Give A Ghaf: Seed Harvesting As A True Act Of Faith

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“When we plant trees, we plant the seeds of peace and seeds of hope”.

– Wangari Maathai.

Do you know that time of the year when your glasses (or sunglasses) get foggy when you go outside? When the weather in Dubai is like the feeling of opening the dishwasher when it just finished? Well, then and just then is the best time to collect Ghaf seeds.

It is moreover when Ghaf trees look more graceful and greener, as their tiny leaves get lots of moisture from the air, and the trees are happy. July and August, when you would not find anyone in the desert for BBQ’s or camping, well that is when we are there, harvesting the Ghaf seeds to be planted all around the year.

Once again with the help of Sharjah Girl Guides, Goumbook was able to collect seeds from the trees that were planted 5 years ago at Sharjah Girl Guides. The same trees produced even more seedpods than last year. This summer we extracted approximately 549,000 seeds. That may sound like a lot of seeds but not all of them can be used for planting. Some are tiny while others have been infested or destroyed by parasites growing inside. That is why the process is more complex than it seems.

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For harvesting and understanding the whole process, we worked with Ryan Ingram from Terra Loop, who has been instrumental in training us in the process of seed extraction – a great partner and supporter of the Give a Ghaf program since inception in 2009. The actual process of extraction would not have been possible without the help of a nursery in Dhaid managed by Shurooq. They were kind enough to provide us with space and utilise their facilities in order to extract the seeds. After having been in quarantine for quite sometime is was a fun, exhausting, and somewhat therapeutic activity. The Goumbook team was thrilled to have been able to do this with the help of our partners.

Harvesting seeds this summer represent a true act of faith as we believe in a better future. We will plant these seeds with partners and friends who believe that despite all the upheaval and challenges, there are reasons to emerge and keep going while we leave a better place to those coming after us. From little seeds grow mighty resilient trees.

For more information about planting activities, please email