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Thousand Trees Challenge

The Thousand Trees Challenge team on arrival in Uganda. L-r: Susie McIntyre, Sarah Louise Fairburn, Michelle Burke, Jenni Gowdy, Helen Brierley, Marian Scott, Frances Swallow, Rachel Baldwin The Thousand Trees Challenge team on arrival in Uganda. L-r: Susie McIntyre, Sarah Louise Fairburn, Michelle Burke, Jenni Gowdy, Helen Brierley, Marian Scott, Frances Swallow, Rachel Baldwin

Three days, eight British food execs, 1000 trees.
Can they do it?

A group of eight senior businesswomen from the UK food and farming industry is currently in the remote town of Kanungu in western Uganda facing the Thousand Trees challenge of planting 1000 trees in just three days and together raising £75,000 for Farm Africa.

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The group is working alongside young female Ugandan agricultural entrepreneurs to dig 1000 holes by hand and plant avocado, jackfruit and mango trees on over 80 acres of farmland in just three days. The fruit trees will not only boost soil quality and food security but provide coffee plants with shade; Arabica coffee beans naturally grow under tree shade.

Meet the team:

Frances Swallow - Finsbury Food Group

Helen Brierley - Vitacress Salads Ltd

Jenni Gowdy - Moy Park 

Marian Scott - Devenish Nutrition

Michelle Burke - Devenish Nutrition

Rachel Baldwin – Tulip

Sarah Fairburn - L J Fairburn & Son Ltd

Susie McIntyre - Kettle Produce Ltd

Can they do it? Sponsor the team to show your support.

Latest photos:

The blog

Monday 14 October - Helen Brierley, Vitacress

Tuesday 15 October - Jenni Gowdy, Moy Park

Jenni Gowdy taking part in Farm Africa's Thousand Trees challenge in Uganda

What we learnt about tree planting....  It's all about the soil!!! As it varies so much from farm to farm. For example, it took us two hours to plant 28 trees yesterday. Today, we planted 180 in five hours. Mainly due to the fact that today's soil was much softer and clay-like, as opposed to dry with larger boulders. We were also much better organised as a team and introduced a little bit of structure to the day!

Farmers also taught us the importance of positioning the trees due to both sunlight and rainfall.

Not fully-fledged aborists yet, but certainly trying our best.

To date, we are almost halfway there. Please continue to donate to such a worthy challenge as it really does make a difference and provides a sustainable revenue stream for the local families. 

Farm Africa's work in Kanungu

Coffee is Uganda’s most valuable crop, and the majority of the country’s beans ends up in the cups of European coffee drinkers. Despite coffee’s profit-making potential, many of Kanungu’s coffee farmers struggle to make ends meet.

With funding from the European Union and UK aid from the UK government, Farm Africa is working in Kanungu to help coffee farmers sustainably produce and sell high-quality coffee, and provide women with the support they need to increase their incomes and earn a fair share of profits from coffee.

A coffee farmer working with Farm Africa in Uganda.

The Thousand Trees challenge is organised as part of Farm Africa’s Food For Good network.

Challenge photos: Farm Africa / Jjumba Martin. Photo above: Farm Africa / Esther Mbabazi