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About us

Welcome to the non-formal education project for the transition towards sustainability

Vision

To discover how to live a healthy and ecologically responsible life working in harmony with nature.

Mission

To realise, demonstrate and communicate appropriate and low-technology solutions that support a low-impact lifestyle.

Goals

Close cycles, use solar energy, grow food, protect soil from erosion, eat vegetarian diet, use low-tech energy efficient devices, reduce-reuse-recycle.

  • LOS MOLINOS DEL RIO AGUAS

    Location: an off-grid village

    Sunseed is based in an ancient little Andalusian village with a long historical background. The electricity is provided by solar panels, nearby water source is providing water for daily use and natural water treatments are used for sewage. With around 50 inhabitants it is a place of different creative projects like Sunseed, Pita-Escuela, Mirador, Casa de la Realidad and Cultura de la Tierra.

  • UNIQUE GREEN OASIS

    A corridor for the wildlife

    We are located in a valley of endangered river Aguas in the natural reserve of Karst en Yesos de Sorbas, famous for its gypsum crystal caves. Various hiking trails are located in the valley, including a route to the source of the river passing through the natural swimming pools.

  • 320 SUNNY DAYS A YEAR ON AVERAGE

    Broader picture: Andalucia, Spain

    Sunseed is based in Almeria province, 30km away from beautiful beaches of the natural park of Cabo de Gata. We encourage travelling by land - the closest city is Almeria (60km). From there you can get a bus to Sorbas (7km) and enjoy a scenic walk to Sunseed.

  • Gaye

Sunseed's history

Sunseed was first conceived in 1982 during a talk at a green festival by Harry Hart, co-founder of the charity Green Deserts.

In August 1986, having rented a house in arid Southeast Spain, a small joint project began looking at practical ways of combating desertification. In March 1987 Green Deserts withdrew and Sunseed Desert Technology and The Sunseed Trust were inaugurated to direct the project.

Beginnings

Five terraces were under cultivation, and work was started on tree trials, solar stills and new pumps. The main house was bought and, in 1988, a third house (Isabella’s) was added. Since then, Gaye’s House and more land was purchased allowing us to increase the number of volunteer bed spaces to around 35.

The Volunteer programme


...was set up in earnest and volunteers started to come from countries other than the UK. More effort was put into education for visitors and collaboration with other organisations, including universities and schools. Sunseed has gradually evolved into an experiential education centre with visitors working to support the ongoing tasks of Sunseed whilst simultaneously learning how to live in a low impact way.

  • Gaye
1995-1996

Teams went to Tanzania, at the request of a women’s group in Dodoma, to start trials of an ultra-low-cost solar cooker and subsequently the Sunseed Tanzania Trust (STT) was established to better oversee this project. STT and The Sunseed Trust remain separately constituted organisations but have an ongoing working partnership.

  • Gaye

Mycorrhiza Research


...was carried out at Sunseed in 2004-2009. Mycorrhiza is a symbiotic association between a fungus and the roots of a vascular plant. This eco-technology is an important tool in ecological restoration. The researchers were able to improve the ability of plants to survive in the arid conditions of this very dry region. The mycorrhiza association with plant roots enables plants to gather more nutrients and water. The researchers developed repeatable methods for supporting plants.

ANNIVERSARY

Celebrated in Sunseed in 2016

For two weeks in October, we were busy with new and old staff as well as volunteers offering walks and historical talks, quizzes, seminars with updates from each of the departments, parties and more.

The world is a different place to how it was in 1986 and Sunseed is changing to adapt to that. 

History of Sunseed in more detail

If you are curious to find more information, please see the presentation made by Anna Tramarin as part of her internship at Sunseed in 2013.