This is one of my long pending blog. I was supposed to write this in December 2013 but for some or the other reason it was pending. This blog is about farming.. No , No I do not have expertise on any kind of farming. But I am talking here about my visit to a farm. Now you will ask me what’s a big deal in that??
So let me tell you what is a big deal in my visit to a farm. It was a visit to a farm in Fujairah, UAE. UAE is a region with less rainfall. But when I visited to Al Shaab Farm in Fujairah I was surprised to greenery there.
My friend Laura runs a Balcony and Urban Gardening Club in Dubai. She invited me one day to the outing of the club. She told me that they are going to visit a farm. I was curious about the farming in the UAE, where the weather is extremely hot. I was curious about what kind of farming they do? What vegetables they grow? Though I have seen in market some vegetables grown in UAE, I wanted to visit a farm to see how they maintain it?
We all met at a convenient place and then went ahead in 4 wheels as that is the only option to reach to a farm. The farm is located at Fujairah. It took us around 2 hours to reach the farm. It was a bumpy ride which reminded me of ways to my home town. When we reached there it was just like a farm house. Rick was properly arranged and there was also a coop. The sight was so refreshing. Murad, our guide and owner of the farm was there to welcome us.
We all were excited to visit the area where he was cultivating various crops. They grow spinach, bitter gourd, bottle gourd, onion, corn, mint, coriander, jattar, basil, broccoli, garlic, sweet potato, brinjal, kadu neem (Azadirachta indica), etc. Waters from well or desalinated water is used for watering purpose.
Care taker of the farm Abdul Rahman was enthusiastically giving us all the information what ever we asked for. While I was asking about the vegetables, I was also curious to know more about Abdul Rahman. Where is he from? How many years he is here? When I asked him he said he is from Peshawar, Pakistan but now he considers UAE as his home as he is here for 24 years. He is working in farms since then. What an experienced person!!
On the farm there were roosters, hen, dogs, goats n lambs too. The entire atmosphere was so mesmerizing. Kids got place to run around, play in sand and mingle with those baby sheep. Kids were enjoying nature and some of the adults from the group were smoking in the farm. They were least bothered about crops while walking in the farm. Plucking small bushes as they wished. In short, it was not a farm visit to understand about farming but was just a outing for them.
We decided to have lunch on our way back and stopped at a small traditional restaurant. Murad explained us about menu. Finally we decided to have Chicken Mandi, Haggis and few other local dishes. Traditional way to eat food is to eat together with family. Eating together is important for family. Everyone sits together and shares their day. One more important to note is shoes are not allowed in a dining room. As you wear your shoes outside it is not hygienic to wear them around food table. In Indian culture also we have same traditions. After such a heavy and yummy lunch we all returned to Dubai.
It was a well organised and very informative tour organised by Laura. I am attaching some of the snaps at the end so you also can have a virtual tour of the farm.