuan Bird in the Donald Duck film Clown of the jungle. He was everywhere, wanting to be in all the photos, offering to pose for us, both here and there, which made for a lot of laughs!


Advent Calendar for 2019: sharing pictures and stories/reflections from my trip to Kenya in June. I went to visit “my trees” and get a hands-on experience of the social entrepreneurship of the Kenyan forestry company that I buy trees through.

Full disclosure: I am proud to say I am both a customer and an ambassador for the company. If you are curious to find out more, let me know and I’ll gladly get in touch with you! Here’s my sponsored link: https://betterglobe.com/27216 

Read More