495: Sara El-Sayed on Low-Tech Irrigation.
Pursuing regenerative farming solutions for desert climates and communities.
In This Podcast:
Dry, arid regions make for some creative watering strategies. Sara El-Sayed has taken the traditional olla method of watering to a new level by incorporating drip irrigation tubing. The Clayola system creates a hands-off watering system that only needs monthly attention. She also shares about how food creates culture and identity, how to consider the whole food system beyond the grocery store shelves, the growing conditions in Egypt, and how to regenerate areas using biomimicry.
Sara is pursuing her Ph.D. at Arizona State University in food system sustainability, specifically on Women in Arid Region’s Regenerative Practices. She is dedicated to making a difference in her local food system and has co-founded multiple organizations for this purpose.
Nawaya is a social enterprise working as a catalyst to transition small scale farmer communities in Egypt into more sustainable ones through education and research. Dayma is an LLC responsible for outdoor Environmental Education, teaching young adults about Biomimicry and local Egyptian communities. And, Clayola, is an LLC creating low-tech irrigation systems in collaboration with local Egyptian clay artisans.
Sara has served as a board member in Slow Food, an international movement aiming to safeguard local food cultures and traditions by promoting Good, Clean and Fair food for all.
Listen in and learn about:
- Spending summers in Italy with her grandmother and the central role that food played
- Why they founded Nawaya in Egypt
- Food as a culture and identity
- Looking past the grocery store shelves and considering the whole food system
- Food systems in arid regions and how to rehabilitate and regenerate those areas
- The impact of low organic matter in soil
- How Biomimicry works
- Clayola and the benefits of the product
As well as:
Her failure – Not communicating their work to local farmers.
Her success – Bringing pride and value to Egyptian heritage foods.
Her drive – Good food!
Her advice – Free yourself from your technology and focus on social interaction and generosity.
Sara’s Book recommendations*:
How to reach Sara:
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