Few minutes into the journey back, our car smelled like a pizzeria. I could recognize a delightful mix of appetizing Italian flavours and yet we were nowhere near a Pizza Hut, Papa Jones or Vapiano. We had just been to a farm in the middle of the
A farm, none like what I’ve seen before – endless rows of Basil, Oregano, Dill, Ricotta and Parsley neatly spaced and stacked inside a greenhouse. Just like a new born, each bed of herbs are rocked, fed and cared at regular intervals. Staying with the baby analogy, each of the little herbs is kept warm with a string incandescent lights that hung just above their heads.
Let me assure you - this is not something out of a science-fiction movie, though occasionally I had to pinch myself into not thinking so. This is the magic of Hydroponics – method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. And the place that we had just been to is Emirates Hydroponics Farms in a place called Al Bahia midway between
Dhabi and .
To a person like me who have grown up in a city, the farm certainly is industrial-scale and yet remarkably it maintains a small-farm-charm. And I would attribute part of that charm to the live tour given to us by the person who owns the place, Rudi Azzato.
Rudi gave us a walking tour of the farm, a crash-course in hydroponics, fielded about a hundred questions, gave us a bunch of fresh herbs (pictured above) and put up with our little one who did her best to wreck his workplace. Thank you Rudi, you were a great host and made our day!
With my newly acquired collection of herbs, no prizes for guessing what’s for dinner at our place these days!
Post-script: If I managed to tickle your curiosity, you would be pleased to know that the Emirates Hydroponics Farms offers schools, families, & groups an educational and interesting field day trip. A fantastic learning opportunity and it is free! You can find more details through the link below.